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What You Really Need to Lead


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About the Author

Robert Steven Kaplan is president and chief executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Previously, he was the Senior Associate Dean for External Relations and Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice in Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is the author of three books: What You Really Need to Lead, What You're Really Meant to Do and What to Ask the Person in the Mirror.


"Authoritative... This book aims to demystify leadership and outlines a specific regimen that will empower you to build your leadership skills. Kaplan asks probing questions, provides exercises, and suggests concrete follow-up steps that will help you develop your necessary skills." -- PS News (Australia) "The resulting call for learning, asking questions, taking action and making decisions promises to help individuals across organizations of all sizes to become better leaders." -- David Slocum, FORBES "The book skillfully walks through the intellectual and emotional issues of leadership, the requirement to be "in shape" to lead, and lays out thoughtful questions to ask yourself as a leader." -- CBC News ADVANCE PRAISE for What You Really Need to Lead: ROSABETH MOSS KANTER, professor, Harvard Business School; author, MOVE and Confidence-- "What You Really Need to Lead is like having your own personal coaching sessions with a very wise and highly successful leader. Rob Kaplan offers down-to-earth advice about the virtues of listening, engaging others, and taking responsibility, through meaningful, engaging stories." ROBERT J. BEALL, President and CEO, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-- "Rob Kaplan understands that leadership is not just about taking action-- it's also about asking the tough questions again and again, listening with an open mind, and bringing others--regardless of rank--into the decision-making process. For anyone interested in truly owning their professional and personal growth as a leader, What You Really Need to Lead provides an outstanding and very practical guide." ALAN MULALLY, President and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes; former President and CEO, Ford Motor Company-- "Rob Kaplan captures the elements of effective leadership throughout an organization that continuously delivers increasing value for all stakeholders through a reliable process in a rapidly changing world." NARAYANA MURTHY, founder, Infosys-- "Rob Kaplan's book is a must-read for every manager throughout the world. He uses compelling, real-life case studies to help managers understand critical facets of leadership and to become highly effective, empathetic, and successful leaders." MITCHELL E. DANIELS JR., President, Purdue University; former Governor of Indiana-- "You'll probably see something of yourself in Rob Kaplan's real-world case studies, and you'll definitely be a more capable and confident leader after you've absorbed and applied his road-tested, highly practical principles." ERIC GREITENS, Navy SEAL; New York Times bestselling author, Resilience-- "If you want a tough, wise, and capable coach who can help you to become a better leader, then crack open Rob Kaplan's excellent new book. You'll strengthen yourself, and you'll have a more powerful impact on the lives of those you lead."

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