Building Leaders

June 11, 1999

book coverJay A. Conger and Beth Benjamin (Jossey-Bass, 1999)

Companies everywhere are searching for ways to turn effective managers into dynamic leaders. In this book, Jay Conger, named one of the top ten educators in the world of business, culls the wide variety of methods being developed by top corporations around the globe. Through insightful analysis and extensive case studies, he and co-author Beth Benjamin provide the proven techniques, and common pit-falls to avoid, for building leadership talent at all levels.

Based on research conducted at more than a dozen organizations — including Ernst & Young, PepsiCo, Federal Express, the U.S. Army, and the National Australia Bank — the authors identify three principal approaches to leadership education: individual skill development, instilling organizational values that promote leadership, and strategic interventions. In separate chapters, they examine the strengths and shortcomings of each of these approaches and outline their most important elements, from organizational needs assessments to effective workshops and instruction to 360-degree feedback mechanisms.

Individual case studies illustrate best practices in an array of business sectors and give readers an inside look at how world-class leadership development programs are created, organized, and conducted so they can benchmark their own efforts. A special chapter studies the popular educational technique of action learning and its potential as a new paradigm for training the leaders of the twenty-first century.

How will technology, new leadership requirements, and the flatter, wired organization affect trends in the upcoming millennium? The final chapter profiles the future of leadership in corporate America and offers insights to help organizations train their next generation of corporate leaders.

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