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Leadership Jazz [Paperback]

By Max Depree (Author)
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Item description for Leadership Jazz by Max Depree...

Leadership in the workplace, says Max DePree, is like playing jazz; it's more an art than a science. Today's successful managers are attuned to the needs and ideas of their followers and even step aside at times to be followers themselves. As a result, they spark vitality and productivity from their work force. They culivate communication and spontaneity, diversity and creativity, and the unique potential of every person in the organization to contribute to the success of the team. In Leadership Jazz you'll learn

-How to hold people accountable but still give them space to make mistakes.

- How to balance the needs of your employees with those of the company.

- How to inspire change and innovation and maintain a sense of stability.

- How to practice the art of delegation.

- How to work constructively with creative people.

- How to assess candidates for senior positions.

- And much more!

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Dell
Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.4" Width: 4.9" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 30, 1993
Publisher   Dell
ISBN  0440505186  
ISBN13  9780440505181  

Availability  0 units.

More About Max Depree

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MAX DE PREE is chairman emeritus of Herman Miller, Inc., the primary innovator in the furniture business for sixty years and regularly included as one of Fortune's 25 Most Admired Companies in the United States. The author of the bestselling Leadership Jazz, as well as Leading Without Power, Called to Serve, and Dear Zoe, De Pree has been mentoring emerging leaders in both the profit and non--profit sectors for more than twenty years, and was elected by Fortune magazine to the National Business Hall of Fame.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > General
2Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Industries & Professions > Human Resources & Personnel Management
3Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Management & Leadership > Leadership
4Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Management & Leadership > Management
5Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Management & Leadership > Motivational
6Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Small Business & Entrepreneurship > Entrepreneurship
7Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Musical Genres > Jazz

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Reviews - What do customers think about Leadership Jazz?

Leadership Vapor ...  Mar 30, 2008
I received a copy of this book from upper management as part of an offsite planning retreat. Reading it later, it struck me that "there is no there there." Max DePree may be a nice guy and maybe was an effective CEO for Herman Miller, but trying to climb down from the clouds to distill his advice to a day to day operational level is like nailing Jell-O to a wall.

Come to think of it, "Leadership Jazz" may be somewhat like chicken soup for the management soul. It certainly won't hurt and just may help.

Perhaps the best thing about it is the fact that it is a quick read. Platitudes, sermonizing and bromides about servant leadership abound. I'm not saying it's bad, just a bit ethereal.

If this is leadership "jazz," I'm not sure I want to riff with that band ....
Waste of time   Jul 2, 2007
I had to read this book in graduate school. As I read it - all I could think was 'how much did the publisher pay my school to make me buy this book?' With so much good material and real life examples about leadership - this book is not a significant source of inspiration and continually states the obvious.
Good points -
*Short *Easy to read *Inexpensive

Bad Points-
*Incomplete *Boring *Outdated

The Undeveloped Metaphor  Aug 28, 2006
Jazz is the right metaphor for business today.

I have long thought that the popular metaphor for business leadership of an orchestra conductor is wrong in the rapidly changing conditions of today. To say that a CEO's job is like an orchestra conductor's -- to keep every one at the same place on the same page -- assumes there is a score that all of the musicians have to follow. There isn't.

Jazz demands improvisation. It gives individual musicians the freedom to create and to respond to each others creations. Max De Pree recognizes this and states this metaphor accurately at the beginning of his book.

"We have much to learn from jazz-band leaders, for jazz, like leadership, combines the unpredicability of the future with the gifts of individuals." (page 9)

But, De Pree doesn't develop this metaphor further. The title of the book, "Leadership Jazz", implies more than the book delivers in development of the metaphor.

The book does deliver very good advice on leadership. It is an excellent description of the power of "servant leadership" which is the real metaphor of the book, and, judging from the many stories De Pree relates from his years as the CEO and Chairman of Herman Miller, Inc., it is the metaphor for his life. Leaders do need to read this book.

I just wish De Pree had developed the richness of the jazz metaphor.
Servant-leadership  Aug 14, 2006
DePree's book falls into the popular genre of a practical leadership primer. In poetic terms, he surveys many of the important attributes related to becoming an effective leader, though this, he admits, a difficult approach: "To catalog the attributes of a leader is like fighting the Hydra. Like Hercules, I confront two more heads every time I write one off" (p. 219).

He contributes to the servant-leadership literature through insights that are largely behavioral and cognitive, focusing on the relational, spiritual, and ontological aspects of serving others or the common good through leadership. "Above all, leadership is a position of servanthood. Leadership is also a posture of debt; it is a forfeiture of rights" (p. 220). His list includes integrity; vulnerability; discernment; awareness of the human spirit; courage in relationships; sense of humor; intellectual energy and curiosity; respect for the future, regard for the present, understanding of the past; predictability; breadth; comfort with ambiguity; and presence.

The strongest aspect of DePree's book is in the stories he tells, based upon decades of practical business experience, and the aphoristic moral dimension of that same experience. His voice is strong in this book; he is a steward of resources that enhance other's lives. "Good leadership," he said, "includes teaching and learning, building relationships and influencing people, as opposed to exercising one's power" (p. 177).

This is a consistent theme: the purpose of business is not to make money but to enhance life, that decisions are not made about individual employees but about families, that the leader is responsible for the renewal of the community.

President Bill Clinton provided this back-jacket blurb for DePree: "Max DePree has written two books: Leadership is an Art and Leadership Jazz. I highly commend them to all of you. They are very well done and very much worth the cost of the books. They're astonishing." I agree that this book is astonishing because it shows very clearly how enlightened servant-leadership, if broadly practiced in business, industry, and commerce in the United States, could transform the nation, uplift our citizens, and provide dignity and care for all American workers.
Experience in a Homely, Lighthearted Style  Mar 16, 2006
Max De Pree is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of Herman Miller, Inc. I received the book as a gift from the author -- as did everyone else on the occasion of his retirement as a member of the Board of Trustees of Fuller Theological Seminary. It was a sunny winter day in Los Angeles -- and in keeping with the book's title, a jazz band played as people spilled from the lecture hall. His book is much the same as his address was that day -- pervaded with wisdom, love, humour, and illustrative anecdotes. He kept his audience spellbound throughout, and received a standing ovation.

In his address at Fuller, Max De Pree described how, early in his marriage, he had decided three things: to nurture his family, to make a living, and to serve (hence his position at Fuller). Part of what service means is to nurture others. A business executive is not all about business. His focus is on being sensitive to his employees in such a way that they may be fulfilled in the workplace, secure in their homes, and that their best potential may unfold. Further, one needs to bear in mind that humans are human, and one needs to take this into account in dealing with their weaknesses and building on their strengths.

One has the sense that Max De Pree must have spent many decades writing this book. It is multi-faceted, fast-paced, and comprehensive, and is peppered with worthwhile illustrations. The themes of the various chapters include: finding your "personal philosophy", the causes of betrayal, the need for diversity in unity, the importance of selecting the right people, how to channel creative people, the value of amateurs, the need for supportive relationships, the gift of change, the thrill of keeping up to date, the need to delegate, and the reasons for leadership failure.

Max De Pree concludes with a chapter "The Attributes of Leadership: A Checklist." The book would be worth reading for this alone. The last item on his list includes the following observation: "Leaders stop -- to ask and answer questions, to be patient, to listen to problems, to seek the nuance, to follow up a lead. Leaders quietly and openly wait for the information, good and bad, that enables them to lead."

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