Praise for the Fifth Edition of The Leadership Challenge


Praise for the Fifth Edition of The Leadership Challenge

“My heart goes out to Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner with the deepest gratitude for this book, the most powerful leadership resource available. It is providential that at a time of the lowest level of trust and the highest level of cynicism, The Leader- ship Challenge arrives with its message of hope. When there are dark days in our lives, Kouzes and Posner will shine a light.”

—Frances Hesselbein, former CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA; author, My Life in Leadership

“Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have taken one of the true leadership classics of the late twentieth century and made it freshly relevant for today’s twenty-first century leaders. It is a must-read for today’s leaders who aspire to contribute in a more significant way tomorrow.”

—Douglas R. Conant, New York Times bestselling author, TouchPoints; retired CEO, Campbell Soup Company

“For twenty-five years, the names Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have been synony- mous with leadership. There is a reason for that. This book, in its new and updated form, demonstrates that leadership is a challenge you must win every day. It shows that every leader is unique, with his or her own style, and it helps you find your style. But the real beauty of this book is that it does not just tell you about leader- ship. It takes you by the hand, and walks you through the steps necessary to be better at what you do. It also gives you the confidence to take the kinds of risks every leader needs to take to succeed. I loved this book twenty-five years ago, and I love it today.”

—Joel Kurtzman, author, Common Purpose; editor-in-chief, Korn/Ferry Institute’s Briefings on Talent & Leadership

“We consider this twenty-fifth anniversary, fifth edition, the best leadership book out there because it combines solid research, marvelous stories, and highly usable advice. It struck us, as readers of prior editions, that Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner don’t just write about leadership. They lead, and they continue to innovate and model the way. We’re glad to be on the path behind them.”

—Jennifer Granholm and Dan Mulhern, coauthors, A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future

“If I could recommend only one of the tens of thousands of leadership books ever written, The Leadership Challenge would absolutely be my top choice, and by a wide margin. This new edition builds markedly on the last but remains character- istically Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner—a complex work in its underlying character, but brilliant in its simplicity and practical in design. The Leadership Challenge is the most useful leadership book ever written; I have each and every edition, and each is better than the last.”

—Tom Kolditz, author, In Extremis Leadership

“The Leadership Challenge has inspired and continues to inspire all those who have the will and commitment to take on the burden of responsibility entailed in leading other people. The book lightens that burden and even ennobles it. It values the humanity in us all and welcomes imagination and faith in the future. We are all grateful and better off with this book on the shelf and in our hearts.”

—Peter Block, author, Flawless Consulting

“The fifth edition of The Leadership Challenge is the culmination of decades of rigor- ous analysis of the characteristics of leadership. By modeling the behaviors described by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, every person can develop their leader- ship potential and become a more effective leader.”

—Dan Warmenhoven, executive chairman, board of directors, NetApp

“Developing generations of leaders for three decades, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner are yet again at the cutting edge of leadership. Their five practices of exemplary leadership exactly put into words the characteristics of leadership that I have wit- nessed from many of the greatest football players to ever play the game. If you have ever aspired to be a leader, or need to take your leadership skills to the highest levels, this is the book for you—all you need to do is take the challenge!”

—Brent Jones, former All-Pro football player; managing partner, Northgate Capital

“The Leadership Challenge is the best research-based practical field guide for leaders I have ever read. While the world around us has changed significantly since 1987, when I picked up the first edition of the book, the simple relevant truths of what great leaders do has not. I love the personal best leadership stories that highlight the five simple-to-understand exemplary practices that really matter. Great leaders are lifelong learners, and there is no better place to start or continue your leader- ship learning journey than to read this book.”

—James Foster, senior vice president, chief product supply officer, the Clorox Company

“Whether you are just beginning your leadership journey, are a seasoned CEO, or a professor of leadership, this timeless leadership classic needs to be within constant reach!”

—Harry Kraemer Jr., former chairman and CEO, Baxter International; professor of management and strategy, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management

“There are hundreds of leadership books on the market, and you’ll probably get something out of each of them, but none are so solidly based on research as The Leadership Challenge. This is the book that goes beyond opinion and guides you to those behaviors that bring out the strength in others.”

—Janelle Barlow, author, A Complaint Is a Gift and Branded Customer Service

“The Leadership Challenge is the first book I recommend to all new leaders in Kaiser Permanente. Twenty-five years after it was first written, it remains the best guide to leadership success, and in a time of global competition and economic uncer- tainty, the principles elucidated by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner serve as a powerful foundation for any individual hoping to help others innovate and embrace change. Leaders should be required to re-read this book every five years of their career.”

