Summary of The Wizard and the Warrior

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The Wizard and the Warrior book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Innovative
  • Applicable


The market may be saturated with books about business leadership, but Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal move into fresh territory with this beautifully written, inspirational and practical guide. They impart advice on understanding workplace dynamics and nuances, and emerging as an effective leader. The book offers ample evidence to support the authors' basic assertion: Managers struggle because they have an idealistic approach that fails to account for organizational politics and intangible workplace factors, such as values, creativity and passion. The authors contend that managers who are unwilling to "play the game" will inevitably stumble and never realize their leadership potential. The book's wisdom and insight are built on the real-life lessons and experiences of dynamic leaders. getAbstract warmly praises this book and recommends it to any leader or potential leader who is willing to take a good, long look in the mirror.

About the Authors

Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal are also co-authors of Reframing Organizations and Leading with Soul. Bolman teaches at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Deal, who retired from the University of Southern California faculty, now writes and makes wine.



Playing Fair

Wouldn't it be great if the workplace were comprised entirely of calm, sensible people who make logical, intelligent decisions without getting emotional, defensive or aggressive? Unfortunately, that fantasy world exists in the minds of many managers. They either refuse to acknowledge the reality of office politics or they simply won't engage in a dynamic they regard as thoroughly distasteful. They mistakenly believe that everyone prefers to operate above the fray and will always play fair. They would rather avoid confrontation and unpleasant situations. Sadly, that philosophy cannot succeed. In any organization, managers and leaders need strength, conviction and purpose to achieve their potential to affect change.

The ideal leadership style combines the best qualities of the wizard and the warrior. The wizard attempts to solve problems and confront issues with a benevolent, peaceful approach, using intelligence and powers of persuasion. The warrior relies on brute strength, raw courage, steely nerves and a win-at-all-costs attitude. Many managers and employees are frightened by the warrior mentality and mystified by the wizard.

History's most capable...

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

The Power of Understanding Yourself
From We Will to At Will
Adaptive Space

Related Channels

Comment on this summary