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How Leaders Build Value: Using People, Organization, and Other Intangibles to Get Bottom-Line Results

Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood

Retail Price: $19.95
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Previously titled: Why the Bottom Line ISN'T! How to Build Value Through People and Organization

Format: Paperback, 320pp.
ISBN: 9780471760795
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Pub. Date: March 24, 2006

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

In How Leaders Build Value (formerly Why the Bottom Line Isn't!), began when the authors asked a simple question: How can two companies in the same industry with similar earnings have vastly different market values? In answering that question, authors Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood demystify theories of intangible value and show that the bottom line is about much more than just earnings–it’s about building long-term value through assets not accounted for on a company’s financial statements, such as leadership, brand, corporate culture, and ability to attract talent. The authors use real-world examples from various industries to show how intangibles drive market value; even more, they provide the tools to make it happen in your company.

Based on research drawn from a number of disciplines, including human resources, finance, IT, and leadership, this book offers ideas and actions that leaders at any level, in any function, can use to protect and increase their organization’s overall value. Each chapter presents an intangible asset as a concept, then provides examples and tools that help leaders deliver and communicate the value of each to shareholders, investors, regulators, customers, and employees.

Today’s successful leaders must understand the new role that intangibles play in company valuations and see their own roles from a larger perspective if they are to join the new breed of leaders–those who can consistently build value within the company. Why the Bottom Line Isn’t! will show you how to take that next step and start improving your organization now.

But business leaders aren’t the only people who can benefit from the tools and techniques included in this book. These ideas can be easily translated to all types of organizations–from churches, to schools, to government agencies. No matter what kind of organization you operate, remarkable things happen when you build value through intangible assets. Employees will be more committed, customers and investors more satisfied, confident, and numerous. For those who want to impact the long-term value of their organizations, Why the Bottom Line Isn’t! is a clear and solid guide.

From the Authors

The Bottom Line means business. It is about hard numbers that tell it like it is. It is the way to measure success. It is clear, precise, and understood. It’s the way it is. When any leader utters the sacred phrase employees should stop goofing around and get to work. But in fact, the bottom line isn’t. It isn’t what business is all about. It isn’t the clear and precise number managers have been lead to believe, the measure managers should go after while ignoring all other things. It isn’t the way it is anymore. This book explores a new Bottom Line that creates real market value. In this new Bottom Line, the soft stuff is as important as the hard stuff because it builds customer, investor and employee confidence about the future When leaders focus on creating value through people and organization, they will find remarkable things happen. Employees are more committed, customers more satisfied; even investors are more confident.

The goal of this book is simple. Why the Bottom Line Isn’t will help leaders at all levels create sustainable shareholder value and to be able to communicate this value to all interested parties, namely, the shareholders, the investment community, the regulators, the customers and the employees of the organization. Accomplishing this purpose requires an integration of ideas from a number of different disciplines. It involves an understanding of the new role that intangibles play in company valuations and new shifts in thinking in organizational theory. It invites leaders in Human Resources, Accounting, Finance and IT to consider new dimensions to their roles, and ultimately it challenges them to join a new breed of leaders.


"Dave and Norm tackle a tough objective–putting together a comprehensive approach to the ‘soft side’ of business, to build long-term market value–and succeed with a captivating mix of ideas, analysis, and real-world examples. They offer real insight into what works, what doesn’t work, and why."
—Rick Wagoner, CEO, General Motors

"This wonderful book makes clear what great leaders have known for years–that a company’s capabilities are heavily influenced by factors that are sometimes seen as intangible. But Ulrich and Smallwood’s greatest contribution is demonstrating that intangible doesn’t mean undefined. They provide a clear map of how leaders can build their own organization’s impact and capabilities. This is not just a book for HR professionals, but for all leaders in any industry who are trying to improve overall performance."
—Paul McKinnon, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Dell

"Why the Bottom Line Isn’t is the essential book for leaders of the future, who accept that building intangibles is a leadership imperative that permeates the entire organization and is equally applicable in the public, private, and social sectors. The concepts and tools in this book are a timely gift to leaders who are ready to see the whole picture."
—Frances Hesselbein, Chairman, The Leader to Leader Institute

"The burst of the tech bubble swept intangibles with it. This book renews confidence in the intangibles phenomenon, and charts a new direction for research and application."
—Baruch Lev, Philip Bardes Professor of Accounting and Finance at the Stern School of Business, New York University, and Director of the Vincent C. Ross Institute for Accounting Research

"It’s refreshing to see that business success does not in fact begin and end at the bottom line. This book helps us better understand the multiplicity of factors that drive business vitality and value growth, but make no mistake–it’s as practical as it is insightful. In very clear terms, Ulrich and Smallwood provide business advice that can easily be applied to effect change."
—Don Hall, CEO, Hallmark

This wonderful book makes clear what great leaders have known for years - that a company's capabilites are heavily influenced by factors that are sometimes seen as intangible. But Ulrich and Smallwood's greatest contribution is demonstrating that intangible doesn't mean undefined. They provide a clear map of how leaders can build their own organization's impact and capabilities. This is not just a book for HR professionals, but for all leaders in any industry who are trying to improve overall performance.
—Paul McKinnon, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Dell

readers index
Reader's Index 
Send us your favorite quotes or passages from this book.

• "Effective leaders need to have both attributes and results. All the integrity, character, and goodwill in the world will not cover a lack of results. But delivering results, leaders must also do it in the right way. Building character sustains results, particularly when the getting of results is difficult." Pg. 232

About the Author

Dave Ulrich, PhD has been listed by BusinessWeek as the top "guru" in management education. He has coauthored ten books and over 100 articles, serves on the Board of Directors of Herman Miller, and has consulted with over half of the Fortune 200. He is currently on professional leave as professor at the University of Michigan to serve as Mission President for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Montreal.

Norm Smallwood is cofounder of Results-Based Leadership (rbl.net), which provides education and consulting services based on this book as well as the ideas in Results-Based Leadership: How Leaders Build the Business and Improve the Bottom Line, which he coauthored with Ulrich. He has led leadership development, business strategy, organization capability, change management, and HR projects for a wide variety of clients spanning multiple industries.

Table of Contents
1Tangling with Intangibles: Knowing the New Game
2Do or Die: Anteing Up the Table Stakes
3Growth: Setting Your Own Odds
4Writing the Playbook: Matching Strategy to Skill
5Boot Camp: Building Your Talent Base
6Shared Mindset: Creating Unity from the Outside In
7Speed: First Beats Best
8Learning: Changing the Game
9Accountability: Making Teamwork Work
10Collaboration: It Takes More Than Two to Intangible
11Leadership Brand: Captains Everywhere
12Tangible Intangibles: Winning the Game

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