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A Leader's Legacy / Edition 1

A Leader's Legacy / Edition 1

by James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner
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In this provocative book, leadership experts and authors of the best-selling The Leadership Challenge, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner take on a unique challenge and explore the question of leadership and legacy. Kouzes and Posner examine in twenty-two chapters the critical questions all leaders must ask themselves in order to leave a lasting impact. These powerful essays are grouped into four categories: Significance, Relationships, Aspirations, and Courage. In each essay the authors consider a thorny and often ambiguous issue with which today’s leaders must grapple issues—such as how leaders serve and sacrifice, why leaders need loving critics, why leaders should want to be liked, why leaders can't take trust for granted, why it’s not just the leader’s vision, why failure is always an option, why it takes courage to “make a life,” how to liberate the leader in everyone, and ultimately, how the legacy you leave is the life you lead.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780787982966
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 08/18/2006
Series: J-B Leadership Challenge: Kouzes/Posner Series , #101
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner are coauthors of the award-winning and best-selling book, The Leadership Challenge, with over 1.4 million copies sold in more than seventeen different languages. They have coauthored more than a dozen books, including Credibility: How Leaders Gain It and Lose It, Why People Demand It—chosen by Industry Week as one of its year’s five best management books—and Encouraging the Heart. Jim and Barry also developed the highly acclaimed Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), a 360-degree questionnaire assessing leadership behavior, which is one of the most widely used leadership assessment instruments in the world. More than three hundred doctoral dissertations and academic research projects have been based on the “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” model.
Jim and Barry were named Management/Leadership Educators of the Year by the International Management Council and received from them the prestigious Wilbur M. McFeely Award. This honor puts them in the company of Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Peter Drucker, Edward Deming, Frances Hesselbein, Lee Iacocca, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Norman Vincent Peale, and Tom Peters, who are all past recipients of the award. In the book Coaching for Leadership they were listed among the nation’s top leadership educators. Jim and Barry are frequent conference speakers and each has conducted leadership development programs for hundreds of organizations, including Apple, Applied Materials, ARCO, AT&T, Australia Post, Bank of America, Bose, Charles Schwab, Cisco Systems, Community Leadership Association, Conference Board of Canada, Consumers Energy, Dell Computer, Deloitte Touche, Egon Zehnder International, Federal Express, Gymboree, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Hospitals, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, L. L. Bean, 3M, Merck, Mervyn’s, Motorola, Network Appliance, Northrop Grumman, Roche Bioscience, Siemens, Sun Microsystems, Toyota, the U.S. Postal Service, United Way, and VISA.

Jim Kouzes is a popular seminar and conference speaker who shares his insights about the leadership practices that contribute to high performance in individuals and organizations, leaving his audiences inspired with practical leadership tools and tips that they can apply at work, at home, and in their communities. Not only is he a highly regarded leadership scholar and an experienced executive, the Wall Street Journal has cited him as one of the twelve most requested nonuniversity executive educators in the United States.
Jim is currently an Executive Fellow at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University. He previously served as president, CEO, and chairman of the Tom Peters Company (1988–1999) and prior to that led the Executive Development Center at Santa Clara University (1981–1987). Jim founded the Joint Center for Human Services Development at San Jose State University (1972–1980) and was on the staff of the School of Social Work, University of Texas. His career in training and development began in 1969 when he conducted seminars for Community Action Agency staff and volunteers in the “war on poverty” effort. Following graduation from Michigan State University (B.A. with honors in political science), he served as a Peace Corps volunteer (1967–1969). Jim also received a certificate from San Jose State University’s School of Business for completion of the internship in organization development.
Jim can be reached at

