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True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership
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True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  776 ratings  ·  70 reviews
"True North" shows how anyone who follows their internal compass can become an authentic leader. This leadership tour de force is based on research and first-person interviews with 125 of today's top leaders--with some surprising results. In this important book, acclaimed former Medtronic CEO Bill George and coauthor Peter Sims share the wisdom of these outstanding leaders ...more
Hardcover, 251 pages
Published March 9th 2007 by Jossey-Bass (first published January 5th 2007)
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OK, my second of three self-help books for the months of October/November.

I came to this book with the utmost level of skepticism and came away with slightly less skepticism. I've seen several cases of people taking "leadership courses" only to become distant and insecurely authoritarian with the team that they must manage. If I were to write a leadership book, it would take a sentence: Don't be an asshole, listen more than talk, admit to being wrong, and lead by example.

Bill George has a sligh
This book gets good reviews, but I think it's mostly due to the fact that other business books are so BAD. Most are self-congratulatory and promote bad behavior -- you get the immediate impression that the sole purpose of the book is to establish the author's cult of personality.

In case you're wondering, this is how you write a book on leadership:

1. Compile a list of 5-10 "make-or-break" traits of a winning person or company
2. Write a chapter for each trait, containing generic information everyo
This book, of course, is another foray into leadership strategy. I have to admit that I went into the book with a bad attitude because I am not a huge fan of the professor who assigned it. That said, it actually was a pretty good book. The author's rhetoric is a bit cliche, but the book won me over with all the personal stories of ordinary men and women doing extraordinary things. My personal favorite was Andrea Jung, the first female CEO of Avon - her passion for empowering women from all walks ...more
Nov 03, 2008 Jessica rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jessica by: read for NCLA Leadership Institute
I generally do not care for books like this one, BUT, this was not as bad a read as I thought it might be. I marked a few passages that struck a cord with me. It was certainly biased toward for-profit arenas and was difficult to liken some statements to the library world, but I did get some wisdom that transferred.

<> "Courage is an especially important quality for leaders as they navigate through unpredictable terrain." p.xxxiii
<> "People today demand personal relationships with thei
Thomas C.
Sep 17, 2009 Thomas C. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those searching for leadership help
Recommended to Thomas by: teh author at Maximum Impact Conference
Because of the number of books I have read on leadership, I expect that some of the content of almost every leadership book will be duplicative of some other book I have read. My standard is whether or not the book contains something new and valuable for me in my quest to be a better leader. This book has it. I was impressed with two areas of in depth material, that regarding the need for leaders to be in a give and take mentoring relationship, and the description of the types of leadership styl ...more
Julie Connor
Bill George connects business theory and his passion for understanding the human condition to craft this masterful work for business leader. Bill George's perspective about authentic leadership development is brilliantly articulated in True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership. George conducted more than 100 interviews with senior leaders in the development of his book and offers advice for young leaders as they learn more about themselves, align their vision and mission with their core val ...more
A valuable book on effective leadership traits. Depending upon your level, you may find it revealing many new concepts or simply providing a good refresher on many you felt you already knew. Regardless of whether it is revealing, reinforcing, or both, there are good lessons here for all.
At location 560 of the book, I learned that before people take on leadership roles, they should first ask themselves two fundamental questions: “What motivates me to lead?” and “What is the purpose of my leadership?” At location 650, I learned that the role of leaders is not to get other people to follow them but to empower others to lead.

At location 2300, the five dimensions of authentic leadership are listed: 1. Pursuing purpose with passion. 2. Practicing solid values. 3. Leading with heart.
True North was recommended to me by a colleague. She mentioned it in connection with the idea of forming a personal board of directors. Unfortunately, that topic received little treatment in the book.

I liked the way the content was organized, and I appreciated the many anecdotes from captains of industry. I would have been more interested if a larger sample of nonprofit leaders were included.

