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The Ascent of a Leader: How Ordinary Relationships Develop Extraordinary Character and Influencea Leadership Network Publication (Leadership Network Publication) [Hardcover]

By Bill Thrall (Author), Bruce McNicol (Author) & Ken McElrath (Author)
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Item description for The Ascent of a Leader: How Ordinary Relationships Develop Extraordinary Character and Influencea Leadership Network Publication (Leadership Network Publication) by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol & Ken McElrath...

History's most admired leaders were people of character. They earned the trust and respect of others not only through their actions, but by the depth of their spirits and their ability to live out strong personal principles. Though many try to attain these leaders' greatness developing their skills or mimicking their personal traits, it can't be done -- because character is not what you do, it's who you are. Who you are is a matter of who and what you allow to influence you. This engaging, illuminating guide invites leaders to think long and hard about the importance of being open to influence, and about who and what they will allow to influence them. The authors assert that no leader can maximize their innate potential by developing only performance-based skills and abilities -- the short ladder to success. Instead, they encourage leaders to begin from profound humility and to build enduring relationships with colleagues, family, friends, and God that will enable them to weather the true tests of leadership. This life-altering book maps out a clear path up the long ladder to success, using compelling real-life examples to show how we can grow into our true potential as leaders.

Publishers Description
A Leadership Network Publication

Become the leader people are proud to follow by opening yourself to the influences that develop character: Anduring relationships with friAnds, family, and God.Solidly based on Christian values, this practical, visionary, and hope-filled book guides readers through a step-by-step process for developing both personal character and the network of important relationships that enable character to win out, even in the face of setbacks, adversity, and temptations to take short cuts. Leadership is about character, the authors assert, and character weaves values like integrity, honesty, and selfless service into the fabric of our lives, organizations, and cultures.
The Ascent of a Leader is written for ordinary people-mothers, husbands, bosses, secretaries, pastors, teachers, and students-who want to develop extraordinary character, find and follow God's plan for their lives, and lead others where they need to go. We all have innate leadership potential. To maximize it, we must do much more than develop performance-based skills, the authors assert. We must consciously choose who and what we allow to influence us, find and develop our humility, and build Anduring relationships with colleagues, family, friAnds, and God. They offer engaging real-life examples to show how we can grow into our true potential as leaders and inspire us to "make a difference in the 21st century-in our families, our communities, our companies, our government, and even our world."

With a foreword by Ken Blanchard.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Jossey-Bass
Pages   205
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.4" Width: 6.3" Height: 0.84"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 6, 1999
Publisher   John Wiley And Sons
Edition  New  
Series  Leadership Network Publication  
ISBN  0787947660  
ISBN13  9780787947668  

Availability  7 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 25, 2016 06:40.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol & Ken McElrath

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! BILL THRALL A former church leader and staff elder, Bill Thrall serves as leadership mentor for Leadership Catalyst, Inc. (LCI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to igniting character development in current and emerging leaders. BRUCE MCNICOL brings international experience in coaching leaders and serves as LCI's president. KEN MCELRATH is director of marketing and product development of LCI.

Bill Thrall currently resides in Phoenix, in the state of Arizona. Bill Thrall has an academic affiliation as follows - Phoenix, Arizona.

Bill Thrall has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Jossey-Bass Leadership Network
  2. LifeChange

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Reviews - What do customers think about Ascent Of A Leader?

I Only Give 5 Stars for One Reason  Apr 8, 2005
I usually don't read really "junky" books and give 3 stars for "bland" books. Most of the books I like rate 4 stars . . . BUT . . . a handful of truly life changing books deserve 5 stars. My whole criteria for 5 stars is simple, "Will you come back from reading this book a changed person? And if you do, will the lessons learned last?"

Glance quickly through the reviews on this book. Many accolades have been given, but notice the many writers who relate how the book impacted their lives. If you want to grow as a leader, do not neglect this book.
Bad title and metaphor, good book  Feb 27, 2001
This is a significant book, mainly on account of one inspiring concept - creating an environment of grace.

The main problems I had with the book stemmed from the concept of the leadership ladder or ascent, with sequential steps. The problem with that metaphor lies in traditional views of leadership. Ascent up a leadership ladder reflects the mental images we have - "rising to the top", "leading from above". It would be radical to envisage leadership from the margins - that is from a place of vulnerability, or from the center - a "lowly" position among the people.

