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The Powers to Lead


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Table of Contents

Preface 1. Leadership 2. Leadership and Power 3. Types and Skills 4. Contextual Intelligence 5. Good and Bad Leaders Leadership: A Dozen Quick Take-Aways Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

Joseph S. Nye is University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, where he was formerly Dean. In government, he served as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Assistant Secretary of Defense, and Deputy Undersecretary of State. A frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post , and The Wall Street Journal , he is the author of several books, including The Paradox of American Power: Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone (Oxford, 2003) and Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics.


"Mr. Nye has performed a valuable service in rounding up and summarizing the various academic studies and theories of leadership into a single, slim volume. He examines different approaches to leadership, the morality of leadership and how the wider context can determine the effectiveness of a particular leader. There are plenty of anecdotes and examples, both historical and contemporary, political and corporate."--The Economist "This excellent book offers important insight into leadership with valuable analysis and anecdotes for leaders and aspiring leaders."--Booklist "The Powers to Lead at once ranges broadly and is concise. Anecdotes run from Lyndon Johnson and Jack Welch to Mahatma Gandhi...and the book treats the latest "leadership as process" theories alongside Machiavellian realism and Lao Tzu's self-effacing style. All these, together with many sensible suggestions for advancing oneself, are presented with a clear focus on power and group needs."--New York Sun "One of the first to include new scholarship on the youngest emerging leaders, Nye readily demonstrates his ability to traverse the intellectual and pragmatic without becoming esoteric or pedantic...Highly recommended."--CHOICE "A lucid...survey of leadership studies, touching on everything from bonobo behavior to Freudian psychology... with references to noted leaders like former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, Lincoln, Hitler and Subcomandante Marcos."--Publishers Weekly "Finally, a book that analyzes what leadership really means and how it relates to power. It will be invaluable for both political and business leaders alike. Nye developed the concept of hard and soft power, and now he shows how the best leaders use both in a smart way."--Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe, and President, the Aspen Institute "The Powers to Lead is an outstanding primer on leadership and all its dimensions. Nye cuts through the many bromides surrounding the subject to present a sharp, gracefully written introduction to leadership that will benefit anyone from Washington to Wall Street."--General Brent Scowcroft, former U.S. National Security Advisor "Nye has written better and more creatively on the importance of soft power as a political and diplomatic weapon than anyone else. Now he brings this knowledge and all his governmental and academic experience to bear on the oldest question in politics-how do leaders emerge and what distinguishes the good ones from the bad? There couldn't be a better primer for a presidential election year, in which all of us, whether or not we are American citizens, have such a big stake."--Chris Patten, Chancellor of Oxford University "This book will change not only the way leaders think about how they themselves should use power-but also how they can respond more creatively and effectively to others' power moves. This book will-and should-find a permanent place on the bookshelves of academics and practitioners alike."--Roderick M. Kramer, William R. Kimball Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford Graduate School of Business "This book represents an important intellectual odyssey. Nye has long been acclaimed as one of the world's foremost thinkers about international affairs, helping us understand, for example, the differences between soft and hard power. Now, to our great good fortune, he has turned his mind to the vexing questions of how power relates to leadership. The result is a conceptual tour de force-one of the best works on leadership since James MacGregor Burns wrote his breakthrough book three decades ago. What a splendid journey!"--David Gergen, Professor of Public Service and Director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government

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