—Robert Pearl, MD, executive director and CEO, the Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Permanente

“Seldom, it seems, have I been in the office of an HR professional where I did not see a copy of The Leadership Challenge. The book has become a go-to source for professionals looking for insight into leadership development. Now Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have gone back to the well to create an all-new fifth edition. While The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership are as timely as ever, the stories are fresh and the insights are just as compelling. Simple and accessible, The Leader- ship Challenge is so packed with information that people who care about leadership need to put it on their shelves—but only after reading it cover to cover.”

—John Baldoni, president, Baldoni Consulting LLC; author, Lead With Purpose, Lead Your Boss, and Lead By Example

“It is truly laudatory that Jim and Barry are celebrating the twenty-fifth year of a book that never lost its appeal. The authors have observed, interviewed, consulted, taught, and thought for all those years, and they continually bring us the best stories, examples, and lessons to keep their work ever green. Bravo and thank you!”

—Beverly Kaye, founder, co-CEO, Career Systems International; coauthor, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go

“Speaking from experience, it’s not easy to make research findings engaging, practi- cal, and a pleasure to read. In this new edition of The Leadership Challenge, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have once again found that elusive balance between focusing on the data and telling a great story. No other leadership book is as compelling, as comprehensive, or as effective in teaching us how to go about making the changes we must make, in order to become the kind of leaders who can move mountains. If you could read only one book about the art and science of leading, then this is without question the book you should read.”

—Heidi Grant Halvorson, author, Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

“The Leadership Challenge is a proven, data-driven model for leadership that has stood the test of time. The simple, effective framework works across industries and cultures, helping leaders engage their organizations and deliver superior perfor- mance; this has never been more important than in today’s interconnected, fast- moving world.”

—Mike Splinter, CEO, Applied Materials

“The Leadership Challenge has re-energized leadership at Applied Materials. The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership provide a commonsense approach that is within the reach of anybody who needs to get work done through others.”

—Mary Humiston, senior vice president, global human resources, Applied Materials

“Kouzes and Posner have given us a handbook of hope: leadership can be learned at almost any level in an organization. The book provides identifiable skills, prac- tices, and abilities available to anyone willing to develop themselves—not just those charismatic personalities at the top. Research-based, conversationally written, and practically applied, The Leadership Challenge is absolutely the most compre- hensive and credible book on leadership to date.”

––Dianna Booher, author, Creating Personal Presence

“The Leadership Challenge has gone from being a revelation to a standard to a classic. It is now the defining book on leadership for our time, and there is not a business, government, academic, or military leader in the developed world who, consciously or not, has not been taught its lessons.”

—Mike Malone, associate fellow at Said Business School (Oxford); author, Bill & Dave

“When Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner write on leadership, all of us had better pay attention. The fifth edition of The Leadership Challenge will quickly become a classic. Stop what you are doing and start reading, leading, and achieving.”

—Pat Williams, senior vice president, Orlando Magic; author, Leadership Excellence

“The Leadership Challenge includes real-life stories of globally diverse and inclusive people sharing their personal leadership challenges and learnings. From these real- life stories and the authors’ extensive fact-based research, Jim and Barry challenge each of us to continually improve our leadership skills and inspire others to do the same, and give us the formula to do just that. This book is as close to the bible on leadership as you will find. From business person to family person anywhere in the world, it has lessons on leadership for all.”

—Stephen Almassy, global vice chair, OCA/Industry, Ernst & Young Global Limited

“For the last twenty years, I have been lucky enough to have worked with some of the world’s best mentors in the field of leadership development. Very few, I have discovered, are equally comfortable in both the ivory tower and corporate board- room. Jim and Barry have found the sweet spot and showcase it brilliantly in The Leadership Challenge. It’s hard to think of a book that has had more of an influence on my own writing, as well as my own practice advising corporate boards on CEO succession, than this landmark book. Although I could continue gushing for pages about the contributions that Jim and Barry have made to the field of leadership, I can boil down my thoughts into just two words: thank you!”

—Jeffrey Cohn, coauthor, Why Are We Bad at Picking Good Leaders?

“Nobody knows leadership better than Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner. They use real, current, and practical illustrations of what leadership looks like and then demon- strate how to improve its practice. A must-read for every leader, The Leadership Challenge should be a part of every entrepreneur and intrapreneur’s business plan!”

