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The Good Struggle: Responsible Leadership in an Unforgiving World
Joseph L. Badaracco Jr.

Retail Price: $25.00
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Format: Hardcover, 224pp.
ISBN: 9781422191644
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Pub. Date: October 8, 2013

Average Customer Review:
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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Leadership is struggle

The question of how to lead successfully and responsibly is crucially important in our uncertain, high-pressure, turbulent world. In this book, Harvard Business School Professor Joseph Badaracco answers this question in practical and, at times, provocative ways.

Leaders today are surrounded by what Badaracco calls “the new invisible hand”—powerful, pervasive markets that touch and shape almost everything. As a result, understanding the inevitability and importance of struggle is critical. And leaders must go a step further to create what Badaracco calls “the good struggle” in order to meet their goals at work, as well as their goals in life.

The Good Struggle helps you meet the relentless challenges of being a leader today by identifying the most important questions you should be asking yourself. New answers to these questions can be found by watching leaders in dynamic settings, especially entrepreneurs. The conditions entrepreneurs have always faced—intense competition, scarce resources, and unforgiving markets—are true now for the rest of us, and they offer valuable, practical lessons about struggling and succeeding in volatile and uncertain environments.

If “the joy of life is in the struggle,” as one thoughtful entrepreneur put it, The Good Struggle can help you find meaning in your work, stay focused on what matters despite the turbulence around you, and keep you on the path to leading successfully and responsibly.


“Badaracco has written a valuable book that examines the evolving fundamentals of leadership in a contemporary world filled with greater uncertainty and more intense market pressures.”
—Gail McGovern, President and CEO, American Red Cross

“Joseph Badaracco defines the essence of success in building a business: Live with the reality one competes in, but never stop dreaming about what might be possible.”
—Tom Stemberg, Managing General Partner, Highland Consumer Fund; Chairman Emeritus, Staples, Inc

“Leading responsibly does not equate to leading successfully. It is indeed a ‘struggle.’ This book challenges the reader to develop the right path for the long term.”
—Ann Fudge, former Chairman and CEO, Young & Rubicam Brands

“This book’s message is powerful: True leadership is forged from the personal crucible of struggle, values, and choices that justify the risks and time spent being a leader.”
—Ronald K. Machtley, President, Bryant University

“In this book, Joseph Badaracco poses vital questions for leaders. In these times of turmoil and uncertainty, leaders must face these questions head on.”
—Kunio Nakamura, former President, Panasonic Corporation

“Dealing successfully with VUCA—volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity—is inescapable for successful leaders today in their struggle to make the best choices for their companies, for their people, and for themselves. The Good Struggle provides an approach for leading responsibly amid all the diverging forces.”
—Daniel Vasella, MD; former Chairman and CEO, Novartis AG

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

• "The good struggle: it is a long effort, demanding perseverance and courage, to make good on serious but profoundly fallible commitments in an uncertain and often unforgiving world." Pg. 5


About the Author

Joseph L. Badaracco is the John Shad Professor of Business Ethics at Harvard Business School. He has served as chair of the MBA Program, taught in executive programs in many countries, and has spoken to a wide variety of organizations on issues of leadership, values, and ethics. Badaracco has written several books on leadership, decision making, and responsibility, including Defining Moments, Questions of Character, and the New York Times bestseller Leading Quietly.

Table of Contents

1Enduring Questions, Emerging Answers1
2Am I Really Grappling with the Fundamentals?23
3What Am I Really Accountable For?55
4How Do I Make Critical Decisions?85
5Do We Have the Right Core Values?115
6Why Have I Chosen This Life?151
Research Background173
About the Author205

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