Leading Change: Overcoming the Ideology of Comfort and the Tyranny of Custom

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Wiley, Mar 20, 1995 - Business & Economics - 304 pages
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In his sixteenth-century masterpiece, The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli advised leaders to 'learn how not to be good, and to use this knowledge and not use it according to the necessity of the case.'' Under the guise of modern-day 'situational leadership,'' organizations still take refuge in this outdated theory. James O'Toole argues that such amoral leadership is ineffective. Instead, he shows that successful leadership is ultimately rooted in high moral purpose and the consistent display of respect for followers.In Leading Change, O'Toole transcAnds how-to management primers by offering an unorthodox approach to leadership based on the lessons of history, moral and political philosophy, and the practical experience of men and women across cultures and circumstances--including the Rushmorean presidents. As a springboard for this provocative treatise on overcoming resistance to change, O'Toole uses artist James Ensor's painting, Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889. He explains how modern men and women can lead effectively from the middle of today's inattentive crowd of individualists by enlisting and including all followers in the process.

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Leading change: overcoming the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom

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O'Toole's book is stronger in its parts than in its sum. The author, vice president of the Aspen Institute, offers some practical wisdom about leadership, derived in large part from the lessons to be ... Read full review


ValuesBased Leadership 1
How to Lead
Why Democratic Leadership Is Not

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About the author (1995)

JAMES O'TOOLE is a noted authority on leadership and vice president of The Aspen Institute, where he directs the renowned program as Executive Seminar and the Corporate Leaders Forum. He is co-founder (with Warren Bennis) and most recently served as executive director of the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California. A Rhodes Scholar, O'Toole has consulted widely to businesses and governments and served as special assistant to Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Elliot Richardson and as chairman of the Task Force on Work in America. His twelve best-selling books include The Executive's Compass (1993) and Vanguard Management (named one of the best books of 1985 by Business Week), Making America Work (1981), and Work in America (1973). O'Toole's work has been profiled in the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, and The Economist, and he has served on the prestigious Board of Editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

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