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The Leader's Checklist: 15 Mission-Critical Principles

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  136 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Named to "The Washington Post"OCOs 2011 List of Best Leadership Books
In this fast-reading and illuminating expanded edition of the bestselling "LeaderOCOs Checklist, " world-renowned leadership expert Michael Useem deepens his examination of 15 mission-critical principles for leaders
Based on the lessons from astonishing stories, solid research, and years of leadership de
ebook, 144 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Wharton Digital Press (first published September 20th 2011)
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Jan 24, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This would make a really good free ebook that people could download in return for giving the author their email address. I'm glad I didn't have to pay $14.99 for my copy. I look forward to taking it to a used bookstore and exchanging it for a book that will teach me something new.

It's a typical pamphlet by a typical business-school academic, written in the style of business school. Someone should have told the author that 15 is too large a number for anyone to remember. That's why there's only s
Jun 18, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: working-smart
i thought this book was terrible and after hearing useem speak (he was fantastic), i see why he has fans that might give this a higher rating than it deserves. the biggest problem i have is that you can't really have a checklist for leadership, because it's not a process. useem refers to the checklist manifesto a few times in this book. going into surgery or flying a plane are processes that lend themselves to checklists. you are about to do something, so you go through this list one by one a ch ...more
Naomi Blackburn
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As a MBA with a leadership concentration and 10 years experience in leadership and leadership development(focused primarily in the business development area), I found this book a fascinating short read. I read no less than 30 leadership books a year. The book contained lists which I thought were laid out the best in any leadership book I have read. They were concise, which in working with someone in any level of administration, it is best to have. The Owner's Manual List said it all and could be ...more
Joel Weinert
Jul 16, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was unable to finish this book. To say the least, this book lacks conciseness. The 5th time the Author introduced the Chilean Mine disaster as if de novo, the frustration got the best of me. A book about leadership should presume the reader is at least of average intelligence and can remember subjects and events previously in the book, which this author clearly does not.
In addition, the principles lack examples that would help apply them. If you'd like fantastic guidance, read "The Effective
Andrea James
This is more of a pamphlet than a book. I read this book on a jet-lagged plane journey and found that it's fairly suitable reading for that spaced-out state of mind but probably did not offer much more than that.

It felt like a magazine article that doesn't say anything strikingly insightful but provides some light reading. So unless you find yourself too tired to concentrate on difficult material, I wouldn't particularly recommend this book.
Jul 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book fulfilled my expectations.The author appeared in the book as a narrator. I did enjoy the book because it expanded my mind when it comes to leadership.It was on par and better in some ways that other books in this genre.I was pulled into the book.
The author’s presence was very fitting and appropriate.The themes are business, leadership. They were the focal point of the book.It ended exactly how I expected.
Oct 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, short to the point with well defined insights with respect to such a checklist. It is a very readable book and easy to understand as to what constitutes such a leader's checklist. And 15 key principles it is certainly not overwhelming. It is not magic but a vey useful checklist. Would certainly recommend it to have it with you.
Trevor Sterner
Had some interesting stories, and good (albeit somewhat generic) ideas. The general premise of how you would actually use a checklist was unclear (do you literally bring it to a meeting and check off the points, much like the frequently referred to pilots checklist). All in all, not a bad read, but by no means groundbreaking.
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read many books by Michael Useem, having had a class taught by him at Wharton. He is amazing as a teacher and a writer (I highly recommend the Leadership Moment). This was my least favorite book, as it is mostly a checklist. However, that is why I bought it.
Adriano Ariganello
Much of this book uses examples from recent tragedies to show a bias for planning and action over inertia. I don't disagree with the philosophy, but beyond that, it's just a recap of well covered news stories with a loose frame of 'leadership'.
Jul 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty much contained the obvious with no real revelations. As a professor, he probably had to publish something and this was it. The price was right, though. Wharton Press gave it away. Had I paid, I'd probably only given one or two stars......
Jun 23, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
I was expecting to read about some new ideas to inspire my leadership but it really just talked about how a few people in history used their leadership for good or bad. I may use some of these "checklist" items but not because I learned them here.
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent summary of things to remember, though not a lot of background or description to define the checklist items.
Jason Galloway
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book to refer back to
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great leadership advice without much, if any, jargon; checklist approach is useful and keeps things simple
Jul 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work
got for free for my kindle, very simplistic, at least it was short!
Jul 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work
Once I was given the items on the checklist, I didn't feel like I needed to keep reading.
Grant Carpenter
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Michael Useem is William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Professor Useem has completed several studies of corporate organization, ownership, governance, restructuring, and leadership. He author of The Go Point: When It's Time to Decide (Crown Business/Random House, 2006);
More about Michael Useem...