—Carol Sands, managing member, the Angels’ Forum

“Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner know how to draw upon what we know (the evi- dence) to describe and teach what we need to do (through examples and reflection exercises) in order to be more effective health care leaders. The book is as appropri- ate, accessible, and helpful for new leaders as it is for those with years of experience. I have personally observed current and future leaders using this book to strengthen their leadership and personal effectiveness.”

—Christy Harris Lemak, director, the Griffith Leadership Center in Health Management and Policy; associate professor, health management and policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health

“Jim and Barry start from the most basic aspect of leadership: that human beings need purpose, values, and respect to be motivated. Given their starting point, it is perhaps not surprising that they hit the mark. Still the best book out there on leadership.”

—Ken Wilcox, chairman, Silicon Valley Bank

“For twenty-five years The Leadership Challenge has been a source of inspiration and insight for some of the best educators I know. In this latest edition, Kouzes and Posner have added important wisdom and updated thinking to their work. The Leadership Challenge is indispensable reading for those who take on the leadership of our schools.”

—Kevin Skelly, superintendent, Palo Alto Unified School District

“The nation’s health care system is in transition with significant system and eco- nomic changes. Physician leadership will be necessary to make this transformation successful, while maintaining the focus on our patients. The Leadership Challenge gives present and future physician leaders the leadership practices that will make them both better leaders and physicians.”

—Fernando Mendoza, MD, MPH; professor and chief, Division of General Pediatrics; service chief, general pediatrics, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital; associate dean of Minority Advising and Programs, School of Medicine, Stanford University

“Up-to-date, superbly compelling, and full of heart, the fifth edition of Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner’s classic draws on an unmatched trove of new data to offer fresh context to the fundamentals of great leadership. The Leadership Challenge remains the essential text for leaders who want to achieve the extraordinary in today’s hypercompetitive environment.”

—Sally Helgesen, author, The Female Advantage

“Peter Drucker would probably have called the publishing of Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner’s book The Leadership Challenge ‘a distinguished public service.’ There is no doubt that it was that and that the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of this wonder- ful book continues to show organizations how to get extraordinary things done.”

—William A. Cohen, Major General, USAFR, Ret; author of Drucker on Leadership and Heroic Leadership

“This fifth edition of The Leadership Challenge is Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner’s gift to leaders in the twenty-first century. Join them and hundreds of thousands of others using this guide to extraordinary leadership.”

— Geoff Bellman, consultant; author, Extraordinary Groups: How Ordinary Teams Achieve Amazing Results

“The twenty-fifth anniversary edition of The Leadership Challenge is another great reference for leaders and would-be leaders globally. Over the years, the Kouzes and Posner five leadership practices have crossed borders, cultures, and generations.”

—Joe Hage, associate CIO, American University of Beirut

“This fifth edition of The Leadership Challenge continues as a must-read for any global leader or aspiring leader. The Leadership Challenge has been my compass in guiding and developing as a leader, developing other leaders, and in engaging future leaders. Barry and Jim’s research reinforces that active learning and unending practice are foundational for leaders. To be a compelling leader, mastery of the principles of The Leadership Challenge is absolutely essential.”

—Bill Maxwell, former senior vice president, human resources, Oakwood Temporary Housing

“In the midst of great change, sometimes it is important to return to timeless ideas. In their twenty-fifth anniversary edition, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner reframe their leadership principles for global challenges in the twenty-first century. If you read it before, it’s time to read it again. If you haven’t read it, expect a master class on leadership in these turbulent times.”

—Joel Barker, author, Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future

“The precious message of this insightful and important book is that leadership does not attach to a job or any position. It is seized, by a combination of credibility and courage. In a world where too many are simply milling around, here is a primer for taking charge.”

—Irwin Federman, general partner, US Venture Partners

“As the entire economy undergoes a fundamental phase change, in which both the organization and the workplace are being reinvented before our very eyes, a new generation of leaders will find in the deep insights and engaging stories of this updated edition of The Leadership Challenge the guidance they require.”

—Stephen Denning, author, The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management

“This classic has improved with age. Fresh examples and global cases make the fifth edition of The Leadership Challenge more relevant to more relationships than ever.”

—Tim Scudder and Michael Patterson, coauthors, Have a Nice Conflict

“Few leadership books stand the test of time, but The Leadership Challenge continues to show the path to being a leader of substance. Filled with great examples and rooted in rock solid research, it is a must-read for every leader.”

—John B. Izzo, author, Stepping Up

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