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The Wisdom of Failure: How to Learn the Tough Leadership Lessons Without Paying the Price

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  97 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The "how-not-to" leadership bookThere is a paradox in leadership: we can only succeed by knowing failure. Every accomplished leader knows there are minefields of failures that need to be navigated in order to succeed. Wouldn't it be great to have the insights to help you prevent from making avoidable mistakes? Unfortunately, in business talking about mistakes can be taboo, ...more
Hardcover, 282 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Jossey-Bass (first published September 19th 2012)
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Aggressor
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it


This was a very interesting book. The approach was refreshingly different in that it focused on what NOT to do. The examples given were insightful and on point. Each chapter was summarized with what lessons were learned and what approach to take in order to avoid the described pitfall.

This is a great book for self evaluation and improvement. If you aren't working on any of the described areas in your own life, you either haven't evaluated yourself with open eyes or you are denying your own fa
...more
Affad Shaikh
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
I might have made a hasty decision when purchasing this book. I had been interested in reading about failure, its something I have thought about a lot lately. I was looking for something that discussed failure but that was not tied so much to business. This is a great self help book for folks in management and start ups looking to learn from other people's mistakes rather than experience failure because they made the mistakes discussed in the book.

There were some key take aways for me as well.
...more
Arun
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This could be a drag if you're not in the entrepreneurial mindset already, as I had tried reading this book before and gave up. But recently I picked this up again and finished it (and to avoid giving up, I read it back to front, reading each chapter then the chapter before it). For sure, every chapter has a tough leadership lesson to teach you. It awakens you to the kind of mindsets bad leaders would have, that could drive their ventures into the ground and how you must guard yourself against a ...more
Theron
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I started reading this, I began to feel as though it was written about me and everything that I have done wrong in my career - saying "Yes" too often, being enamored by the new thing, arrogantly roaming outside the box (after all, all progress is made by the unreasonable man), focusing on being supper efficient - all refereed to as "unbalanced orchestration." Something I can do better.

Thankfully, I didn't feel shamed by the rest of the book.
...more
Kristin
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely one of the best business books you'll ever read. Premise is unique, content is rich with sadly all-too-real-life examples, and the writing style is engaging. And I'm proud to say that Larry Weinzimmer is an outstanding professor at Bradley University - speaking from my own personal experience as well as noting his numerous awards & accolades. ...more
Marc Pugh
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Grow from your failures...learn from others'. ...more
Aneth Davidd
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book offers deep analysis and insights into mistakes that leaders and managers can make, their consequences and how to avoid them. It can be quite handy especially to managers running companies.
Sean Goh
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biz
Started off good, but the back half became dull and uninspired.

Jim Owens, former Caterpillar CEO: "Corporations are bureaucratic. In crisis times, executing strategy quickly often prevents the bureaucracy from stagnating implementation."

Perfectionism is one of the biggest deterrents to learning from mistakes. We become so fixated on not failing that we never move forward. We end up focusing on the upside risk associated with failing, rather than the downside risk of not trying.

Following the mone
...more
Mills College Library
658.4092 W4249 2013
Alex Jeffries
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Starts off with decent examples, then veers into the land of unsupported theories, becoming a book of Donts without really providing much in the way of lessons.
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56 likes · 9 comments
“The term “escalation of commitment” was first coined by Barry Staw, a business professor at the University of California, Berkeley.4 It’s defined as a decision-making pattern in which a person—for our purposes, a business leader—continues to support or believe in a strategy even after it has continually failed. Escalation of commitment is often described as the inability to let go, or as an obsessive need to try to succeed even when failure is inevitable.” 1 likes
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