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The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership-Powered Company
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The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership-Powered Company

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  429 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Together, these authors have more first-hand experience in leadership development and succession planning than you're likely to find anywhere else. And here, they show companies how to create a pipeline of talent that will continuously fill their leadership needs-needs they may not even yet realize. The Leadership Pipeline delivers a proven framework for priming future lea ...more
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published December 20th 2000 by Jossey-Bass (first published November 1st 2000)
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While somewhat dry, this book provides a useful explanation of how companies can cultivate and support leadership at all levels. While I'm not at the level where I would be designing such systems, it provided me with a solid understanding of what it takes to be a manager at different levels and what I should look out for in terms of leadership training in organizations I am thinking of joining.
Chris Munson
I have mixed feelings about "The Leadership Pipeline." On one side, I think this is a brilliant take on the different stages that leaders of all levels should step through in order to be their most effective. It also makes a compelling argument about what happens to companies that don't make sure their leaders are ready before they advance to the next level. The chapter on succession planning is highly valuable. On the other hand though...the ideas presented are too mechanical in nature. The tem ...more
Raman Ohri
The base idea of this book has merit - specify a framework for management careers in more specific terms around levels, expectations, and a path of progression from small team lead to CEO. Unfortunately it's written in the most boring way possible, paired with sweeping generalizations, a lack of specific examples, vague terminology, little or no reference to actual study data/evidence, shameless references to one of the authors consulting company materials, and a puzzling fascination with ecomme ...more
Haven't read it yet but accidentally hit the rating button!
The idea of a pipeline could be most helpful to corporate boards grappling with CEO succession. Applied properly the right people will ask the right questions at the right decision making levels.

Nothing is more disabling to a corporation than a CEO who can't parse time and concept appropriately. Met one who was so ill-placed that his weekly top team meetings lasted days simply because he hadn't evolved beyond the operational logic of the technician he was when he first joined the company. He'd
I don't usually read books on management. If I do, I don't easily get swayed by them, and treat them with skepticism unless they make good horse sense. This one did. I first heard about it in a training course I was on, and then picked it up in audio book form.

The central thesis of this book is that there are a number of key role transitions managers must deal with over their career - from managing self to managing others, then to managing first line managers, to leading functions, groups, and e
David Kudlinski
This book is a text for business management theory. It describes the various stages of one’s career moving up the management chain. Discipline is required by the company and the manager to develop specific leadership skills and perform specific duties in each of six levels of management. Top management is most responsible for developing long-term strategy. Coaching future leaders from inside the organization is also a major responsibility. Superstars shouldn’t be promoted too fast, not until the ...more
Valuable information for the most part. Kind of dry. Common sense written down. Was re-reading the section on succession planning, not so valuable for public sector and dealing with the "gray tsunami" of retirees. Ex: high potential does not equal high, welcome to the real world.
As a pastor who invests into people in the nonprofit sector, I found this to be a valuable resource. They were large sections that I found nontransferable as it spoke to business management positions in very large and complex organizations that often don't translate to a smaller organization. Some concepts were very focused on the organizational structures of a production focused company rather than a service organization. However there are some gold nuggets in it.

