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HBR's 10 Must Reads on Leadership

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Go from being a good manager to an extraordinary leader. If you read nothing else on leadership, read these 10 articles (featuring “What Makes an Effective Executive,” by Peter F. Drucker). We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles on leadership and selected the most important ones to help you maximize your own and your organization's performance. HBR Go from being a good manager to an extraordinary leader. If you read nothing else on leadership, read these 10 articles (featuring “What Makes an Effective Executive,” by Peter F. Drucker). We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles on leadership and selected the most important ones to help you maximize your own and your organization's performance. HBR's 10 Must Reads On Leadership will inspire you to: - Motivate others to excel - Build your team's self-confidence in others - Provoke positive change - Set direction - Encourage smart risk-taking - Manage with tough empathy - Credit others for your success - Increase self-awareness - Draw strength from adversity This collection of best-selling articles includes: featured article "What Makes an Effective Executive" by Peter F. Drucker, "What Makes a Leader?" "What Leaders Really Do," "The Work of Leadership," "Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?" "Crucibles of Leadership," "Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve," "Seven Transformations of Leadership," "Discovering Your Authentic Leadership," and "In Praise of the Incomplete Leader."


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Go from being a good manager to an extraordinary leader. If you read nothing else on leadership, read these 10 articles (featuring “What Makes an Effective Executive,” by Peter F. Drucker). We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles on leadership and selected the most important ones to help you maximize your own and your organization's performance. HBR Go from being a good manager to an extraordinary leader. If you read nothing else on leadership, read these 10 articles (featuring “What Makes an Effective Executive,” by Peter F. Drucker). We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles on leadership and selected the most important ones to help you maximize your own and your organization's performance. HBR's 10 Must Reads On Leadership will inspire you to: - Motivate others to excel - Build your team's self-confidence in others - Provoke positive change - Set direction - Encourage smart risk-taking - Manage with tough empathy - Credit others for your success - Increase self-awareness - Draw strength from adversity This collection of best-selling articles includes: featured article "What Makes an Effective Executive" by Peter F. Drucker, "What Makes a Leader?" "What Leaders Really Do," "The Work of Leadership," "Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?" "Crucibles of Leadership," "Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve," "Seven Transformations of Leadership," "Discovering Your Authentic Leadership," and "In Praise of the Incomplete Leader."

30 review for HBR's 10 Must Reads on Leadership

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mark Muckerman

    Read it, but read it with caution, thoughtfulness, emotionally balanced introspection, and with no expectation of "an answer". The Harvard Business Review deserves its outstanding reputation. With that comes the risk of every word being looked to as gospel (because "it's the HBR"), or read with an overly critical eye and an unconscious need to "find flaw with those pretentious bastards at HBR". However, this collection of articles is well written (as expected), but also well compiled to provide a Read it, but read it with caution, thoughtfulness, emotionally balanced introspection, and with no expectation of "an answer". The Harvard Business Review deserves its outstanding reputation. With that comes the risk of every word being looked to as gospel (because "it's the HBR"), or read with an overly critical eye and an unconscious need to "find flaw with those pretentious bastards at HBR". However, this collection of articles is well written (as expected), but also well compiled to provide a comprehensive overview of Leadership styles and information, all on point, yet all very diverse. What it is: It is a collection of insights and offerings on varying aspects of leadership styles, traits, and insights on personal leadership development for success, based on a plethora of studies and analyses. An emotionally mature reader seeking broader and deeper insight on the various components of "leadership" will find value in gaining a wider lens on leadership, and therefore possible some insight into self, as well as help in identifying some aspirations for personal growth. What it is not: It is not a roadmap. It is not a self-help. It is not a book for brand new leaders, as the content requires some experience. It is not a "how to be a better leader in 12 pages". It doesn't even offer guidance on how to find those tools (likely because there IS no silver bullet. All that being said, if you are a leader and looking to grow, knowledge is never a bad thing. Recommended read (although it's probably a $12 book with a $25 price tag because, after all, it IS from the HBR. . .

