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Every Leader Is an Artist: How the World's Greatest Artists Can Make You a More Creative Leader
Michael O'Malley and William Baker

Retail Price: $22.00
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Format: Hardcover, 208pp.
ISBN: 9780071778572
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Pub. Date: May 24, 2012

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Artists put their work on display for everyone to judge, accepting a position of vulnerability for want of something important to say and in the service of contributing to the common good. Artists bring people closer together by providing a forum for shared experiences. Artists challenge, excite, comfort, and motivate people, and they don’t learn their craft by reading about it in a book; they practice, push themselves and their means of expression, and execute, execute, execute.

These are exactly the same things effective business leaders do day in and day out.

In Every Leader Is an Artist, leadership experts O’Malley and Baker employ the “leadership as an art” metaphor to its conceptual limits: leadership is an art. Literally. And leaders are artists; they just happen to work in a different medium.

This groundbreaking look at leadership offers a completely new perspective on the age-old question: What separates the effective leader from the ineffective leader? O’Malley and Baker reveal 12 key characteristics shared by great artists and leaders, including:
  • Intention: Makes an express commitment to achieve certain exceptional ends
  • Authenticity: Expresses individuality and personal beliefs with honesty and transparency
  • Engagement: Challenges the intellectual capacities of employees and tests their abilities to develop creative solutions to problems
  • Imagination: Makes surprising and unconventional departures from the ordinary that create a new sense of awareness or understanding
  • Form: Diligently combines various communications, structures, and policies into a unified, coherent whole
“Collectively, these attributes make great leadership possible, or, in their absence, difficult,” write the authors. “Their presence does not assure leadership excellence, but it does set the range of potential.”

Providing the tools and techniques for developing these qualities, the authors provide vignettes that draw parallels between the personal qualities of famous artists and effective leaders.

Every Leader Is an Artist will make you see your own leadership characteristics with newfound clarity and help you build upon them to be the best leader you can be. After reading this book, you will never think about leadership and your responsibilities as a leader in quite the same way again.


“This fascinating book is a must-read for every leader or individual that aspires to become one. It eloquently offers tips, examples, and analogies that help the reader focus effort and attention in that noble attempt to become a better leader.”
—Eric Weber, Associate Dean IESE, Business School

“Unlike explorations of leadership that too often provide ‘more heat than light,’ O’Malley and Baker offer a refreshing and engaging lens that not only illuminates but inspires the reader.” —Mary C. Gentile, Creator and Director of Giving Voice to Values, and Senior Research Scholar, Babson College

“This is not another book on leadership. Its essence is that all great leaders show an intense artistry. O’Malley and Baker give leadership criteria that weave business language with a strong dose of artistic principles. A great read.”
—Chuck Royce, Chairman, Royce Funds

“Impressive! O’Malley and Baker have written a book that is at once entertaining, intellectually engaging, and practical—a tough combination, rarely achieved.”
—Ed Greenberg, University of Colorado, coauthor of Turbulence

“O’Malley and Baker thoughtfully illustrate the intersections between leadership and art, explaining the requisite attributes for leadership excellence, such as focus, intellectual challenge, imagination, and authenticity.”
—Josh Weston, Honorary Chairman, Automatic Data Processing, Inc.

“O’Malley and Baker have written a wonderful book that illustrates the complexities and necessities of what should be understood as the ultimate qualities of leadership.”
—David Finn, Chairman, Ruder Finn, Inc.

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About the Authors

Dr. Michael O’Malley has been a human resource consultant to the Fortune 1000 for more than 30 years. He is a frequent keynote speaker at international events and is the bestselling author of Are You Paid What You’re Worth?, Creating Commitment, Leading with Kindness, and The Wisdom of Bees. He has previously taught at Vanderbilt University, the University of Colorado, and Columbia University.

Dr. William F. Baker is emeritus president of the Educational Broadcasting Corporation and directs the Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Education, and Public Policy at Fordham University, where he is also Journalist-in-Residence and a professor in the Graduate School of Education. He is also Distinguished Professor of Media & Entertainment at the IESE Business School in Barcelona. Baker has won seven Emmys for his work in broadcasting and is an inductee in the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Management Hall of Fame.

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