LEADERSHIP IS AN ART by Max DePree

LEADERSHIP IS AN ART

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A perceptive and personal appreciation of the obligations facing those who play leadership roles in hierarchical organizations. Taking his cue from Peter Drucker's observation that managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing, DePree offers a wealth of uncommonly sensible advisories in a comparatively slim volume. As the former CEO and now board chairman of Herman Miller Inc., a consistently prosperous furniture-maker noted for its progressive personnel policies, the author speaks with considerable authority. He does so, mirabile dictu, without condescension, preaching, or moralizing. Though a committed Christian and capitalist, DePree. on the evidence of his textual credo, would have little difficulty passing for a secular humanist. To illustrate, he argues that corporations can become maximally effective only when superiors share rewards as well as risks with their nominal subordinates under terms of covenantal rather than contractual relationships. Along similar lines, the author likens by-the-book executives who lack convictions to ""modern-day eunuchs."" A fan of both baseball and teamwork, DePree frequently points out that even the greatest pitchers need good catchers to keep them in a game. Accountability, civility, candor, the capacity to inspire, a talent for establishing realistic priorities, and allied virtues are among the traits DePree values in leaders. By no coincidence, just such qualities distinguish his commentary on the craft of governance.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1989
ISBN: 0385512465
Publisher: Doubleday