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The Truth about Leadership: The No-Fads, Heart-Of-The-Matter Facts You Need to Know

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,210 ratings  ·  92 reviews
A fresh look at what it means to lead from two of the biggest names in leadership

In these turbulent times, when the very foundations of organizations and societies are shaken, leaders need to move beyond pessimistic predictions, trendy fads, and simplistic solutions. They need to turn to what's real and what's proven. In their engaging, personal, and bold new book, Kouzes
ebook, 224 pages
Published July 23rd 2010 by Jossey-Bass (first published July 15th 2010)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  1,210 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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Aug 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
OK book. Talks about leadership traits which are quite obvious and the experiences of other people. The book development is non-existent, it pretty much just states a trait and tries to back it up with examples from other people and some rather over simplified statistics. I agree with the traits mentioned but it seems to me that most of them are also common sense.

I feel the book could've been much better with some carefully crafted scenarios that explored different paths one could take and how
Wendi Lau
Mar 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction, stopped
This book has merit, it does. But the authors keep referencing business leaders from mainland China—not Hong Kong, not Taiwan—hardcore Communist China China. Yes, I typed that twice. We’ve known about Chinese companies lying, cheating, and stealing for years. Not a stereotype, FACT. And China does involuntary human organ harvesting and other human rights violations.

Maybe I can just read around the examples, I thought. But the authors are academics, not experienced in industry like Michael Hyatt,
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it
There are some great takeaways from this book. The chapters are somewhat superfluous though—you can read the intro and the final paragraph of each chapter and probably get the same information.
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This if one of the best leadership books I've ever read (and I've read a lot!)

Kouzes and Posner spell out what they call "the no-fads, heart-of-the-matter facts you need to know" about leadership, and I think they get it right!

The Ten Truths are...

1. You make a difference
2. Credibility is the foundation of leadership
3. Values drive commitment
4. Focusing on the future sets leaders apart
5. You can't do it alone
6. Trust rules
7. Challenge is the crucible for greatness
8. You either lead by example or
Cynthia Shannon
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a perfectly ok read that you can easily digest in a flight from San Francisco to LA. It's a good reminder of some core leadership traits - identify your values, build trust, lead by example, have vision, etc. - and it doesn't present itself as offering anything new; after all, Kouzes and Posner are basing it on their research and consistent findings over the past several decades. I was startled by some of the people they chose to quote (a marketing communications coordinator from Monsan ...more
Jillian Black
Nov 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I thought the results of the study would have become the focal point of the entire book, but the book became very repetitive quoted basically anyone they possibly could have. Decent read if you’re new to leadership but nothing special.
May 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
There is not anything new in this book. The Marine Corps instills and reinforces these habits of thought and habits of action every day. I wish there was something new or some objective evidence of effectiveness but this book was simply a retread with anecdotes.
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
A very mediocre, boring book. I’d read their work a bit in grad school. There’s nothing new here, whether or not you’ve read these authors before. The 10 truths are incredibly general and broad, with no real level of detail or helpful, actionable advice. As others have pointed out, you could just read the closing paragraph of each chapter and get the gist.

My other criticism of this book is that it’s clearly written from a position of privilege. If you’re starting from a position of privilege, yo
Michelle Marvin
A quick read with ten positive essentials for leadership. The book was encouraging, and spoke with both timeless wisdom and insight for today's global challenges. My two qualms are perhaps the overly simplified conversational manner of the book and the naively picturesque image that is presented of what it's like to lead a group. It would be great if everyone under leadership was enthusiastic, competent, and capable, but unfortunately that's often not the realistic group of 'talents' that many l ...more
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Maybe a bit too no-fad. Catchy, punchy, strong, yet somehow unoriginal and unfulfilled because it is lacking in examples that would truly bring the ideas home. Due to how open to interpretation everything regarding leadership is, I would not recommend this - it reads like a recipe book.