The examples were outdated and therefore less relevant for today's reader. The book was written after 9
Lisa Dion
Interesting how George spends so much time emphasizing the importance of WHY a leader leads. It really is the most important element of the book, and speaks volumes to what makes some leaders great. I really liked this! It resonated well with me.
Emmanuel Arriaga
This was a great book, it really outlined the process to building your own authentic leadership style. It had a great number of examples comparing leaders from many different companies and industries. Highly recommend this for anyone interested in or already in leadership positions.
Dave Keil
Good book on leadership focused on living your work life centered on your principles and values. I enjoyed the personal stories - several from folks I know or have met the Twin Cities - particularly hearing how leaders led through difficult times, or when their morals were challenged. Good reminder for those mid-career and would be an excellent read for someone a few few years out of school.
Katherine Collins
In this book, Bill George provides a roadmap for personal leadership that is worth all of the checklists and four-quadrant charts you’ve ever seen all put together. He starts with a deceptively simple question, “What is your own true north?” If that is well-defined, lots of other so-called problems turn out to not be problems at all. This work, along with Servant Leadership, is one of the best management books out there.
Devin Partlow
It all good stuff but by the time this book was publish it had been said before. I felt like I was reading a summary of the newer leadership topics and findingz rather than anything novel.
Bonnie Atkinson
Very, very readable, uncluttered with self-important terminology. Important points for anyone who views him or herself as a leader and has a desire to live true to the best within. A wakeup call if one may be losing track of what may be the most important things. Definitely a must-read if you're into ethics and life with integrity. Nice anecdotes. Best if you're into the self-help, emotional intelligence sort of genre of business lit. It caught me at a very nice time in my life and was very vali ...more
This book is chock full of good advise on how to build your self-awareness to become a better leader. His concept of life crucibles was very enlightening for me. The author help me connect the dots in my professional career. Each chapter has helpful leadership exercises to encourage the reader to personalize the content of each concept.

Personal/ professional development is a life-long journey and this book is a great companion for anyone who really desires to grow.
Razvan Deaconescu
Excellent continuation to "Authentic Leadership", "True North" show the importance of life experience on your leadership style. Bill George lists stories to numerous leaders in companies and NGOs and how their experience drove them to acquire authentic leadership.

I was very fond of the questionnaires at the end of each chapter, pushing you to take a look into your inner self and your life experience.

I recommend this book for the self discovery process it takes you through.
O, there IS a reason why this is a best-seller still!

Gladly, I have had men and mentors (and life-situations) that have taught me much of what is in this book.

Having a deliberate idea of what it means to be a great leader from the inside-out is SO helpful!

A great book for leaders but an Exceptional! book for anyone training/mentoring younger leaders and/or any young leader (less than 30).
Brilliant book on Leadership. It goes back to leadership basics, using plenty of real-life stories of top leaders. It talks about leadership that comes from a place of integrity and character, leadership that makes a difference and has substance. Comes with a series of self-evaluating questions, which are great to direct your leadership on the right track, or True North.
Jacob Cruzan
This book was okay. It talks about finding your 'true north' and following it. IT is not based upon principles as is First Things First, but about finding out your passion and using it to help you succeed. I understand where they are coming from, but I like the principle based approach much better. Because I have principles, I don't really need to find my 'true north'.
Great book - lots of stories all centered around 5 keys to an internal compass: Knowing your authentic self, Defining your values and leadership principles, Understanding your motivations, Building your support team, and Staying grounded by integrating all aspects of your life. "If not me, then who? If not now, then when?"
I'm not willing to part with this book. It is by far one of the best self-help (oh, how I am loathe to write that word) books ever. Really, I think it re-centered my soul. If I can get my butt into Harvard Business School one day, it would be to solely take a class with Dr. George himself.
Good introspective text for someone looking to imporve his/her leadership skills and style. Very readable, with lots of concrete examples. Book is based on interviews with 125 "authentic leaders" (George's term, defined in the book) from all levels and areas of leadership. Quite useful.
Helps you understand how your personal values and experiences, esp from childhood, shape your leadership style. I particularly liked the "crucible" moments of very successful leaders like Kevin Sharer.
The exercises in the Appendix can be powerful if you do them!
James Spada
Great Book, this book created a shift in my vantage point, helping to narrow the true magnetic north.

what really pulls me about this book, starbucks giving its employees health insurance because the CEO saw this was important.

May 27, 2008 Patricia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who read WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?
Recommended to Patricia by: Manpower, Inc.
Shelves: sci-fi
This book has been assigned for corporate sales training.

Hooray, I get to go to Wisconsin the week of May 19th! I am so charging them a HUGE steak dinner that Wednesday as I'm there on my birthday. Ugh!

Glug, glug.
Good book. Lots of interesting anecdotes. Really hits home the idea of coming up with a personal story that drives you and motivates you to lead. Also includes the importance of creating a vision and mentorship.
Tania Le
Excellent book about how to navigate the challenges of leadership and still stay true to your ideals and values. A great guide for anyone wanting to succeed as a leader by supporting and valuing their people.
David  Sam
Aug 02, 2010 David Sam rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Leaders, followers, and those who think they are loners
A good and thoughtful book that does not try to find a simplistic definition of a leader, but instead asks us to work first on ourselves before offering ourselves to be leaders for a cause beyond our selves.
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“The role of leaders is not to get other people to follow them but to empower others to lead.” 5 likes
“Leadership is a journey, not a destination. It is a marathon, not a sprint. It is a process, not an outcome. (quoting John Donahoe)” 4 likes
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