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Ultimate Leadership: Winning Execution Strategies for Your Situation

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Ultimate Leadership: Winning Execution Strategies for Your Situation


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This book explains how to correct a leader's greatest mistake: failing to adapt their leadership style.  

  • Explains the principles to make a leader successful in any organization and any type of environment.
  • As a consultant and former dean of Wharton, the author is experienced in leading in different contexts.
  • Includes first-rate interviews, e.g., Larry Bossidy, former CEO of Honeywell; Tony Kobayashi, chairman of Fuji Xerox; and Gen. P.X. Kelley, former commandant of the Marine Corps.


  • Copyright 2008
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Pages: 256
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-282163-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-282163-6

To succeed, leaders must understand and apply the core principles of leadership--but that’s not enough. You need to shape your approach for any unique situation. Too many leaders don’t know how to do that--and that’s why they fail. Ultimate Leadership shows how to adapt the principles of leadership to different challenges, contexts, and organizations.

Russell E. Palmer--who has had three very different, highly successful careers as head of one of the world’s largest accounting firms, Dean of the Wharton School, and an entrepreneur--helps you identify the leadership model most appropriate for your environment, and how to lead accordingly. You’ll learn better ways to lead your equals, help an organization weather crises, transform its culture, lead entrepreneurial organizations, lead global organizations...even lead non-profit and academic institutions.

Then, drawing on interviews with an extraordinary spectrum of outstanding leaders, Palmer helps you master the attribute every leader must have: the ability to inspire your unique organization, even in the face of the most daunting challenges.

• Achieving empowerment, even in classic "top-down" organizations

Exercising strong authority without falling victim to ego or closed-mindedness

• Transforming an organization of peers

Driving changes in a strategic direction when key power centers disagree

• Turning danger into opportunity

Mastering the art of rapid, focused, hands-on execution for organizations in crisis

• Leading cultural change that sticks

Reconnecting structures, processes, and strategies with the new realities you face

• Learning from the Wharton experience

Succeeding in an environment with widely diverse, highly influential stakeholders

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Foreword  xi

Preface  xiii

About the Author  xvii

List of Contributors  xix

Acknowledgments  xxi

Unlocking the Secrets of Successful Leadership

Chapter 1        Leadership Principles: The Basis of Successful Leadership  3

Chapter 2        The Many Contexts of Leadership  15

Mastering the Contexts of Leadership

Chapter 3        The Top-Down Organization: Learning That It’s Not So Simple  25

Chapter 4        The Organization of Peers: Leading Your Equals  41

Chapter 5        The Organization in Crisis: Turning Danger into Opportunity  61

Chapter 6        When Organizations Change: Transforming the Culture  79

Chapter 7        The Entrepreneurial Organization: Sharing Your Vision with Others  105

Chapter 8        The Academic Organization: Learning from the Wharton Experience  131

Chapter 9        National Cultures and Context: Leading in a Global Environment  153

The Wider View of Leadership

Chapter 10      The Heart of Leadership: Motivating Workers  179

Chapter 11      Putting it All Together  197

Contributor Biographies  207

Index  211


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