An Invented Life: Reflections on Leadership and Change

Bennis, Warren G.

Editorial Reviews Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly Bennis ( Leaders ), a former president of the Univeristy of Cincinnati and currently a business professor at the University of Southern California, analyzes leadership and change in these superb essays. He maintains that America has a shortage of leaders (``people who do the right thing'') and an abundance of managers (``people who do things right''), which results in ``underled and overmanaged'' American business and educational organizations. Bennis blames America's management schools. ``We teach people how to be good technicians . . . but we just don't train people for leadership.'' In studying 90 leaders, Bennis discovered that their only common characteristic was ``a guiding purpose, an overarching vision.'' His thoughts on corporate boards, ethics and information overload are perceptive, as is his essay on ``Searching for the Perfect University President.'' This book should appeal to the business, educational administration and trade markets. (Apr.) Library Journal Bennis, a well-known name in management literature, has written many books, including On Becoming a Leader ( LJ 8/89). This work is a collection of articles written over a 30-year time frame--none of which is outdated. Many focus on the nature of leadership and incorporate Bennis's own reflections on serving as a university president. Included are essays on democracy and trust in the workplace, followership, the role of corporate boards, and ethical issues in organizations. Highly recommended for all business collections.-- Jane M. Kathman, Coll. of St. Benedict Lib., St. Joseph, Minn. Barbara Jacobs It's an uncommon enough occurrence that any book, let alone a collection of business essays, elicits tears and anger, laughter and solemnity, but when the author is scholar Warren Bennis, bets are on for readers to reap rewards. These 17 essays were written over the past quarter-century and bring light and an individuality to corporate affairs in this decade. There's one that is a semiautobiography in which Bennis explains his philosophy of the always inventive life. Humor reigns in his account of the search for a Northwestern University president; and a sense of awe surrounds his early predictions that democracy will triumph worldwide, his insistence on corporate ethics, and his prescription for employees (be willing to tell the truth). May those writers in the business arena learn to emulate his prose . . . and his wisdom.

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