Summary of Leadership Without Easy Answers

Belknap Press,
First Edition: 1994 more...

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Leadership Without Easy Answers book summary
Communities facing a crisis or great change need leaders most. Here’s how to lead in difficult times.

Rating

8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

6 Style

Recommendation

This book provides a discussion of just how complicated leadership is and how challenging it can be to lead in a responsible, ethical fashion. Ronald A. Heifetz analyzes a number of leaders who faced not just crises, but transformational situations. As the book’s title promises, Heifetz doesn’t take shortcuts; he carefully looks at the complexities that leadership, power and authority involve. His examples range from Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. to former U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson to Adolf Hitler. To make his point, he uses metaphors from biology, music and the military and draws lessons from history. getAbstract recommends this thoughtful look at leadership to all serious students of the topic. It will force you to reject the easy, superficial answers that make up so much of leadership literature. In their place, Heifetz offers approaches for observing contexts, balancing various factors and monitoring growth.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why leadership is so challenging
  • What ethical leadership involves
  • How to lead a community through crisis to growth
 

Summary

Establishing a Framework for Leadership
The “great man” theory is a dominant philosophy of leadership. It says leaders are simply more “heroic” than others, and their innate qualities empower them to shape events. This theory oversimplifies leadership. Leaders do not single-handedly produce...
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About the Author

Ronald A. Heifetz is the founder of Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership, and the co-author of Leadership on the Line.


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