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Uplifting Leadership: Your Performance, Your People, and Yourself
Andy Hargreaves, Alan Boyle and Alma Harris

Retail Price: $29.00
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Format: Hardcover, 240pp.
ISBN: 9781118921326
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Pub. Date: June 30, 2014

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From The Publisher:

What does it take to do more with less? How can you do better than before, or better than others? How do you turn losses into wins, or near-bankruptcy into strong profitability, or abject failure into stellar success?

The power of uplift enables any organization to do more with less, beat the competition, and perform better than ever. Leaders who uplift their employees' passions, intellects, and commitments produce remarkable results.

Based on original research from a seven-year global study, Uplifting Leadership reveals how leaders from diverse organizations inspired and uplifted their teams' performance. Distilling the six common characteristics of leaders at high-performing organizations across business, sports, and education, authors Andy Hargreaves, Alan Boyle, and Alma Harris explore the nature of uplift, its impact on performance, and the ways to achieve it within and beyond an organization's walls, revealing how leaders:
  • Identify and articulate an inspiring dream that is coherently connected to the best of what the organization has been before
  • Pursue that dream at a sustainable pace without squandering resources, incurring excessive debt, or burning people out
  • Forge paths of innovation and improvement that others have overlooked or rejected
  • Monitor progress by using metrics and indicators in a mindful and meaningful way
  • Build teams that naturally pull people into change rather than pushing them through it
Featuring case studies of organizations as diverse as Shoebuy.com, Fiat, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Marks & Spencer, Cricket Australia, Burnley Football Club, and the Vancouver Giants, as well as world-leading educational systems, Uplifting Leadership provides tools for leaders to incorporate these performance-driving strategies into their own.

For leaders who want their people to try harder, transform what they do, reach for a higher purpose, and stay resolute and resilient when opposing forces threaten to defeat them, Uplifting Leadership provides a path to better performance across any organization.

In aerodynamics, uplifit is the force that allows airplanes to take off and escape gravity. Among people and in organizations, uplift is the force that raises our performance, our spirits, and our communities, so that we attain higher purposes and reach unexpected levels of achievement.

Uplifiting is about the nature of uplift, its impact on performance, and the ways to achieve it, both inside (employees) and outside (customers and community) the organization. The authors identify the principles of uplifting leadership, showing readers:
  • how to identify and articulate an inspiring dream or destination that is coherently connected to the best of what the organization has been before;
  • how to fight for and drive to achieve the realization of that dream with resilience and tenacity;
  • how to take the opposite path to reaching that dream which opponents do not expect by heading into the winds of resistance;
  • how to pursue the dream at a sustainable pace that does not squander resources, incur excessive debt or burn people out;
  • how to navigate direction and monitor progress by using metrics and indicators in a mindful and meaningful way that everyone values and understands;
  • how to build teams that pull people into change rather than pushing them through it; and
  • how to collaborate with competitors from time to time instead of trying to vanquish them altogether.


“How do highly effective leaders think and act in ways that others don’t? This groundbreaking book offers surprising answers from around the world that overturn many conventional assumptions about leadership. Now more than ever, leaders need to help transform our schools, our workplaces, and our institutions. Uplifting Leadership is brimming with inspiring ideas and practical evidence—from public education to private enterprise—on how to do exactly that. This important book will help leaders everywhere lift their organizations to higher levels of achievement, whatever the odds.”
—SIR KEN ROBINSON, author, The Element and Out of Our Mind

“Uplifting Leadership is the change book of the century. Forget every ad hoc idea about performance—these six brilliant insights about system success dance off the pages. Hargreaves, Boyle, and Harris reveal the secrets of soaring in turbulent times. Uplifting Leadership doesn’t invite you, it takes you!”
—MICHAEL FULLAN, OC, professor emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, and author, Leading in a Culture of Change

“What makes Uplifting Leadership remarkable is more than its extensive research and direct style. In our either/or culture, its unique power is how it takes the energy inherent in paradox and shows how opposites really can attract so that, transformed by unity, practical wisdom becomes clear.”
—MARGARET J. WHEATLEY, author, Leadership and the New Science and So Far From Home

“Uplifting Leadership is about big change and how to make it—not in a few companies or teams, but on a big scale, including the transformation of entire countries. Turning crisis into long-term success requires enormous amounts of hard work and great leadership skills. Uplifting Leadership tells compelling, inspiring stories about how to drive major transformation, and it may well change the way you lead forever. I strongly recommend it.”
—ESKO AHO, former prime minister, Finland, and executive vice president, Nokia

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About the Authors

Andy Hargreaves is the Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education at Boston College. In 2014, he was ranked as one of the 12 most influential scholars on US public education policy. He has written or edited more than 25 books on leadership and change, including Sustainable Leadership (with Dean Fink) and Professional Capital (with Michael Fullan). For more information, please visit www.andyhargreaves.com. Alan Boyle is director of Leannta Education Associates. He designs and creates professional learning for education leaders in the United Kingdom and abroad. For more information, please visit www.leannta.com. Alma Harris is professor and director of the Institute of Educational Leadership at the University of Malaya. She is also Pro-Director (Leadership) at the Institute of Education, University of London. She is internationally known for her work on school improvement. For more information, please visit www.almaharris.co.uk.

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