Barry Posner is dean of the Leavey School of Business and professor of leadership at Santa Clara University (in Silicon Valley, California), where he has received numerous Kouzes.babout teaching and innovation awards. An internationally renowned scholar and educator, Barry is author or coauthor of more than a hundred research and practitioner-focused articles. He currently serves on the editorial review boards for Leadership and Organizational Development, Leadership Review, and the International Journal of Servant-Leadership. Barry is a warm and engaging conference speaker and dynamic workshop facilitator.
Barry received his baccalaureate degree with honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in political science, his master’s degree from The Ohio State University in public administration, and his doctoral degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in organizational behavior and administrative theory. Having consulted with a wide variety of public and private sector organizations around the globe, Barry currently sits on the boards of directors of Advanced Energy (NASDAQ: AEIS), the San Jose Repertory Theatre, and EMQ Family & Children Services. He has served previously on the board of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Junior Achievement of Silicon Valley and Monterey Bay, Public Allies, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Santa Clara County, the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, and several start-up companies. Barry can be reached at
More information about Jim and Barry, their work, and their services, can be found at their Web site:

Read an Excerpt

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Table of Contents


Part One: Significance.

1 Leaders Serve and Sacrifice.

2 The Best Leaders Are Teachers.

3 We All Need Loving Critics.

4 You Are the Most Important Leader in Your Organization.

5 No One Likes to Be an Assumption.

Part Two: Relationships.

6 Leadership Is Personal.

7 Leaders Should Want to Be Liked.

8 When You Don’t See Eye to Eye, Seek toUnderstand.

9 You Can’t Take Trust for Granted.

10 Let Your People Go.

Part Three: Aspirations.

11 Lead from the Inside Out.

12 Forward-Looking Is a Leadership Prerequisite.

13 It’s Not Just the Leader’s Vision.

14 Liberate the Leader in Everyone.

15 Leaders Are Followers, Too!

Part Four: Courage.

16 There’s Courage in All of Us.

17 You Can’t Plan to Be Courageous, But You Can Choose It.

18 It Takes Courage to Make a Life.

19 The Courage to Be Human.

20 Failure Is Always an Option.

21 No Money-Back Guarantee.

Afterword: The Legacy You Leave Is the Life You Lead.



About the Authors.


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have done it again! In clear, concise essays filled with wisdom and insight, they set the standard of what leaders need to be in order to excel in the twenty-first century, starting with the legacy that they want to leave behind. A Leader's Legacy is a must-read, not just for those at the top of organizations but for anyone at any level who aspires to be a leader."
—Bill George, former chairman and CEO, Medtronic; author, Authentic Leadership

"This superb book defies conventional wisdom in favor of being truly wise. In chapters such as ‘Leaders Should Want to Be Liked’ and ‘Failure Is Always an Option,’ Kouzes and Posner portray leaders on a human scale, opening leadership to anyone who is willing to be fully human. That, of course, is a challenge! And yet the style of this book—with its stories of well-grounded leaders and its engaging conversational prose—encourages the reader to live into and up to that challenge. A Leader's Legacy will surely become key to the literary legacy that its authors have been leaving in their wake over the past twenty-five years."
—Parker J. Palmer, author, The Courage to Teach, A Hidden Wholeness, and Let Your Life Speak

"In their new book, Kouzes and Posner provide a badly needed supplement to all those other books on leadership. First, they don’t just say that everyone can be a leader—that oft-repeated bromide is little more than a cliché now. They demonstrate (with good examples) how true and important the idea is. And second (again with effective examples) they make ‘leadership’ something that will interest not just ‘organizational’ types but anyone who hopes to make a difference in the world."
—William Bridges, author, Transitions and Managing Transition

"A Leader’s Legacy is an indispensable daily reference for leaders at every level of every enterprise. Legacy is a gift to leaders of today, to leaders of the future."
—Frances Hesselbein, chairman, Leader to Leader Institute

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A Leader's Legacy 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This easy-to-read, well-organized inspirational book shows you in 21 short chapters what it takes to become a leader. The essays are concise and transparent, and the numerous examples will inspire anyone who needs a boost in leadership energy. Some material is repeated, basic or familiar, but the book offers a great deal of wisdom about motivational leadership and making your mark. If you'd like a short but solid manual on leadership issues to read on the airplane or over the weekend, we recommend tossing this into your carry-on or briefcase.