Summary of Still Surprised

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Still Surprised book summary


6 Overall

5 Applicability

6 Innovation

8 Style


In this fascinating memoir, celebrated leadership guru Warren Bennis looks back on what he learned fighting in the US Army during World War II, studying at Antioch College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), experiencing psychotherapy, and working as a leader in academia throughout his eventful life. Bennis discusses the traits he discovered among successful leaders, including empathy, respect for others, and the ability to listen and to adapt. He explores the transformational “crucibles” he went through to become a leader and a leadership expert. getAbstract believes aspiring and current leaders in business, academia, the military and politics can learn from Bennis’s insights, experiences and observations about leadership.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Warren Bennis’s life shaped his leadership teachings,
  • How crucial moments in leaders’ lives prepared them to lead, and
  • What abilities leaders need.

About the Authors

Warren Bennis teaches at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. He has collaborated with journalist Patricia Ward Biederman on several leadership books.



Going to War
Warren Bennis (born in 1925) had graduated from Dorsey High School in Los Angeles and was approaching his 18th birthday when he enlisted in the US Army’s Specialized Training Program. After a year in the military, he applied for Officer Candidate School (OCS). The regime at...

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