  2. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    As a person not really interested in business school, I mostly read this to remind myself of how feudalism is alive and accepted in modern life. Believe it or not feudalism has evolved since it became a passe form of popular government, in the form of corporate governments. This book is a terrific introduction to a world that most of us ignore, or complain about in an under-educated way. I think its important to read the same articles that the heads of these institution are reading, in the same As a person not really interested in business school, I mostly read this to remind myself of how feudalism is alive and accepted in modern life. Believe it or not feudalism has evolved since it became a passe form of popular government, in the form of corporate governments. This book is a terrific introduction to a world that most of us ignore, or complain about in an under-educated way. I think its important to read the same articles that the heads of these institution are reading, in the same way that its important for white Americans to read Peggy McIntosh or Zora Neale Hurston. When modern liberals say that "corporations are ruining America", we owe it to them to consider this statement and understand the causes. This book provides only one aspect, but I think it helps us refine this statement to "bad leadership is ruining America." So lets assume that the "great person" view of history is valid. If you are trying to find analogies between corporate success and historical success (of nations or peoples), leadership is the place to find the answer, in this view, and this book seems to back this up and confirm everything. Every single article, 100% of the time, spanning 30 years (?) of HBR essays, ties the CEO directly to the performance of the company. So, great leader = great company, end of discussion, as far as this book is concerned. Now, getting back to the progress in feudalism, all of these articles concern themselves with the identification of the traits of good leaders and bad ones, and we can write up some taxonomies of leadership characteristics and styles. Various authors highlight different things, and you can see, if you pay close attention, to how things have changed in 50 years from a more austere style to more "authentic" style, and from the identification of process and technically intelligent leaders to people and emotionally intelligent leaders. What we cannot do, is understand ourselves well enough to transform from good to great, or put systems in place to ensure that this will happen. I haven't read Jim Collin's Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't (although he contributed one article), but on the basis of all of these HBR articles - some people are brilliant and they make hard choices and take risks that just work out more often than when other good leaders who check all the other boxes are faced with the same challenges. Some people are just smarter. Most of the articles acknowledge this problem. So maybe we can't always guarantee greatness, but surely we can get goodness? However despite all of this research and generally agreed upon principles, corporate boards still promote mediocre if not bad leaders, and the systems don't do nearly well enough to eliminate harmful personalities from positions of power. This is a conclusion that I came to myself, and is not discussed in any of the articles.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tommy Kiedis

    When the editors of Harvard Business Review open their vault of leadership and management gems, scouring its vast depth for the best and brightest of their treasures, and then line them up for you to glimpse and grasp -- get in line! Whether you look at HBR's 10 Must Reads On Leadership as an essential leadership primer or approach it as a graduate course sandwiched between two covers, this book is outstanding. HBR's 10 Must Reads On Leadership is a gathering of some of the best thought leaders When the editors of Harvard Business Review open their vault of leadership and management gems, scouring its vast depth for the best and brightest of their treasures, and then line them up for you to glimpse and grasp -- get in line! Whether you look at HBR's 10 Must Reads On Leadership as an essential leadership primer or approach it as a graduate course sandwiched between two covers, this book is outstanding. HBR's 10 Must Reads On Leadership is a gathering of some of the best thought leaders from yesterday and today. How often are you going to find Peter Drucker, Warren Bennis, John Kotter, Daniel Goleman, Jim Collins -- along with Bill George, Ron Heifetz, Diana Mayer, Deborah Ancona and others -- all waiting to share insights and impart wisdom? When you read HBR's 10 Must Reads On Leadership you don't have to dig through past issues of Harvard Business Review to glean from the great. It's all right at your fingertips. It's theory and practice, insight and impact! 5 Reasons To Read 1. The line-up: I've already mentioned many of the authors. Here are a few of the titles: "What Makes A Leader?" "Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?" "Crucibles of Leadership" and "In Praise of the Incomplete Leader." 2. The research: HBR leans toward research-driven content. Many of these works are reports of multiple-year studies. 3. The approach: If you are not familiar with the HBR approach, it is a beautiful blend of theory and practice. Their works are designed for the reflective practitioner intent on practical results-oriented application. 4. The perspective: Collectively, HBR's 10 Must Reads On Leadership provides a global perspective on leadership. This is not simply what's happening on the American scene. 5. The attention to detail: The indexing and contributor bios are outstanding. HBR's 10 Must Reads On Leadership is just that. Read it. Apply it. You won't regret it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kari Metzger

    Love this book on leadership - it's a collection of articles that are perfect to keep in your flight bag for trips - short essays that give you something to think about and of course, the quintessential Drucker (how can you go wrong?) I really would have given this 5 stars, but the last couple of articles didn't quite hit as close to home for me - even so, I waffled between 4 and 5 stars (would have been an ideal 4.5 star book!). Recommended for anyone looking to up their game in leadership. :)

  5. 4 out of 5

    William

    I get that the conventions and quality of academic writing vary across disciplines. But the breathless tone of business/management academia gussies up the meager insights of this discipline as significant, penetrating scholarship. It isn't. And this book isn't worth your time.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lizzy

    There were a couple interesting essays ("Crucibles of Leadership", can't remember the other one I liked) but in general I'm annoyed I had to read it for class.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Geir Skårland

