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Questions of Character: Illuminating the Heart of Leadership Through Literature

Jr Badaracco Joseph L

The hardest tests for leaders challenge their character as much as their skills, and a growing body of research shows that the self-knowledge gained from such tests is critical to leaders' success.

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Book Information

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publish Date: 03/31/2006
Pages: 221
ISBN-13: 9781591399681
ISBN-10: 1591399688
Language: English

What We're Saying

May 20, 2009

Minding the Store: Great Writing About Business From Tolstoy to Now edited by Robert Coles and Albert LaFarge, The New Press, 299 pages, $25. 95, Hardcover, August 2008, ISBN 9781595583550 Many of the best-selling business books of the last thirty years are not based on exemplar companies, Fortune 500 CEOs or academic breakthroughs. Instead, they are completely made up; stories fabricated to make a grand point about how business should be practiced. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

April 06, 2009

TechCrunch's Mike Arrington penned a post yesterday titled "Grok This: Forget The Business Books, Go Sci-Fi To Stoke Your Imagination. " The piece caught alot of people's attention with over 150 retweets on Twitter. As the lead states, Arrington proposes that entrepreneurs should skip all of these silly business books which are filled with "a whole lot of additional junk," and read science-fiction. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

The hardest tests for leaders challenge their character as much as their skills, and a growing body of research shows that the self-knowledge gained from such tests is critical to leaders' success. In Questions of Character, Joseph L. Badaracco outlines eight fundamental challenges that test a leader's character, and proposes exploring them through the lens of literature. Badaracco argues that serious fiction provides us with memorable characters facing compelling challenges similar to those that confront business leaders. Through rich analysis of the main characters in The Death of a Salesman, The Secret Sharer, The Last Tycoon, and other stories, Badaracco addresses complex issues leaders face, such as the soundness of their vision, their readiness to take on responsibility, the depth of their compassion, and their ability to manage success. Presenting classic leadership dilemmas in a novel and valuable light, Questions of Character helps leaders and aspiring leaders prepare for the opportunities and tests before them.

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