Leadership on the Line

Leadership on the Line

Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading

Book - 2002
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Named one of 100 Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime by Amazon Editors

To lead is to live dangerously. It's romantic and exciting to think of leadership as all inspiration, decisive action, and rich rewards, but leading requires taking risks that can jeopardize your career and your personal life. It requires putting yourself on the line, disturbing the status quo, and surfacing hidden conflict. And when people resist and push back, there's a strong temptation to play it safe. Those who choose to lead plunge in, take the risks, and sometimes get burned. But it doesn't have to be that way say renowned leadership authorities Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky. In Leadership on the Line, they show how it's possible to make a difference without getting "taken out" or pushed aside. They present everyday tools that give equal weight to the dangerous work of leading change and the critical importance of personal survival. Through vivid stories from all walks of life, the authors present straightforward strategies for navigating the perilous straits of leadership. Whether parent or politician, CEO or community activist, this practical book shows how you can exercise leadership and survive and thrive to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Publisher: Boston, Mass. : Harvard Business School Press, c2002.
ISBN: 9781578514373
Characteristics: xi, 252 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Linsky, Martin


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Jun 21, 2017

There are some good insights here but the closing chapters go off in a different direct and tone, one that doesn't fit in, and so I removed a star. What I liked is how they analyze how leaders can be manipulated by the people who feel threatened by their message: they can be marginalized, diverted, attacked, or co-opted. There is also a good discussion on how to recognize and build relationships with partners, allies, and confidantes. The closing chapters focus on topics of sexuality and keeping an open heart, better suited for self-help as opposed to leading change. I also keep in mind this was published back in 2002; what seems new to them (managing stress, gender differences, etc.) is now mainstream knowledge.


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