Unnatural Leadership: Going Against Intuition and Experience to Develop Ten New Leadership Instincts

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9780787956189: Unnatural Leadership: Going Against Intuition and Experience to Develop Ten New Leadership Instincts

Written by David Dotlich and Peter Cairo-- two of the country's top executive coaches and educators-- Unnatural Leadership debunks the common notion of the natural leader as a flawless figure. The book describes the truth about being a real leader in a business environment turned upside down by e-commerce, diversity, security concerns, globalization, and matrix structures. Drawing on personal experience working with successful leaders in top-tier companies throughout the world, Dotlich and Cairo identify a style of leadership used by those who succeed in complicated business and people situations, a style that maximizes a leader's strengths and acknowledges weaknesses.

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From the Publisher:

"Unnatural Leadership captures the dilemmas and complexities of leading in a high-performing organization. These two executive coaches draw on their broad experience in working with some of the world's top companies to offer a compelling look at how executives think about leading in the 21st century. The book is packed with true stories from the front lines. Each page conveys what today's leader needs to do in order to achieve extraordinary results."
— Andrea Jung, chairman and CEO, Avon Products

"I've given many presentations on the connection between strong character and strong leadership. It's encouraging to read a book that recognizes this truth. It does take strength of character to break out of the comfortable, expected methods of running a company and to look a subordinate in the eye and unflinchingly say, 'I don't know.' That's what unnatural leadership is all about."
— Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

"This book is unnatural . . . It delves into the challenges, realities, and contradictions of being a leader today. Dotlich and Cairo reveal what they've learned from working with global CEOs and senior leaders, and how leaders at any level can accept their strengths and weaknesses, and improve on them."
— Bill Weldon, vice chairman, board of directors, Johnson & Johnson

"Leading today is complex. Our world is becoming more and more global, interconnected, and turbulent. In Unnatural Leadership, Dotlich and Cairo offer practical ideas and useful tips for dealing with the challenges of leading in a global organization."
— Joseph Berardino, CEO, Andersen

"This book strongly reinforces my own mantra, that healthy people and healthy relationships are what make healthy companies. Dotlich and Cairo have learned that the leaders who succeed in today's workplace are those who expose their vulnerabilities, admit their flaws, embrace team members who are 'different.' As a psychologist, I applaud this trend for human reasons. As a business advisor, I acknowledge that it's a prescription for corporate success."
— Bob Rosen, CEO of Healthy Companies International and author of Global Literacies and Leading People

"Retaining and engaging your top talent is the only way to prosper in a knowledge-based economy. And it's even more crucial in our volatile times. Who else will steer you through but your smart, creative, skillful people? Give them each a copy of Unnatural Leadership, and do it immediately. That way they'll know you're serious about winning and worth their personal commitment."
— Ed Gubman, author of The Talent Solution

"In this bold, thought-provoking book, Dotlich and Cairo challenge leaders, teaching them how to rethink the old sacred cow thinking, redefine their roles, and constantly reinvent their game. A must-read!"
— Robert Kriegel, author of If It Ain't Broke BREAK IT! and How to Succeed in Business Without Working So Damn Hard

"Don t just read this book. Devour it. Put it your pillow so its message moves from your head to your heart. Unnatural Leadership is a must-read for doing business in the 21st century."
— Alan Parisse, Named one of the twenty-one top business speakers for the 21st Century

From the Inside Flap:

UNNATURAL LEADERSHIP

IN A COMPLICATED, INSECURE, AND CONSTANTLY changing world, how do effective leaders in high-performing companies continue to succeed? Are they fearless heroes who have all the right answers—transforming businesses, making fast decisions, and inspiring everyone no matter how complex the situation? Or are they "real people" who work hard to trust others, acknowledge their own flaws, and challenge conventional thinking? Are leaders who win followers and get things done heroic figures? Or do they actually possess characteristics and practice skills that fall outside the comfort zone of executives steeped in traditional leadership methods?

Written by David Dotlich and Peter Cairo— two of the country's top executive coaches and educators—Unnatural Leadership debunks the common notion of the natural leader as a flawless figure. The book describes the truth about being a real leader in a business environment turned upside down by e-commerce, diversity, security concerns, globalization, and matrix structures. Drawing on personal experience working with successful leaders in top-tier companies throughout the world, Dotlich and Cairo identify a style of leadership used by those who succeed in complicated business and people situations, a style that maximizes a leader's strengths and acknowledges weaknesses.

Using a variety of tools and techniques based on their proven Action Learning workshops and Action Coaching methods, the authors reveal how to transition from the traditional natural leadership role and develop successful, effective unnatural leadership traits. They recommend simple, practical methods that effective leaders use to get things done, motivate and lead, and deal with their own weaknesses and impulses.

Each chapter contains a wealth of tips and techniques to help implement and develop the skills needed to become a new kind of leader. Dotlich and Cairo challenge conventional wisdom about leadership such as "be in control" and "hide your flaws." Instead, they identify ten "unnatural acts" that effective leaders regularly commit and are, in fact, the best response to an "irrational, chaotic, and unpredictable universe." These include:

  • Refuse to be a prisoner of experience
  • Expose your vulnerabilities
  • Create teams that create discomfort
  • Trust others before they earn it
  • Coach and teach rather than lead and inspire

Unnatural Leadership is a realistic and truthful road map that provides a practical manual for anyone who longs to be both authentic and effective.

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