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Discover Your True North

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  494 ratings  ·  49 reviews
The Leadership Classic, Discover Your True North, expanded for today's leaders

Discover Your True North is the best-selling leadership classic that enables you to become an authentic leader by discovering your True North. Originally based on first-person interviews with 125 leaders, this book instantly became a must-read business classic when it was introduced in 2007. Now

Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Published July 10th 2015 by Jossey-Bass
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4.01  · 
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 ·  494 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Joe Soltzberg
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
At first I was a bit skeptical about this book. It looked like one of those self-help kind of books that just state the obvious and are nothing more than a positive feedback loop. Nonetheless, it came highly recommended to me from one of my friends taking Bill George's course on Authentic Leadership at Harvard Business School. To my surprise, the book was excellent. If you read this book with an open mind focused on improving yourself, then there is a lot that can be learned here. Not sure? Here ...more
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
(read for a work book club)

If you're going to read a business book, there are far worse and far more vapid bools to read. Likewise, if you're going to be in management, you might as well do it for a reason beyond wealth, short term stockholder value, and employee exploitation. While this book is a little too heavy on vague anecdotes and glittering generalities, it's at least consistent in its message that you shouldn't become a leader unless you have a well thought out moral code and a strong pu
Mar 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Background: Last year while at HBS we had a session with Thomas DeLong which I found very profound and powerful while many of the alpha males who were in the program with me thought it was just fluff. In the session DeLong mentioned Bill George's True North more than once and I immediately went on Amazon and ordered it. I finally got around to reading it now.

Quick review: I totally believe in the concepts in True North. It is important for a leader to be able to frame his life story and
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Sigh, this book was supposed to change my life, according to my mentor. But, despite its best attempts it's really written for men, and beyond that I find myself lacking the things this book takes as a given, and chock full of the things this book suggests that everyone is seeking. So, I'm not finding myself radically altered, but the points are well taken.
Jo Miller
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
I’ll concede I am probably not the author’s target demographic. It’s written for a type A aspiring CEO bro (CE-bro?) who could use a values transplant. (People are important! Listen to them! Except when they’re patients who are suing your pharma company for harming them. Listen to them. Put your family first.... Except when you are goaded into taking a global role a world away from your spouse.)

It’s unfortunate that many of the principles, such as leading with values & purpose, are directly
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it
The main thing I learned from this book is that I will never be a high-powered billionaire executive. And that's okay. I do like the concept of understanding yourself and your priorities and using that to navigate your career. That's much of what we focused on during my recent leadership training at work. It's important to understand who you are and to stay grounded in that rather than getting caught up in doing what you think you need to do to get ahead. All that said, I think I'm going to stay ...more
Becky Brum
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own
I read this book for a work book club. It just wasn't for me. A review previously posted said it best...

"It’s written for a type A aspiring CEO bro (CE-bro?) who could use a values transplant. (People are important! Listen to them! Except when they’re patients who are suing your pharma company for harming them. Listen to them. Put your family first.... Except when you are goaded into taking a global role a world away from your spouse.)"
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Book is written for CEOs and leaders in a business sense. I liked the connections made between a leader's personal story and her chosen leadership path. Leadership is defined as turning personal values and a real intrinsic desires into concrete actions and ways to help others. Everyone's path is different and there are many ways to do meaningful work.
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book on leadership. Bill George has interviewed numerous leaders and allows them to speak for themselves in this book. This is a must read for those who are supervisors, managers and business leaders.
Megan Larson
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Had to read for class. It’s very cliched and the vignettes are not very in depth and are repetitive.

If you’re looking for a “self help” book that will actually motivate you and inspire you, read Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life.
Keith Madsen
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I began reading this book because my daughter Kayla had read it as part of her Master's Degree work in human resources management. As a retired pastor, I found it to be an excellent book which integrated business principles with spiritual awareness. George does well in establishing that a business leader who only focuses on the bottom line financially, will often fail. Rather the best leaders are those who work toward a higher purpose which integrates their own giftedness with providing a servic ...more
Stefan Coburn
May 09, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting book covering a wide range of ideas on how to an "authentic leader". It discusses such topics as "understanding your past" to "how to become more self-aware". It is full of stories of successful world leaders and anecdotes about successes and failures. It provides a number of thought-provoking questions and ideas to ponder.

