The Versatile Leader > The Book

About the Book

While self-help gurus urge leaders to focus on strengths, a hidden danger lies behind this seductive advice. Ironically, a leader’s strengths often prove to be his or her undoing.

We all know “strengths can become weaknesses.” But many leaders don’t readily grasp how placing great faith in what they are good at can cause them to get out of balance. Yet all around us we find lopsided leaders—strong leaders who fail to empower their staff, results-oriented leaders who lose sight of the bigger picture, and so on. Rare is the versatile leader who does both—takes charge and empowers, sets the direction and executes against it.

In this groundbreaking new book Bob Kaplan and Rob Kaiser introduce an innovative approach to identifying and correcting lopsidedness in leaders. Based on twenty years of research and extensive work with senior leaders, The Versatile Leader is packed with illustrative cases and practical applications. It is just as useful for coaching other managers as it is for self-improvement.


The Versatile Leader will help you:

 See how competency models and standard 360s don’t tell the whole story

  Discover how to make optimal use of strengths—and avoid doing “too much of a good thing”

  Understand how mindset, attitudes, and emotions impact behavior—for better or worse

  Appreciate the two major opposites in leadership—Forceful vs. Enabling and Strategic vs. Operational

  Leverage the three strategies for improving performance—the outer work, inner work, and corrective relationships

  Learn tactics for revving up what you underdo and throttling back what you overdo

  Round out your repertoire to become a more versatile and effective leader

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“The best new leadership book in years.”

Robert Witherspoon
President, Performance & Leadership Development Ltd.