The content is fine for the most part but there was also a specific idea that I completely disagreed with - the idea that people can only be as strong as their weaknesses, and that they are limited by their weakne
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: school-books
The Truth about Leadership was required reading for one of my classes. I think this book is an important resource for those trying to learn leadership skills. The book is split into ten “truths about leadership” which are based on the research done over the course of many years. Though informative, the book read like a novel. I liked how the authors put quotes from leaders they have interviewed throughout the book. All this being said, I thought it was entirely too long. The chapters were very r ...more
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, leadership
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
Paul C. Stalder
It does what it sets out to do; trim all the fat from leadership advice to get to the core tenants. It does come off as a little simplistic because of this, but not necessarily in a bad way. I would have liked to see a little bit of conversation about when these "truths" don't work. But you can't do much of that with a page count under 200. At the end of the day, a quick read with some solid information, good examples, and approachable style. ...more
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Great foundational information and very challenging book on the core of leadership and how to improve as a leader. However, the book was quite repetitive. I think it could have easily been 100 pages shorter.
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
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. ...more
Frank Kelly
Interesting but not particularly enlightening. Perhaps I've been reading too many business books because they are all starting to sound the same... ...more
Peyton Stafford
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Well-written, research-based book on the characteristics of successful leaders and how to develop them in oneself and one's employees. ...more
May 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
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.
Jasmine Koh
Aug 30, 2019 rated it liked it
As the book title suggests, this is no-fads, heart-of-the-matter stuff. Based on copious research, the authors find that being honest, forward-looking, inspiring and competent are four qualities that people have consistently ranked as most important in leaders.

Being honest is about credibility, doing what you say you will do. It is about being clear about your values, while listening to and observing other people's values, and then painting a vision everyone in the right context can own. Being
Carlos Xavier
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Short, concise book that summarizes the core characteristics that define leadership. He fundaments them as well. They are practical in its uses but fundamentally a thing of the character. They are principles and one can’t help but remember the great Stephen Covey and his 7 Habits of Highly Efective People.
But this isn’t a copy, this book has a lot of research behind its claims. Is just that when you boil the knowledge down to it’s most estructural parts. You’ll find the real aspects of what tru
Nathan Hildenbrandt
This is one of the best books I’ve read on leadership, because it seeks to communicate the timeless truths about what leadership is, and how anyone - regardless of place or position - can grow to become a better leader. Kouzes and Posner draw from extensive research and use stories from the lives and leadership of people they have interviewed. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for help in the early stages of learning to lead more intentionally, regardless of the context you fi ...more
Jun Yan
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shhhhh Ahhhhh
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a bit boring but that's mostly because of how familiar I am with their work from The Leadership Challenge and a leadership consortium that I attended over a period of 3 years that had a lot of framing and explanation from this book in particular. High quality information for effective leading using evidence-based and practice-tested methods. ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Felt like an advertisement. Most of the information was only skin deep and repetitive. When the book only prints chapters on the right page, to add more pages, that says everything you need to know. It wasn't a terrible book but I wouldn't ever pay money for it. It's what probably a high schooler should read before graduation or after their first job. Leadership 101. ...more
Liang Gang Yu
May 22, 2020 rated it liked it
A tight collection of common sense yet key attributes of leadership, e.g. honesty, integrity, grit, exemplary. Nothing fancy or ground breaking, but plain and honest reminder of essence of leadership.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read this for a book club at work. Pretty good book about leadership principles.
Roselayne Monteiro Seixas
Great book about leadership

I would recommend this book to every person that wants to develop your leadership. It’s a great book to improve yours skills and be open to learn more.
Fallon Willoughby
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful book about leadership with small things to remember.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super summarised no-nonsense thesis on leadership
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“Research indicates that the highest performing managers and leaders are the most open and caring. The best leaders demonstrate more affection toward others and want others to be more open with them. They are more positive and passionate, more loving and compassionate, and more grateful and encouraging than their lower performing counterparts.” 3 likes
“The Truth Is That Challenge Is the Crucible for Greatness. The study of leadership is the study of how men and women guide people through uncertainty, hardship, disruption, transformation, transition, recovery, new beginnings, and other significant challenges. It’s also the study of how men and women, in times of constancy and complacency, actively seek to disturb the status quo, awaken new possibilities, and pursue opportunities.” 2 likes
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