The Art and Adventure of Leadership: Understanding Failure, Resilience and Success

  • 1h 44m
  • Rob Asghar, Steven B. Sample, Warren Bennis
  • John Wiley & Sons (US)
  • 2015

Intellectual sparks flew when Warren Bennis, the “father” of modern leadership studies and Steven B. Sample, one of the most accomplished university presidents in recent history, came together for candid explorations of the forces that shape successful leaders and unsuccessful ones.

The Art and Adventure of Leadership, their final collaboration, reveals the profound insights that the authors gained together over the 16 years in which they co-taught one of the most popular leadership courses in America.

Here, each brings his own distinct vantage point as they address the mechanics and mysteries of leadership. The result is a unique examination of the journey of great leaders from momentary setbacks to ultimate success. It offers profound lessons on what determines the difference between failure and redemption for leaders. And it illuminates important and overlooked dimensions of great leaders ranging from Winston Churchill to Steve Jobs.

Together, they explore why:

  • A mature leader must grasp when it’s healthy to risk failure, and when failure can’t be tolerated at any cost
  • Leadership isn’t for everyone and requires a particular set of skills and competencies that are often glossed over in most management literature
  • To succeed in an uncertain and fast-changing world, a shrewd leader must understand which aspects of human society change—and which aspects never change
  • A mature, wise leader must seek a balance between high-minded ideals and the gritty realities and compromises that leaders face in their daily lives
  • Above all, meaningful leadership remains a matter of character

With incredible insight, this book examines why George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and other giants were able to recover from failures, learn resilience, and prepare themselves for their moments of destiny. In so doing, it demonstrates and helps cultivate the leadership skills that you need to create your own most meaningful legacy.

The Art and Adventure of Leadership is a unique look at leadership, and a critical resource for the leaders of tomorrow.

In this Book

  • The Art and Adventure of Leadership—Understanding Failure, Resilience, and Success
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Redefining Success and Failure
  • Why Success Requires the Right Kind of Appetite for the Fight
  • Accepting and Exercising Moral Responsibility the Ability to Accept—and Manage—Responsibility for Difficult Ethical Choices
  • Avoiding Groupthink, Mass Media, and the Failures of the Herd
  • A Timeless Reading List that Leads to Timely Success
  • When Failure is Baked into the System
  • Bankruptcy and Failure as the Great American Pastime
  • Conclusion: Redeeming Failure
  • Note from the Writer
  • Notes


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