    Unscientific, anecdotal and value-based, this collection of articles gives a good overview of leadership thinking. However, most of the articles follow this dubious method: -look at successful companies or leaders -formulate a leadership model and apply this to the material -create compelling images as an illustration -tell stories that confirm the model The mere fact that the collection ends up with very different models of leadership shows that the results are more subjective and random than they p Unscientific, anecdotal and value-based, this collection of articles gives a good overview of leadership thinking. However, most of the articles follow this dubious method: -look at successful companies or leaders -formulate a leadership model and apply this to the material -create compelling images as an illustration -tell stories that confirm the model The mere fact that the collection ends up with very different models of leadership shows that the results are more subjective and random than they present themselves as. Still, some common features emerge. Most of the models value - adapting to the environment. Orient the company to meet actual needs. - emphasise relationships and empower employees - maintain work-life balance - be authentic and real, avoid building up your ego to harmful proportions. - follow ethical standards to build trust and sustainability Since the overall picture is both interesting, good and useful, the collection is so, too. But it has also left me with serious doubts as to the validity of current research on leadership.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I think this edition is one of the better HBR "10 Must Reads". This volume, on the subject of leadership, I found to be particularly intriguing. All of the articles remain timely, even though some were written long ago. These articles, which range from the difference between management and leadership, to being a truly authentic leader, and many points in between, are very helpful. Leadership is such an amorphous subject, and leadership comes in all different varieties, yet still the researchers I think this edition is one of the better HBR "10 Must Reads". This volume, on the subject of leadership, I found to be particularly intriguing. All of the articles remain timely, even though some were written long ago. These articles, which range from the difference between management and leadership, to being a truly authentic leader, and many points in between, are very helpful. Leadership is such an amorphous subject, and leadership comes in all different varieties, yet still the researchers are able to distill some very good lessons on what makes great leaders, what great leaders do and don't do, and how anyone can become a leader. I would recommend this book to all aspiring leaders out there, not only in business, but government and non-profits as well. Truly a book to make you stop and think, and reflect on your own style of leadership.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nick Jamil

    It was very hard to rate this book. Many of the articles are actually quite insightful, despite my rating, and well worth the read. One could even call some of them "game changing". With regards to others, I just don't think I'm at a place in my career and in my organization where I can appreciate the articles. I skimmed those. Finally, there is an article or two in there, or some articles with a few parts within them, that I vehemently disagree with and can't understand how they made it into a It was very hard to rate this book. Many of the articles are actually quite insightful, despite my rating, and well worth the read. One could even call some of them "game changing". With regards to others, I just don't think I'm at a place in my career and in my organization where I can appreciate the articles. I skimmed those. Finally, there is an article or two in there, or some articles with a few parts within them, that I vehemently disagree with and can't understand how they made it into a "top 10" list.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ravi

    A collection of abstracts from all the bestselling books on Leadership. It's an excellent resource if you don't want to go through the pain of reading all the books completely and just want to grab the idea of all in a couple of days. The chapters give you multiple but related perspectives on leadership. Liked the chapters 'Discovering your Authentic Leadership' and In praise of the incomplete leader' the most. A handy reference to keep on your study table.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Only a few of the articles were interesting but not "must reads" for a business person. Perhaps the articles were novel at the time they were published. Since then, many of the insightful topics have been expanded into books. A business person would recognize some of the authors like Peter F. Drucker ("The Effective Executive"), Jim Collins ("Good to Great"), and Daniel Goleman ("Emotional Intelligence").

  12. 4 out of 5

    Waterxpolo

    There are some essays like the first one on emotional intelligence that are excellent. I use this book for leadership training / development with people on my team, etc. If one cannot read the whole book, a select 3 essays can provide as much insight when combined with discussion as a course at a top business school like Stanford. Other essays meander and have redundant themes, or poor examples.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mike Ncube

    Great resource for anyone leading a team or company or any aspiring leaders. I particularly enjoyed Jim Collins Level 5 leadership insights. I’ve read his book Good to Great too and this was an excellent summary of it

  14. 4 out of 5

    Filipe Lemos

    2017 November 2 stars

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Anthology of HBR leadership articles that you may have already read if you've had any courses on the topic.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Chang

    It’s like your own leadership coach. Highly recommend. Would gift this to others.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    Read this while launching the Exchanges in 2013. I have shared some of these articles with new/young managers.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alberto

    Great book about leadership. Very detailed and full of pieces of information in a very well crafted topics layout.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Moeschter

    This book was great on learning the various types of leadership and how you can become a great leader in any given situation.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Manojkumar Parmar

    Its a must read for everyone because everyone can and is leader. It helps you understand leadership from multiple angles at multiple levels.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrew York

    (Audiobook)- Definitely a few gems in gear, but I’d recommend the books that evolved from the articles rather than just going with these articles. Otherwise, good overview.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ali

