Summary of Head, Heart & Guts

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Head, Heart & Guts book summary


7 Overall

7 Applicability

6 Innovation

7 Style


In this presentation of the potentially exciting topic of executive leadership, authors David L. Dotlich, Peter C. Cairo and Stephen H. Rhinesmith stress the nuances of theory, perhaps at the expense of showing additional, powerful human examples. Maybe that comes from the authors' perspectives as consultants who often must disassemble a topic to present it in their own way. While the book has a compelling basic theme – developing leaders who become effective by learning to be compassionate and brave, as well as savvy – that insight gets a bit mired in the presentation. The book offers worthwhile guidance, and supplies almost too many clipboard processes and checklists of symptoms, problems and techniques. getAbstract finds the book's concept contemporary and intriguing. While its procedural guidance may be helpful, its wisdom resides in its discussions of mature leadership.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What makes a "complete" business leader;
  • Why "head, heart and guts" leadership has power; and
  • How to develop "complete" leaders.

About the Authors

David L. Dotlich heads a learning consultancy and was vice president of a major corporation. Peter C. Cairo, who leads the consultancy's leadership strategy program, chaired Counseling and Organizational Psychology at Columbia University. Consultancy partner Stephen H. Rhinesmith, served as special ambassador to the Soviet Union and led a cruise line. Dotlich and Cairo also wrote Action Coaching, Action Learning, Unnatural Leadership and Why CEOs Fail.



Leading with Wisdom, Compassion and Courage
Modern technology, demanding stakeholders and pressures to deliver financial results put executives on the hot seat. Leaders selected on the basis of a single characteristic – such as intellectual capacity – often fail to conquer these pressures...

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