Good leaders do great things for organizations. Good leaders inspire, motivate, provide a vision, set goals and strategies. Good leaders make thorough but fair decisions. Good leaders successfully manage conflicts, demands, and requirements both within and outside the organization. Good leaders move organizations to levels they have never been or thought they could be. There is no question—good leaders contribute significantly to the success and viability of their organizations. But good leaders are hard to find and develop. Moreover, despite decades of leadership research, we still struggle and debate whether leaders are born or made, what personality characteristics leaders should have, what behaviors leaders should exhibit, and what behaviors leaders should not show. A cursory review of the literature raises more questions about leadership than provides answers. The leadership literature, especially that which focuses on top or executive leadership, is fragmented and piecemeal, and what is really known about that kind of leadership is hard to find. But I know there are efforts under way to better integrate and summarize the literature and to clearly uncover and highlight what we know about leadership. This book is one such effort. It provides some much-needed answers, and it tells us what it takes to be a leader at the top.
Rob Silzer and associates have taken on in this volume an elusive and difficult problem—the nature of leadership at the top. And they have provided those interested in developing and promoting leadership with a set of well-articulated insights about what it takes to be successful at the top of organizations. The authors of this volume offer very valuable information for defining, developing, coaching, training, rewarding, and selecting leaders. There is information on understanding global executives and how to succeed as a top executive. There is even information on why top executives fail. The chapters in this volume are full of practical tips and