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The Leader's Handbook: Making Things Happen, Getting Things Done [Spiral-bound]

Peter Scholtes
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1 1997
Lead your organization into the 21st century with the help of this groundbreaking book that is already creating a stir in corporate boardrooms across America! In a book that does for managers what his mega-bestseller, The Team Handbook, did for teams, Peter Scholtes, who is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential Quality leaders of the decade, shows the real root of management problems. Learn how to stop blaming your workers and start changing the systems with the help of activities and exercises that enable you to immediately begin implementing breakthrough improvements in all your work processes!

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From the Back Cover

For Anyone Serious About Leading Their Organization Into the 21St Century

This groundbreaking book, already creating a stir, could only have been written by Peter R. Scholtes­­author of the best-selling book ever written on teams: The Team Handbook. In The Leader's Handbook, Scholtes, widely acknowledged as one of the most influential teachers of leadership and management of the decade, does for managers what The Team Handbook did for teams. Scholtes shows how bad systems, not bad workers, cause the vast majority of management problems. He takes controversial stands against performance appraisals and incentive compensation. And he takes you from theory to practice with a wide variety of state-of-the-art activities and exercises to help you immediately begin implementing breakthrough improvements in all your work processes.

About the Author

Peter R. Scholtes is an internationally known author, lecturer, and consultant. From 1987 to 1993 Mr. Scholtes shared the platform with W. Edwards Deming, helping to educate corporations about the new philosophy of the Quality movement. He was one of the first to synthesize the principles of the organizational development field with the teachings of Dr. Deming. Mr. Scholtes is the author of The Team Handbook. He has written award-winning articles on several Quality-related topics, especially with Dr. Deming's encouragement, on the controversial topic of performance appraisal: What's wrong with it and what to do instead. He is a popular keynote speaker at international conferences in such places as London, Sydney, Moscow, and Rio de Janeiro. In March of 1995, Quality Digest recognized Mr. Scholtes as one of the 50 Quality leaders of this decade.


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On October 5, 1841, two Western Railroad passenger trains collided head-on somewhere between Worcester, Massachusetts and Albany, New York, killing a conductor and a passenger and injuring seventeen passengers. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Can't quite love it Aug. 2 2013
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
I'd love to write a review for this book but the truth is that I was never able to get through even a substantial portion of it and I've had it a while now. I love the topics but I'm having trouble chewing through some of the text - I can't tell if it's that, or just that the size of it entire book is intimidating....

Perhaps it'll just be something I dip into every few years for something to think about.

Given that it's called Making Things Happen, Getting Things Done, I feel a bit bad about all of this, but it's the absolute truth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, incisive and visionary handbook Sept. 13 2001
Format:Spiral-bound
Scholtes expects to shock people right from the first page of his Preface. Let me quote extensively:
"More than 95 percent of your organization's problems derive from your systems, processes, and methods, not from your individual workers....

We look to the heroic efforts of outstanding individuals for our successful work. Instead we must create systems that routinely allow excellent work to result from the ordinary efforts of ordinary people.

Changing the system will change what people do. Changing what people do will not change the system.

Certain common management approaches--management by objectives, performance appraisal, merit pay, pay for performance, and ISO 9000--represent not leadership but the abdication of leadership.

Current buzzwords like empowerment, accountability, and high performance are meaningless, empty babble..." (ix-x)

The old organizations's leaders need: forcefulness, ability to motivate and inspire, decisiveness, willfulness, assertiveness, result- and bottom-line orientation, being task-oriented and having integrity and diplomacy.

Scholtes' new leadership competencies (much influenced by Edward Deming's ideas...) are based on a new mentality and understanding of: systems thinking, variability of work, how we learn, psychology and human behavior, interactions of these components, and vision, meaning, direction and focus.

The bulk of the book gives clear elaborations of these new competencies, with charts, illustrations, pertinent questions and many tools. Ch. 4 on "Getting the Daily Work Done" is a tough one, partly because it takes much effort to grasp the author's use of a Japanese term, "Gemba" (even when I can read the original Chinese characters).
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3.0 out of 5 stars A reader Aug. 8 2000
By A Customer
Format:Spiral-bound
Being a disciple of W. Edwards Demming, Peter Scholtes has a quality department's process bias; emphasizing systems, processes and statistics. Was I reading another new age quality assurance textbook? Because of this, I felt he overemphasized the present moment. True leaders are going places and have many loyal followers. The book rarely talks about this visionary thinking or how effective organizations are moving into new areas. This is a good book for beginners as long as you're aware he presents a different viewpoint, and because of this, he did bring some useful ideas that other books didn't have. Ironically, he openly admits that you may not agree with some of his viewpoints.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Manual Feb. 29 2000
Format:Spiral-bound
Having attended one of his talks, I gathered this book to be condensed from Scholtes' personal experience and practical knowledge which can also be seen in his "Teams" predecessor. A functional manual covering leadership in all aspects, with its depths and substance manifested in simple and easy to follow guidelines.
An ideal recommendation for any modern manager.
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