Simply stated True North is about gaining a grounded sense of direction in one's life and holding fast to critical personal principles. If you enjoy thinking a
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Overall, I believe this book is an excellent read if one is interested in authentic leadership. By using real-life stories of many influential leaders, Bill George manages to illustrate the importance of
self awareness and self reflection in different contexts. It is nearly impossible to become a true inspirational leader if one doesn't allocate enough time to understand oneself and the team one leads.

The book is a good starting point to understand what it requires to identify ones True North. In
Angela Chiu
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Highly recommended. I first doubted if this book can still be relevant and up-to-date. To my surprise, it’s highly applicable in today’s ever-changing world.

Timeless principles with valuable real life cases, combined to be a great guide for career and leadership development.

I particular like it stresses on “work for a greater good purpose vs chasing fame-power-money”, “live an integrated life”, “servant leadership”, “empowerment but demand accountability”.

It gives good food for thoughts especi
Jacob Thomas
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Bill George is so full of shit that I had to wipe my hands off with toilet paper after I finished his book.

He has to update this book periodically because so many of the "authentic leaders" he interviews are arrested for fraud.

His "insights" are mostly applicable to living a life of unbelievably extreme privilege and wealth (none of which he acknowledges even for a second), and the exceptions to this theme are universally people who've grown completely cynical about capitalism and left industry
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
How do you have a meaningful life? It depends upon knowing who you are, and being intentional. Bill George walked you through exercises to look at lessons learned from your life, crucibles, and helps you look at your values, and strengths to find what your sweet spot is. to help you in this journey. The writing can be cumbersome - but the exercises and the journey are worth the read.
Sheila Beck
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I had to read this book for a leadership class at work. While I would not have chosen this book on my own the personal stories were interesting and the overall message is good for people who want to be leaders and develop people instead of simply managing them or giving them orders to carry out.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very mind blowing ideas on leadership

The essence of the leadership
Style of the leaderships
Stories of true leaders around the globe
How to be good leader and discover your true north
Michael Altenburg
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read it for class. Pretty good. They use a lot of libtatds for examples thou.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Great introductory read about leadership. Lots of case studies.
Francheska Escalera
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Has really good stories of succesful and non succesful leaders, a lot of rags to riches inspirational stories but it is sooooo repititive! Honestly this book could have been 100 pages!
Lauren Whiteford
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read on figuring what life experiences made me into the person I am today. The last 3 chapters got a little long and not as insightful as the rest of the book.
Pedro Zagury
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: management
I was told it would "change my life, and though there were some insights, not many were "out of the box".
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jasper Kamp
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Once I was able to ignore the MBA-infused undertone, I found this book to be a genuine practical gem to take a step forward.
Inga Springe
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Too general and shallow.
Igor Razumnyy
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Primo Flores
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, reviewed
Leadership non-fiction?!!!, You might say booooooring, but this is what keeps me awake at night, it's safe to say I go through these with undivided attention.

I recently got into management, (about a year now, but read this about 6 months ago), the main difference from my previous jig is that there is no clear guide as to how to do your job well, and there is no on-boarding, it seems that becoming a manager creates an expectation that yeah, you can manage; So what did I do to ensure success on th
Marcelo Bahia
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
I was in the middle of this book when I watched an actual lecture by Bill George. He’s a very good speaker. He’s engaging, passionate and takes questions from the audience at ease, always coming up with something useful or insightful. He knows what he’s talking about and is very well connected within the business world. He must be a terrific mentor and coach. I wished I was more like him in many dimensions.

That’s why I couldn’t help but think while I was reading this book: “Oh, this could have b
Rachel Blom
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
When True North came out in 2007, it became an instant classic on authentic leadership in business literature. Discover your True North is the updated version of that book that was just released. It’s still one of the best books on ethical and effective leadership.

The term ‘true north’ refers to your inner compass of course, to the magnetic pole of your authentic leadership, which will help you become a successful leader. It’s a principle that’s easy to grasp but a lot harder to put into practi
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