Item description for The Extraordinary Leader : Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders by John Zenger & Joseph Folkman...
Secrets for developing leadership and competitive advantage in any organization
The Extraordinary Leader is a research-based book about leadership. It analyzes 200,000 assessments from 20,000 managers and presents new insights that demystify this complex subject. It clearly establishes the importance of developing great leaders versus being satisfied with merely good ones, and highlights the link between leadership behavior and an organization's performance.
From the authors' research, a new model of leadership emerges that challenges long-held beliefs about leadership competencies. The authors identify 16 competencies that tower above all the others-the ones that separate great leaders from the average. One of the book's major breakthroughs is its focus on the importance of maximizing strengths as opposed to merely correcting weaknesses. Further, the importance of balanced strengths is introduced: when strengths are clustered in one area, the leader is less effective than he or she could be with strengths in different areas.
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John H. Zenger, D.B.A., is CEO of Zenger Folkman, a firm that helps organizations and individuals improve leadership effectiveness that, in turn, drives business results. These results include increasing employee engagement, retention, productivity, and bottom-line profitability. He is a member of the HRD Hall of Fame and has authored or coauthored eight books and 50 articles on leadership, productivity, and teams.
Joseph R. Folkman, Ph.D., is president of Zenger Folkman. He is an authoritative voice on the subject of creating and using employee surveys to create organizational change and 360- degree feedback assessment for individual development. Folkman is the author of three books: Turning Feedback into Change, Making Feedback Work, and Employee Surveys That Make a Difference.
John Zenger currently resides in Salt Lake City, in the state of Utah.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Extraordinary Leader : Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders?
Paradigm-changing leadership model based on research! Jun 7, 2007
The authors' research-based leadership model gives great insights into leadership development.
A sensible, paradigm-breaking approach to developing strengths instead of working on weaknesses.
Good secular leadership book Aug 2, 2006
Though Zenger and Folkman stated that leadership is developed, they concluded that people must naturally possess basic leadership traits (231). They admit, however, that being born with natural abilities is not enough for one to become a great leader (231). Since one must have natural abilities of leadership first, this last statement seems contrary to their suggestion that people can improve their "leadership outcome" by "deciding to become a great leader" (232).
The authors stressed that strengths, not weaknesses, ought to be improved. Halfway through the book, though, Zenger and Folkman added that "in some cases" improvement of weaknesses was the best place to start (158). They referred to these weaknesses as "fatal flaws," which they claimed led to "failure in leadership" (160). The effects of "fatal flaws" not only affected the individual, but also the leader's subordinates (168). To illustrate this occurrence, they recounted a story of the "tyrannical" vice president who had no interpersonal skills. His inapproachability and his inability to accept ideas from others created subordinates who lacked initiative or creativity. Even under the leadership of a new vice president, these individuals could not recover from the effects of being "smothered" by the previous leader (168).
Zenger and Folkman posed several evaluative questions. For instance, one query asked, "Can people really change?" Others include, "Are people truly valuable? Do people possess latent talents and abilities?" and "Is it worth the organization's investment to help an individual fix a fatal flaw in his or her leadership skills?" (169). This book was not written from an evangelical Christian perspective, and as such, the answer to these questions were oblivious to the fact that people are image bearers of God. The truth is that people are capable of change with God's help (Matt. 19:26). They are also very valuable to Him, in fact, the Bible is clear about people's special place in creation: "What is man that You are mindful of him? ...For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet (Psalm 8:4-6).
People are valuable because they are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26). Due to the fall, all humans are sinful creatures and in need of redemption (Gen. 3). The expression of an organization's love is its investment to help an individual "fix a fatal flaw" in his or her leadership skill. This love is reminiscent of God's love towards mankind. Just as Christ's death and resurrection offers people a second chance, an organization should offer restoration to an individual.
More so, the bible states, "Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven (Col. 4:1)," and "God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well...If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously... (Romans 12:6-8 NLT)." Becoming a "great leader" encompasses more than working on one's "fatal flaws" or improving personal weaknesses, a great leader is one who has a servant's heart and acknowledges God as the Leader of his or her life (Matthew 20:26; John 3:30; 1 Samuel 16:7).
The authors admitted, "Given our current condition, leadership is still nearly impossible to define or describe in detail or specificity" (9). This statement reflected the limitations of human wisdom. The authors failed in their attempt to educate people on how to turn "good managers into great leaders" because despite the numerous knowledgeable reference sources listed in the Endnotes section of the book, without an understanding of God and the Biblical basis of creation, fall, and redemption, no secular book can ever accurately describe true leadership.
The presupposition that people become leaders when they work on their strengths and study the examples of established leaders was accurate, however the authors left out some very crucial points. First, one must follow the leadership patterns of godly men and women (1 Corinthians 11:1), not of those whom are merely great managers. Second, people should work to excel within their God-gifted abilities (1 Corinthians 12). When these two things are accomplished, the result is truly an extraordinary leader.
The book contains very interesting information. Mar 24, 2006
I bought this book cause it has information useful about competency model, leidership and other human strategy. A have not end it but the pages that i have already read are very interesting.
The only problem that I had was with the handled, I bought 9 pieces and all had damage, the packing was not fitted. this site has to take care about it.
Leadership Skills Sep 17, 2005
I've managed people for 40 years. Despite it's textbook style, this is the most practical and informative book on leadership I've read. Too bad it wasn't available 4 decades ago.
Best leadership book to start with Sep 2, 2005
If you want to learn about leadership start here. This book lays a good foundational understanding of what leadership and management look like. Other leadership books focus more narrowly in comparison. The massive amount of research that this book is based on makes it the best leadership book I've read.