There are some great lessons l
Alex Mallet
Interesting exploration of the change in responsibilities/expectations at different levels of a management hierarchy. The hierarchy and roles assumed are a bit different from the typical software engineering management chain, but it's still instructive.
This is a great book for conveying the idea of different skills being required for success at the various levels of leadership within an organization. It is not enough to simply do more of what you did in the past to ensure continued success in the future. You often need to alter what you value as important - and therefore what you spend your time on - as you move upward through the corporate ladder. Much of the content of the book can be gleaned from the introduction and first chapter but the b ...more
Dec 23, 2009 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to Michael by: Russ
Shelves: business
WOW! What more can I say. A great book that provides a path for any and all leaders and those that would like to become a leader. I will admit that at times I really struggled because it could be an indictment for many of the managers I work for and have worked with in the past. Oh how I wish that every leader/manager would read this book and find out their place on the leadership pipeline. Make the corrections if necessary and move forward. Then, let's start grooming those within the company. W ...more
David Zerangue
This is really a book with a lot of common sense that I feel would be quite eye-opening for those starting careers in the business world as well as those in more strategic positions. For the vast majority of corporate cogs, it is merely acceptable. The authors certainly have it painted correctly. The problem for me is that my aspirations for 'climb & conquer' have been replaced with 'retirement needs'.
For the young, it is beneficial in explaining why they should not expect the promotion 'tom
Bob Nardo
I read this, at the recommendation of a colleague, along with Grote's "Ultimate Guide to Performance Appraisal." This book was useful to my work as we thought about the particular management skills and time values we want to assess in different job functions. It's also pushing my thinking on what is possible to attain with a well developed internal pipeline. One minor limitation is that, while they give a bit of attention to nonprofit or small business settings, this book is more directed toward ...more
Reagan Ramsey
definitely alot of GE methodology (and matrices) built in here, but great insights in to the pitfalls that leaders at each level fall in to. they highlight the fact that just because someone is great in one function doesn't mean they'll be great at the next. i love the emphasis on leadership development and coaching. it's amazing how many companies expect people to sink or swim without giving them any resources to succeed. and think of all that potential talent that could be realized with some g ...more
Kamil Mysiak
Overall, the book does provide some insight into the leadership succession pipeline, differentiating among the tasks at various levels of positions within an organization. However, once you've graduated past the individual contributor/manager step the responsibilities become very convoluted and poorly described.
I don't believe we do a good enough job understanding what it takes to recognize strong talent and appropriately moving people up the chain of command. This offers a sound approach and served as a helpful reminder of what needs to happen at each step in order to truly be successful.
Great read for anyone working towards managerial promotions and/or developing their own employees. Applicable to different business models and sizes. Not necessarily a breakthrough model for leadership development, but a clear design to implement successful systems.
At times I found relating certain leadership levels to the business challenging; however my greatest learnings came from the chapters towards the end. Especailly Succession Planning (The Matrix is a great tool), Potential Pipleline Failures and Coaching.
Another interesting article that undortunately was unnecessarily stretched into a book. Very relevant if you work in GE, occasionally relevant for piccking up an idea or two if you happen to work in a less staid 20th century entity
Caroline Gordon
Unique perspective on the stages in career growth through management, the pitfalls of each and important stages in growth of your skill set at each point. Highly recommended.
I read this long before starting businesses and I read it to find out how to work my way up the corp ladder. It shows the steps and techniques to bring the leaders out and help them rise in your company.
Assigned to me as reading for a leadership training course, it is a well researched and logical reference tool for understanding management transition in large organizations.
Deborah Parker
Read it for a client project. It did highlight quite a few areas I agreed with on implementing a good leadership development strategy in organizations.
Mike Eccles
Feb 05, 2013 Mike Eccles is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: management
Saw the great summary of the book's principles on the MindTools website - felt inclined to read it... Let's see how it goes. It's in the reding queue.
Great book! Extremely clear, logical, and practical. It is written for large corporations, but has some helpful principles for many more contexts.
Nov 22, 2008 Karyn marked it as to-read
Need to read this book along with some others as part of a training program. I usually don't read books like these.. lets see how it goes
Sep 22, 2010 Davin added it
was required to read first 3 chapters. an easy read with practical examples but i am skeptical about its implementation in my org - haha.
May 02, 2012 Gayle added it
Shelves: couldn-t-do-it
I couldn't do it... maybe another day but it was much too much corporate speak for me with no real examples of application.
This was surprisingly helpful in figuring out what I'm doing wrong (here's a hint, I'm clogging up the leadership pipeline).
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“In fact, to be successful as a first-time manager requires a major transition for which many people are not adequately prepared. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of this transition is that first-time managers are responsible for getting work done through others rather than on their own.” 1 likes
“A Role Model for Managers of Managers Gordon runs a technical group with seven managers reporting to him at a major telecommunications company. Now in his late thirties, Gordon was intensely interested in “getting ahead” early in his career but now is more interested in stability and doing meaningful work. It’s worth noting that Gordon has received some of the most positive 360 degree feedback reports from supervisors, direct reports, and peers that we’ve ever seen. This is not because Gordon is a “soft touch” or because he’s easy to work for. In fact, Gordon is extraordinarily demanding and sets high standards both for his team and for individual performance. His people, however, believe Gordon’s demands are fair and that he communicates what he wants clearly and quickly. Gordon is also very clear about the major responsibility of his job: to grow and develop managers. To do so, he provides honest feedback when people do well or poorly. In the latter instance, however, he provides feedback that is specific and constructive. Though his comments may sting at first, he doesn’t turn negative feedback into a personal attack. Gordon knows his people well and tailors his interactions with them to their particular needs and sensitivities. When Gordon talks about his people, you hear the pride in his words and tone of voice. He believes that one of his most significant accomplishments is that a number of his direct reports have been promoted and done well in their new jobs. In fact, people in other parts of the organization want to work for Gordon because he excels in producing future high-level managers and leaders. Gordon also delegates well, providing people with objectives and allowing them the freedom to achieve the objectives in their own ways. He’s also skilled at selection and spends a great deal of time on this issue. For personal reasons (he doesn’t want to relocate his family), Gordon may not advance much further in the organization. At the same time, he’s fulfilling his manager-of-managers role to the hilt, serving as a launching pad for the careers of first-time managers.” 0 likes
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