To be a leader does not necessarily mean to be "at the top", the best, the most gifted, the most intelligent, the strongest or the fastest (see e.g. the foot of page 79 "[people] watched his rapid climb to the top with awe"). This image is inherent in the ladder metaphor.

A cyclical or circular model would be more helpful. A leader must cycle through the character and capacity dimensions of leadership development. The issues are to be re-visited continually, rather than sequentially. The cycle involves a consistent relationship with God, and awareness of and dependence on a community of grace (chapter 3, also see page 71).

The "community of grace" concept is excellent, but we have to be careful what we mean by it. It is not merely an being gracious towards each other. Currently, grace is tending to be confused with "graciousness". Of course "graciousness" should be a derivative of grace. But the context of grace must be one in which all participants live by applying the Gospel of grace in their lives, in their attitudes, actions and words.

The weakness of Chapter 7 is that "truth" is only dealt with in terms of "truth" learned from others. Where is the role of God, His Word and the Holy Spirit? See, for example, the Johari diagram on page 99 which lacks an interaction between God (and His Word), others and self.

This may be addressed by making the right hand and bottom axes refer to "Known to God" (diametrically opposite "Known to others"), with the vertical axis finishing at "Revealed to Self" (beside "Unknown to Self), and the horizontal axis pointing to "Revealed to Others" (beside "Unknown to Others).

When the authors deal with the fourth rung (ch 8), the essentiality of a submissive spirit in all areas of life is emphasized - humility, submission and obedience include paying the cost - submission to sacrifice. This must be a continuous process of character development, not merely a sequence of steps.

According to the authors, there are two starting points for regaining that perspective. They picture a "fork in the road" where one embraces and learns from failures, and thus chooses recovery, or else by default takes the path to failure. If they took the cyclical model, this would be entail re-entering the circle at the specific point of character or capacity weakness.

Theladder metaphor struck me as too static and mechanical rather than organic and dynamic, especially when dealing with the fifth rung, "destiny". This conveys an air of inevitability. The idea is of increasing "convergence" - the sharpening and focussing of best skills to an ultimate destiny in leadership. The writers did not pay enough attention to the dynamics of personal development through a growing relationship with God, in a frequently changing context under diverse influences and adverse pressures. None of us knows how long we have to live, or with what quality of life, or in what contexts, or with what unforeseen opportunities.

I accept the basic concepts for capacity and character development, but clarify grace and truth, and put them into a cyclical model, and you would have a better, more Biblically accurate book on leadership development.

One More Time--Character Enhances Leadership!  Aug 26, 2000
In this book, Bill, Bruce, and Ken remind us one more time of the high value we need to place on character in the personhood of our leaders. The 21st century will depend on people of genuine and authentic vision, values, and significance. The 21st century will depend on the ability of people to develop capacities and to soar with their strengths.

In the 21st century, leadership cannot be effective with people who are unbalanced either in character or capacity. In spite of our capcities, however, it is character that builds a lasting positive influence or an enduring legacy.

This book is clearly based on spiritual principles, and has many applications to congregations. Congregational leaders must have capabilites and capacities. It is just that capacities without character will be empty and dishonest. Character without capacities boost morale, but may not help congregations fulfill their mission.

Read this book because these guys have something to say and are going to be around for a long while!

A Focus on Leadership Essentials  Feb 25, 2000
I have rarely been forced to look at myself as carfully as I did when reading this book. It examines fundamental issues regarding why people follow leaders, and what can happen to those leaders in the process. Above all, it differentiates between leaders who rely on their natural abilities versus those who take time to examine issues of character development. This book is on target in demonstating why some leaders end up so badly as opposed to those who grasp the character issues and deal with them. It gives hope to anyone who has stumbled on the path of good leadership as it points the way to dealing with key character issues. I believe this book is "must" reading for aspiring and experienced leaders alike, and especially recommend it to anyone struggling with their failures in leadership.
Extraordinary book, great principles covered.  Oct 24, 1999
While watching the writer work on the book,as well as when reading it myself, I have witnessed the incredible truths covered by this book. A very highly stressed over book, this one IS GOOD! I rate it extremely high(five out of five stars) and congratulate the writer on his excellent work with his story telling and/or retelling and wonderful explanation of the character of leadership and the many ladders of life.

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