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Authentic Leadership : Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value

Bill George

Retail Price: $29.95
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Format: Hardcover, 218pp.
ISBN: 9780787969134
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Pub. Date: July 2003

Average Customer Review:

best book 2003

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Item No: 9780787969134

Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

In the wake of continuing corporate scandals there have been few, if any, CEOs that have stepped forward as models of "doing things right"— except the former chairman and CEO of Medtronic, Bill George. George has become the unofficial spokesperson for responsible leadership— in business, the media, and academia.

In Authentic Leadership Bill George makes the case that we do need new leaders, not just new laws, to bring us out of the current corporate crisis. He persuasively demonstrates that authentic leaders of mission-driven companies will create far greater shareholder value than financially oriented companies. During George's twelve-year leadership at Medtronic, the company's market capitalization soared from $1.1 billion to $460 billion, averaging 35% per year.

George candidly recounts many of the toughest challenges he encountered from ethical dilemmas and battles with the FDA to his own development as a leader. He shows how to develop the five essential dimensions of authentic leaders— purpose, values, heart, relationships, and self-discipline. Authentic Leadership offers inspiring lessons to all who want to lead with heart and with compassion for those they serve.

Bill George helps readers answer vital questions such as: What should I do when my personal values conflict with company business values? How do I make trade-offs between the needs of my customers, my employees, and my company's shareholders? Do I really want to devote my talents to business?

Authentic Leadership provides a tested guide for character-based leaders and all those who have a stake in the integrity and success of our corporations.


"There is a great deal of valuable insight in Authentic Leadership. One can only wish that Mr. George had written it five years ago, before so many chief executives led their companies so badly astray."
New York Times, July 27, 2003

"This book is destined to be a classic. Candid, provocative, and a compelling call to action. A priceless dialogue with unquestionably America's preeminent steward of corporate integrity who walks the talk, leads from the heart and never stops challenging business leaders to 'Get Real' on honesty, responsibility, and purpose."
—Harvey Mackay, author of Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive

"In a time when ethical leadership has more value than ever, Bill George shows us the way with clarity and conviction. He speaks with quiet authority, having lived this compelling important message."
—Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence and Primal Leadership

"A powerful call for genuine and ethical business leadership, made ever more persuasive by Bill George's own extraordinary life. His book preaches what Bill George has practiced over his long and incredibly successful career."
—Walter Mondale, former Vice President of the United States

"Required reading for new MBA's -– and those who hire them"
—Richard E. Cavanagh, President and CEO, The Conference Board

"Anyone interested in how to become an effective leader should meet Bill George former CEO of one of America's finest companies -– Medtronic. The next best way to improve your leadership skills is to read Bill's extraordinarily readable and compelling book. It's a virtual handbook of easy to follow leadership ideas"
—Arthur Levitt, former Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission

"Provides an excellent framework for 21st Century Leadership. I had a wonderful opportunity to learn from Bill George in several business ventures. Here, Bill gives a broader audience a chance to benefit from his wisdom."
—Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman & CEO, General Electric

"Reminds us that enduring principles are such because they are real and true. Bill George shows us that over the long haul 'good guys' can and do win."
—Roger Enrico, retired Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo

"George cuts straight to the core of building the effective organization -- the ability of leaders to see problems, speak about them honestly, and provide the inspiration and passion to move forward. This is a "must read" for those who believe, as I do, that every member of an organization can find a way to lead."
—Henry A. McKinnell, Chairman and CEO, Pfizer Inc.

"Bill George is one of the most successful business leaders of all time. In this book, he describes what real leadership is. It is about people, integrity, character, values, empowerment, passion, compassion, stakeholders, teamwork, and purpose beyond self.
—Richard M. Kovacevich, Chairman and CEO, Wells Fargo and Co.

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About the Author

Bill George is former chairman and CEO of Medtronic, the world’s leading medical technology company. He is a board member of Goldman Sachs, Target, and Novartis and executive-in-residence at Yale. George has been recognized as "Executive of the Year" by the Academy of Management, "Director of the Year" by the National Association of Corporate Directors, and one of BusinessWeek’s "Top 25 Managers." He has been widely quoted in the New York Times, Fortune, Face the Nation, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and NPR’s All Things Considered.

Table of Contents
Foreword by Warren Bennisxv
Preface: A New Generation of Leadersxvii
Introduction: Where Have All the Leaders Gone?1
Part One: Becoming an Authentic Leader
1Leadership Is Authenticity, Not Style11
2The Transformation of Leaders27
3Leading a Balanced Life45
Part Two: Building an Authentic Company
4Missions Motivate, Dollars Don't61
5Values Don't Lie71
6It's the Customer, Stupid!81
7It's Not Just the CEO91
8Whose Bottom Line: Customers or Shareholders?101
Part Three: In the Crucible of the Market
9Seven Deadly Sins: Pitfalls to Growth109
10Overcoming Obstacles: Nothing Can Stand in Your Way117
11Ethical Dilemmas: When in Rome, Don't Follow the Romans127
12Innovations from the Heart133
13Acquisitions Aren't Just About Money143
14Shareholders Come Third153
Part Four: Beyond the Bottom Line
15Governance Is Governance165
16Sticking Your Neck Out177
17Preparing for Succession . . . and Moving On187
Epilogue: If Not Me, Then Who? If Not Now, When?197
Medtronic Financial Results201

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