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Leading the Way: Three Truths From the Top Companies for Leaders

Robert Gandossy and Marc Effron

Retail Price: $29.95
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Format: Hardcover, 240pp.
ISBN: 9780471483014
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Pub. Date: December 2003

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Sustained earnings growth ranks at the top of every company’s performance objectives but, despite heroic efforts, all too few ever realize this goal. Their investments in technology, marketing, new products, or logistics bring temporary benefits at best. The top companies for leaders start with the value proposition that great performance begins with great leadership–and they have the financial results to prove it!

In Leading the Way, Hewitt Associates’ business leaders Robert Gandossy and Marc Effron present their findings from the largest research project ever conducted on leadership, the "Top Companies for Leaders." Using data from more than 600 companies around the globe and interviews with senior executives at the top companies, they present a compelling business case for investing in growing leaders. Their stories, examples, and tactics provide tangible, practical tools for leaders everywhere.

Their "three leadership truths" define the fundamental building blocks used by top companies to build a sustainable pipeline of great leaders:
  • The CEO and Board of Directors provide leadership and inspiration: Going beyond lip service to active and passionate involvement in building leaders’ capabilities
  • A maniacal focus on high-potential leaders: Carefully identifying and aggressively developing your absolute best talent
  • Doing the right programs the right way: Creating programs and processes that enhance the few differentiating leader-ship capabilities in a nonbureaucratic, measurable way

While many organizations successfully execute one or two of the truths, top companies differentiate themselves by consistently executing all three.

Going far beyond a simplistic best-practices approach, Leading the Way shows how growing great leaders begins with understanding the type of leaders your business strategy demands. Gandossy and Effron also highlight the "little things that count"—the secrets that allow the top companies to sustain their success.

Leading the Way drives home its conclusions with financial analysis that shows how the three leadership truths translate into sustained financial success for the top companies, and how they can do the same for your organization as well. Put the knowledge of how IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pepsi, FedEx, and other top companies build great leaders and great financial results to work for you.


"Leading the Way leaps beyond tired debates about whether leaders are born or made to show that they can be shaped, perfected, and polished. This persuasive book is packed with practical lessons about how the best companies turn gems of talent into crown jewels that enrich the whole enterprise."
—Rosabeth Moss Kanter Harvard Business School, bestselling author of Evolve!, When Giants Learn to Dance, and The Change Masters

"Leading the Way offers actionable insights for business leaders of enterprises both large and small. Gandossy and Effron focus on the things that matter: leadership, talent, and programs that work."
—Dave Cote CEO, Honeywell International

"When I first read the manuscript of Leading the Way, I was beside myself with excitement. I quickly dashed off notes to colleagues saying ‘This is a very important book. You have to read it.’ Good leaders will be in very short supply very shortly. Either you implement what Gandossy and Effron recommend, or you risk watching from the sidelines. The good news is that the prescriptions in Leading the Way are clear, credible, proven, and doable. Be forewarned, however. This is not a fad-diet book for business. No quick fixes here. It will demand absolute dedication and tireless commitment. It will take time to work. But you have no choice. Do not hesitate. Read it now, and act on it immediately."
—Jim Kouzes coauthor, The Leadership Challenge and chairman emeritus, Tom Peters Company

"Through anecdotes and examples stressing the importance of the leader’s attitude toward people, philosophy, and process, Leading the Way provides the road map to building strong leaders and motivates the reader to promote leadership as a critical part of their company’s DNA. An important and compelling book for leaders everywhere."
—Randy MacDonald Senior Vice President, Human Resources, IBM

"Effective leadership is the difference between winning and losing in the marketplace. It is what makes strategy come to life. Creating a culture of leaders is an organization’s best investment and competitive advantage. Gandossy and Effron offer useful insight into the patterns that top companies are using to attract, select, and develop organizational talent."
—Robert L. Nardelli Chairman, President, and CEO, The Home Depot

"All companies produce goods or services, but only a few produce leaders. From studying the best, Robert Gandossy and Marc Effron have nailed the three great drivers of leadership development. To learn what companies require to become leader makers, Leading the Way is the way."
—Michael Useem Professor and Director, the Wharton Center for Leadership and Change, University of Pennsylvania, and coauthor of Upward Bound

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

• "Over and over again we heard executives describe the opportunities given them, the risks their bosses took with them, and the faith and confidence others had—thereby obligating them, solidifying a relationship that no incentive scheme can replicate. There is a key difference between an incentive or reward scheme and the kind of emotional, obligatory sense of responsibility that their reciprocal arrangements bring. Both are effective and both are probably necessary in organizations today. But the latter is more enduring and, in the end, more powerful." Pg. 125


About the Authors

Robert Gandossy is the Global Leader for Hewitt Associates’ Talent and Organization Consulting. Prior to joining Hewitt, he was a senior management consultant at a general management consulting firm. Marc Effron is the Global Leader for Hewitt Associates’ Leadership Consulting Group, helping global companies build leadership quality and depth. He brings practical insight to his work through senior leadership roles at large Fortune 500 organizations.

Table of Contents

The Authorsxix
1The Looming Leadership Crisis1
2Leadership Truth #1: CEOs and Board of Directors at Tpo Companies Provide Leadership and Inspiration25
3Leadership Truth #2: Top Companies Have a Maniacal Focus on the Best Talent49
4Leadership Truth #3: Top Companies Put in Place the Right Programs, Done Right73
5Pay Attention to Subtlety: The Little Things Are the Big Things113
6Starting From Scratch to Build a Strong Leadership Pipeline131
7Future Directions: New Rules for the 21st Century157
Appendix A: Top Companies for Leaders List: 2002 and 2003181
Appendix B: Building A Company of Great Leaders: A Starter Kit183

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