James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner Jossey-Bass 2006-08-18

This book is called “a free-flowing explanation of leadership topics and lessons” the authors have learned over the decades (p. 1). Each of the twenty-one chapters is related to the central theme, which is divided into four parts: significance, relationships, aspirations, and courage. Their key message is that “legacy thinking means dedicating ourselves to making a difference, not just working to achieve fame and fortune. It also means appreciating that others will inherit what we leave behind” (p. 5, italics theirs).

“Significance” deals with a leader’s service, sacrifice, teaching role, handling of criticism, and relationships with constituents.

“Relationships” focuses on the fact that while leaders should want to be liked, they must understand their people and never take trust for granted.

“Aspirations” deals with leading “from the inside out” (p. 92), remaining forward-looking, and remembering that leaders are followers too.

“Courage,” the authors observe, is virtually ignored in the leadership literature. “For all the talk about how leaders need to be courageous, next to nothing has been written for leaders about what that means” (p. 135).

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