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The Truth about Leadership: The No-fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  401 ratings  ·  58 reviews

A fresh look at what it means to lead from two of the biggestnames in leadership

In these turbulent times, when the very foundations oforganizations and societies are shaken, leaders need to move beyondpessimistic predictions, trendy fads, and simplistic solutions.They need to turn to what's real and what's proven. In theirengaging, personal, and bold new book, Kouzes and P

Kindle Edition, 225 pages
Published (first published July 15th 2010)
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Rather than pet theories about leadership, this book is based on 20 years of research, case studies, and leadership training experiences. The ten principles can seem deceptively simple but in fact are distillation of reality. It's actually true that weaknesses can derail you. People need to see you walking the talk. Setting a vision from on high doesn't necessarily motivate followers. And so on. What sound like cliches at first are fleshed out with data and clear examples. Read it and measure ot ...more
Filled with great ideas, communicated clearly and convincingly (who could argue with over a million data points?!). If you want a reminder of what it takes to lead, or are stepping up to a new leadership challenge, pick up this book.
Well-written, research-based book on the characteristics of successful leaders and how to develop them in oneself and one's employees.
Kevin Eikenberry
While they have been researching, speaking and writing about leadership for nearly three decades, I believe this is their best work to date.

This book identifies ten leadership truths that Jim and Barry have identified over their careers as the core of what leadership is about. The truths include:

You Make a Difference
Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership
Values Drive Commitment
Trust Rules
The Best Leaders are the Best Learners
- See more at:
Julie Connor
James Kouzes and Barry Posner understand good leadership. Their results are based on 30 years of research; they studied more than 1 million responses to their leadership assessment to reveal 10 truths that show what every leader must know, the questions they must be prepared to answer, and the real-world issues they will likely face. I heartily recommend Kouzes and Posner's "The Leadership Challenge." Both texts explain fundamental leadership truths and core values that must be aligned with a le ...more
Omar Halabieh
As the title indicates this is a book about leadership. The authors distill their research and learnings in this area into ten truth “about leadership and becoming an effective leader”.

One of the main premises in the book is: “We tell our audiences that as much as the context of leadership has changes, the content of leadership has not changed much at all. The fundamental behaviors, actions, and practices of leaders have remained essentially the same since we first began researching and writing
One of the first books that I read about leadership was Kouzes and Posner’s The Leadership Challenge. I recall how it captured the topic of leadership in simple understandable terms. Their landmark work was based on five key leadership principles, including: Modeling the way, Inspiring a shared vision, Challenging the process, Enabling others to act, and Encouraging the heart.

The Truth About Leadership is based on new research and builds upon the authors’ original model that is as true today as
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
The Truth About Leadership: The No-Fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know by James Kouzes and Barry Posner was chosen by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the Top 30 Business Books of 2010.


In The Truth About Leadership: The No-Fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, the authors combine decades of experience in the areas of leadership and executive coaching. The pair have conducted research in the areas of
"You can't look for the man behind the curtain to solve your concerns. Everything you need you already have. It's all about taking the first step." (qtd 6)

"As a leader, you are expected to have a point of view about the future. You are expected to articulate exciting possibilities about how today's work will result in tomorrow's world." (23)

"Becoming a leader begins when you come to understand who you are, what you care about, and why you do what you do." (32)

"And how does a new leader develop t
Dustin Bagby
This is a great distillation of the core elements of good leadership. It is exactly what it says it is. No fads or trends, just the most important components of leadership consistently valued over decades of research. What I love about this is that it's a leadership book that stays in touch with humanity, compassion, valuing others, honesty, and integrity. Too many leadership books make leadership sound as if it is only available to a select few and cannot be learned, or the principles they teac ...more
Melissa Mcdonald
If you are several years into your career, you should have figured out most of what's in this book. However, the author does a wonderful job of affirming leadership truths you already know in a way that also expands on the reasons these truths ARE truths. I enjoyed it, and so did most of my book group.
Jim Razinha
A simple book with basic concepts covered in most leadership texts. Saccharine anecdotes don't add anything for me, but others might find some connection to them.

