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Boards That Lead: When to Take Charge, When to Partner, and When to Stay Out of the Way
Ram Charan, Dennis Carey and Michael Useem
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Format: Hardcover, 304pp.
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Pub. Date: December 10, 2013
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Item No: 9781422144053
Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:
Is your firm’s board creating value—or destroying it?
Change is coming. Leadership at the top is being redefined as boards take a more active role in decisions that once belonged solely to the CEO. But for all the advantages of increased board engagement, it can create debilitating questions of authority and dangerous meddling in day-to-day operations. Directors need a new road map—for when to lead, when to partner, and when to stay out of the way.
Boardroom veterans Ram Charan, Dennis Carey, and Michael Useem advocate this new governance model—a sharp departure from what has been demanded by governance activists, raters, and regulators—and reveal the emerging practices that are defining shared leadership of directors and executives. Based on personal interviews and the authors’ broad and deep experience working with executives and directors from dozens of the world’s largest firms, including Apple, Boeing, Ford, Infosys, and Lenovo, Boards That Lead tells the inside story behind the successes and pitfalls of this new leadership model and explains how to:
• Define the central idea of the company
• Ensure that the right CEO is in place and potential successors are identified
• Recruit directors who add value
• Root out board dysfunction
• Select a board leader who deftly bridges the divide between management and the board
• Set a high bar on ethics and risk
With a total of eighteen checklists that will transform board directors from monitors to leaders, Charan, Carey, and Useem provide a smart and practical guide for businesspeople everywhere—whether they occupy the boardroom or the C-suite.
“Boards That Lead provides the essential road map for corporate leadership. With gripping accounts and compelling illustrations, Charan, Carey, and Useem show how directors can lead in strategic partnership with company executives. This is a game changer, required reading for all who seek to bring out the best in their boards.”
—Alan Mulally, CEO and President, Ford Motor Company
“This book shows how, through leading, partnering, and delegating, boards are now starting to shape the architecture of the company in unprecedented ways. This book is rich with stories—there is nothing like learning from three world-leading practitioners on advancing board capabilities to get the company to raise its game.”
—Fred Hassan, Managing Director (Healthcare), Warburg Pincus; Chairman and director, Bausch + Lomb; former Chairman and CEO, Schering-Plough; former lead director, Avon Products; director, Time Warner
“Boards That Lead offers an illuminating road map for how a board of directors can effectively engage and motivate its corporate management team to successfully navigate even the most complex of situations. This book should be on the ‘must-read’ list of every corporate board member and senior executive.”
—Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President and CEO, TIAA-CREF
“This research, complete with compelling anecdotes and practical information, brilliantly explores how creative, flexible, and innovative processes provide the foundation for long-term, sustainable partnerships between the board and the companies they serve. This work captures the true innovation intended to guide the leadership mandate for any board.”
—Ivan G. Seidenberg, former Chairman and CEO, Verizon Communications; former Chairman, Business Roundtable
“Boards That Lead is chock full of real-world examples that directors can use to improve their leadership and decision making—an impressive one-stop shop outlining board member roles, responsibilities, and actions, including the boundaries that boards and companies often fail to recognize. The checklists for putting this advice into action are comprehensive and practical— the best I have seen.”
—Maggie Wilderotter, Chairman and CEO, Frontier Communications; director, Procter & Gamble and Xerox Corporation
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About the Authors
Ram Charan is a business adviser who has worked with executives and directors of many companies, including DuPont, GE, Novartis, Verizon, and RBS Group (Brazil). He has served on the Harvard Business School faculty, teaches in Wharton Executive Education, and serves on the board of Hindalco (India). He is the author of eighteen books. Dennis Carey is Vice Chairman of Korn/Ferry International. He has placed some of the most prominent chief executives and corporate directors in the United States, including those at 3M, American Express, Goldman Sachs, GSK, Humana, MCI, and Tyco International. This is his fourth book on CEO succession and corporate governance. Michael Useem is a professor of management and the director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He offers courses on leadership and has authored books on leadership and corporate governance, including The Leadership Moment and Investor Capitalism.
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