    Very good collection, i actually highlighted a few lessons.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Donatas

    The format of hand-picked HBR articles is really good. Enjoyed reading the articles, a balanced overview of what leadership is and is not.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nicolas Brown

    An excellent resource on leadership! I read this for a class, and the articles in here are fantastic and challenging. Definitely a recommended read for any aspiring or current leaders.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Terry Hoskins

    This is an excellent book on leadership, written by a series of various authors.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Trisha Roberson

    I read the first three articles and then went to the store to buy two copies of it, it was that good. The latter articles didn't feel as revolutionary, but the book includes a lot of ideas, some fresh to me, and a lot of practical advice, too. Would recommend to people who think about leadership.

  27. 5 out of 5

    HR

    Recommended by Joe Nichols, Director, Clinical Education. "Demonstrates how to become a more effective leader and get people to follow you."

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tim Norman

    I love this series in general. Take a top expert like Peter Drucker, Jim Collins, or Daniel Goleman. Then, have them write their best book. Then condense the book into an easy-to-read 15–20 article.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carolina Esteves de Andrade

    I just invested in myself with the HBR’S 10 Must Reads Collection by Harvard Business Review Press. This series is really good because each book has 10 of the best articles published by Harvard University on each topic. I think it is a must read for any ambitious manager, new or experienced leader. It is easy to read, each book has approximately 300 pages. Each chapter is an article from great authors such as Peter F. Drucker, Theodore Levitt, Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton and others. One of I just invested in myself with the HBR’S 10 Must Reads Collection by Harvard Business Review Press. This series is really good because each book has 10 of the best articles published by Harvard University on each topic. I think it is a must read for any ambitious manager, new or experienced leader. It is easy to read, each book has approximately 300 pages. Each chapter is an article from great authors such as Peter F. Drucker, Theodore Levitt, Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton and others. One of the things that I liked on these books is that each chapter has a box called Idea in Brief, which gives you an idea of the basic concept of the chapter and most of them has very interesting case studies as well. I highly recommend you to get this collection because will inspire you with ideas and knowledge that will accelerate both your own growth and company. Each title includes timeless advice that will be relevant regardless of an ever-changing business environment. The titles include: Leadership, Managing Yourself, The Essentials, Change Management,Managing People and Strategy. One of my favorite articles were: What Makes an Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Leadership) Putting the Balanced Scorecard to Work by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton (HBR’S 10 Must Reads The Essentials) Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker (HBR’S 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself) The Real Reason People won’t Change by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Change Management ) What Great Managers Do by Marcus Buckingham (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Managing People) The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution by Gary L. Neilson, Karla L. Martin, and Elisabeth Powers (HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Strategy) “Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes “ Peter F. Drucker “The ability to change constantly and effectively is made by high-level continuity.” Michael E. Porter

  30. 5 out of 5

    Antariksa Akhmadi

    Who deserves to be called a leader? Why should it be him or her? And what do leaders do anyway? People have been arguing about the ideal leader. It's normal. If we all agreed on the concept of leadership, then we would not have to hold elections or support one person over the other to represent us. This book illuminates my understanding of leadership and leaders. In essence, each article in this compilation gives differing and sometimes competing definitions of leadership. Daniel Coleman sees tha Who deserves to be called a leader? Why should it be him or her? And what do leaders do anyway? People have been arguing about the ideal leader. It's normal. If we all agreed on the concept of leadership, then we would not have to hold elections or support one person over the other to represent us. This book illuminates my understanding of leadership and leaders. In essence, each article in this compilation gives differing and sometimes competing definitions of leadership. Daniel Coleman sees that a leader has higher emotional intelligence than others, while Kotler maintains that the work of a leader is to steer people through change. According to Jim Collins, truly great leaders face their lives with humility and don't draw attention to themselves, but Goffee and Jones insists that a leader should put forward some characteristics that set them apart from other people. Peter F. Drucker, interestingly, throws away the notion of a "leader" and believes that everyone should be able to be an executive (i.e. completing tasks in an organization) regardless of their personality or interpersonal influence if they followed several rules. After repeatedly reading each chapter, though, I have begun to understand that what makes a leader is very dependent on the situation. There is no perfect leader for all things to all peoople. Rather, there are leaders for particular organizations, particular peoples, and particular times and places. Perhaps we should be satisfied sticking to those various definitions of leadership because they seem to represent these differing contexts. This book is not intended as a "how to be a leader" for leaders or anyone who seeks to gain a position of leadership. Rather, the readings should give them an insight on how they should dedicate their effort and exercise their influence over their organizations and people. In that case, I found this book really enlightening.

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