Summary of The Practice of Adaptive Leadership

Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World

Harvard Business Review Press, more...

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The Practice of Adaptive Leadership book summary
To change the world you need to start with yourself.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


So many of the world’s problems, and the issues that businesses and people face every day, can seem intractable and unsolvable. Leadership consultants Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow and Marty Linsky propose a new way to lead the charge to change: “Adaptive leadership” calls for shedding outdated approaches and embracing new skills and attitudes to guide organizations in the 21st century. The authors’ counsel combines wisdom from psychology, biology, language and business with a healthy dose of self-assessment to help you and your company face ongoing challenges. Filled with useful exercises, real-life examples and thoughtful asides, their book can help you make difficult decisions about change. This process takes time, energy and self-knowledge, but the rewards you and your organization will reap are worth it. getAbstract recommends this inclusive leadership manual and its lessons about leading adaptively to budding and current business leaders, heads of nonprofits, and politicians who face challenges that require new responses.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How “adaptive leadership” can help you solve seemingly intractable problems, and
  • Why leaders should diagnose, organize and self-assess before acting.


The Biology of Adaptation
Globalization, the economic downturn, and the challenges the world faces in the 21st century demand an evolutionary approach to leadership. “Adaptive leadership” seeks to take the best of traditional management methods and combine them with the new skills and ...
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About the Authors

Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky co-founded Cambridge Leadership Associates, where Alexander Grashow is CEO.

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    Guest 6 years ago
    "Globalization, the economic downturn, and the challenges the world faces in the 21st century demand an evolutionary approach to leadership." I agree that we need innovative leadership. Also, I really believe one of the biggest hurdles to change is conflict. Adaptive leaders have to harness conflict as an engine of creativity and innovation. It is a hard process but as the author says "remain realistically upbeat".

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