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The Transparent Leader : How to Build a Great Company Through Straight Talk, Openness, and Accountability

Herb Baum and Tammy Kling

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Format: Paperback, 256pp.
ISBN: 9780060565480
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Pub. Date: October 4, 2005

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

It seems that over the past few years these words didn't mean very much. From Enron to WorldCom, corporate America was rocked with scandal after scandal. Employees lost their savings and jobs, investors lost their shirts, and the public lost their confidence in big business -- the foundation of this nation's well-being.

In his new book, The Transparent Leader, Herb Baum, CEO of the Dial Corporation, brings us back to the basics of transparency and good corporate behavior. In his folksy, down-to-earth style, Baum reminds us of the way things used to be, and he teaches corporate executives how to be transparent leaders and in turn create transparent companies. Using examples from his experience at Dial, Campbell Soup Company, and Quaker State, Baum shows readers:
  • The Power of Transparency -- the crucial components of a transparent organization, including the qualities of transparent leaders and employees and how they can benefit your company
  • The Pillars of Transparency -- integrity, honesty, quality corporate governance, and effective communication
  • How to execute transparency in the organization through real-life examples.

By applying these ideas to your own work life, you will become an open and transparent leader, setting an example for the employees in your organization to follow. The transparent leader is the cornerstone of a transparent and in turn successful company.

In this day and age, the only way to succeed in the business world is to stick to the rules of transparency. And if you don't, bad business practices will eventually return to haunt you and your organization.


To restore consumer trust in American companies and products, Baum, chairman, president and CEO of Dial Corporation, believes that all executives must adopt a "transparent" style of leadership: honest accountability upstairs, a value-based company culture throughout and employees who are service oriented. Writing with Kling (Exit Row), Baum talks about his role in firing a former Dial CEO and about others he has dismissed throughout his career for overstating profits and concealing problems from boards of directors. Baum argues that developing the right company culture starts with a written statement spelling out and encouraging an open line of communication to management, and he presents himself as practicing what he preaches, with employees at all levels regularly emailing or phoning him with comments. The philosophy and approach are sound, though not revolutionary; the broader commentary on corporate greed, scandals and failing companies will be familiar to anyone who regularly follows business news. The book is most compelling when Baum details specific practices at Dial, to the point of printing an appendix of his own memos, on communication and other topics.
—Publishers Weekly, Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

Herb Baum is the former president and CEO of the Dial Corporation and previously served as CEO of Quaker State Corporation, and president of Hasbro.

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