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A Leader's Legacy

James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

Retail Price: $24.95
LS Price: $16.95
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Format: Hardcover, 208pp.
ISBN: 9780787982966
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Pub. Date: August 18, 2006

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

"By asking ourselves how we want to be remembered, we plant the seeds for living our lives as if we matter. By living each day as if we matter, we offer up our own unique legacy. By offering up our own unique legacy, we make the world we inhabit a better place than we found it." —From the Introduction

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.

A Leader's Legacy is Kouzes and Posner's most personal and compelling work to date. They focus on the core challenges leaders face and offer up a thoughtful and reassuring perspective any leader—or aspiring leader—can use to explore the choices they make as they walk their path to greatness.


"Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have done it again! In a brilliant follow-up to The Leadership Challenge, they offer the combined wisdom of decades of studying and working with leaders. In 22 thoughtful essays they summarize with depth and clarity what is really important for you as a leader: your courage, your relationships, and the legacy you leave behind."
—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

readers index
Reader's Index 
Send us your favorite quotes or passages from this book.

• "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." Pg. 5
• "We can never take trust for granted. We have to earn it, build it, and sustain it every day." Pg. 179 Peter Balili from La Verne, CA


About the Authors

Jim Kouzes is an Executive Fellow at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University.

Barry Posner is dean of the Leavey School of Business and professor of leadership at Santa Clara University.

Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner are authors of the award-winning and best-selling book The Leadership Challenge, as well as the widely used Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI).

Table of Contents
Part One: Significance9
1Leaders Serve and Sacrifice12
2The Best Leaders Are Teachers20
3We All Need Loving Critics27
4You Are the Most Important Leader in Your Organization33
5No One Likes to Be an Assumption40
Part Two: Relationships47
6Leadership Is Personal50
7Leaders Should Want to Be Liked56
8When You Don’t See Eye to Eye, Seek to Understand62
9You Can’t Take Trust for Granted71
10Let Your People Go79
Part Three: Aspirations89
11Lead from the Inside Out92
12Forward-Looking Is a Leadership Prerequisite99
13It’s Not Just the Leader’s Vision107
14Liberate the Leader in Everyone114
15Leaders Are Followers, Too!122
Part Four: Courage131
16There’s Courage in All of Us134
17You Can’t Plan to Be Courageous, But You Can Choose It141
18It Takes Courage to Make a Life148
19The Courage to Be Human155
20Failure Is Always an Option163
21No Money-Back Guarantee170
Afterword: The Legacy You Leave Is the Life You Lead177
About the Authors191

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