[Addendum - 9/27/12]

I reread this in preparation for a seminar and have a slightly revised opinion. The book is still basic, but after discussing it with someone who will be one of the seminar leaders I realized that while it is basic, seasoned leaders should read it. His perspective was that sometimes we forget our roots. I agree that
Admittedly, I'm a Kouzes and Posner fan, so this review is undoubtedly biased. However, I really enjoyed this book. Having read most of their other books, I found that this book had just enough new content and also a refreshing positioning of older content (e.g. five practices as part of "you make a difference"). It read like a good review of their other work with new tidbits and new structure, plus it read quickly.

Most importantly, the premise behind the book rang true for me. The authors argu
I was given this book to read by my assistant manager as I try to climb the leadership ladder. It taught me useful leadership skills and reassured me with my leadership abilities. I learned the most from chapters 2, 6 and 10. I recommend this for any young person wanting to move up in their company or just to improve on their leadership skills. I was also pleasantly surprised that it was so easy to understand and relate to, even as a 20 year-old.
I have no doubt that these authors are experts on the matter based on their years of leadership. I just found this book very dry and hard to finish. Their points seem correct but I didn't find myself having many "aha" moments.
Justin Anderson
Leadership is difficult to define. Many people say that they "know it when they see it", but may lack the ability to explain its supporting concepts. I enjoyed how this book sets a framework to clarify what leadership truly is all about. In the Truth about Leadership, Kouzes and Posner introduce the 10 most important things that they have learned about leadership. They call them the truths about leadership because they have stood the test of time and are well supported. The true stories and rese ...more
I had to read this book prior to a leadership conference, and I give it 4 stars for what it is. It is a very introductory-level book to leadership. It would be best for those who are considering moving into management or just entered a leadership position. Many long-time leaders may give it a lower rating, and that's because it doesn't have much to offer them except a "don't forget about the basics" review. There is nothing earth-shattering in this book and many of the truths are basic values to ...more
Leadership matters - a whole lot. Kouzes and Posner, two longtime leadership gurus, unpack years of research that strike to the heart of what makes for effective leadership. Ten straightforward truths provide the book's structure and content. Although none of these ten leadership truths were new or flashy, these basic truths are indeed core to effective leadership (e.g. credibility is the foundation of leadership; values drive commitment; focusing on the future sets leaders apart; and the best l ...more
Ben Ingram
I really enjoyed this read. Some great stories and insights into the authors beliefs on leadership.
More common sense about leadership than most leadership books. It makes so much sense, you want to keep reading.
Pretty good... It might be better not to listen to it. It's so condensed that it seems like more of a reference book to me.
Gian-luca Cioletti
Leadership is all about! Good book on leadership!
I had never picked up one of the books my uncle had written before this one, since I haven't really had a desire in my life to pursue management. Even though I still feel mostly this way, the book was interesting, to the point, and an easy read. It helped me understand why certain managers do well and others fail, and how as an employee I can try to understand where they are coming from. I would recommend this to anyone looking for advice in a leadership role.
Mar 22, 2011 Janet rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in leadership
Recommended to Janet by: School required
A very good and readable overview of the most important, time-tested "truths" about leadership. It is honest, forthright and up to date even though the focus is upon what research over the years has shown about what really works. As promised in the title there are no gimmicks here. The bottom line is integrity, constant learning and the committment to work hard to develop in the areas where you have weaknesses.
Kouzes and Posner really understand leadership.
Book was full of common sense truths. Nothing earth shattering or overly thought provoking. After stating the truth, the rest of the chapter was filled with ramblings and repetitions of the truth.
While some of this may seem like it should be common sense I think there are a lot of so called "leaders" that would benefit from reading this book and following the author's advice.
Stijn Van dam
A oneliner: it's a matter of head, heart and courage.
Moazzam Khan
Good book on leadership.
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