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January 18 , 2011

The Art and Adventure of Leadership

Understanding Failure, Resilience and Success


For the first time, a top leadership scholar and a top leadership practitioner explore the true duties, demands, and privileges of leadership.

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On Becoming a Leader

Deemed “the dean of leadership gurus” by Forbes magazine, Warren Bennis has for years persuasively argued that leaders are not born-they are made. Delving into the qualities that define leadership, the people who exemplify it, and the strategies that anyone can apply to achieve it, his classic work On Becoming a Leader has…

Intellectual sparks flew when Warren Bennis, the “father” of modern leadership studies and Steven B. Sample, one of the most accomplished university presidents in recent history, came together for candid explorations of the forces that shape successful leaders and unsuccessful ones.

The Art and Adventure of Leadership, their final collab­oration, reveals the profound insights that the authors gained together over the 16 years in which they co-taught one of the most popular leadership courses in America.

Here, each brings his own distinct vantage point as they address the mechanics and mysteries of leadership. The result is a unique examination of the journey of great leaders from momentary setbacks to ultimate success. It offers profound lessons on what determines the difference between failure and redemption for leaders. And it illu­minates important and overlooked dimensions of great leaders ranging from Winston Churchill to Steve Jobs.

Together, they explore why:

  • A mature leader must grasp when it’s healthy to risk failure, and when failure can’t be tolerated at any cost
  • Leadership isn’t for everyone and requires a particular set of skills and competencies that are often glossed over in most management literature
  • To succeed in an uncertain and fast-changing world, a shrewd leader must understand which aspects of human society change—and which aspects never change
  • A mature, wise leader must seek a balance between high-minded ideals and the gritty realities and compromises that leaders face in their daily lives
  • Above all, meaningful leadership remains a matter of character

With incredible insight, this book examines why George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and other giants were able to recover from failures, learn resilience, and prepare themselves for their moments of destiny. In so doing, it demonstrates and helps cultivate the leadership skills that you need to create your own most meaningful legacy.

The Art and Adventure of Leadership is a unique look at lead­ership, and a critical resource for the leaders of tomorrow.
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