Reviews of the Leader's Handbook

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by Peter R. Scholtes


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This book is about sensible, no-nonsense ways to lead.

It starts with a bit of history: train wrecks and bad radios: how we got where we are. We evolved into our current management practice and we've used it for over 100 years.

The new way described over the next nine chapters. It describes the New Leadership Competencies, Systems Thinking, assuring the smooth flow of work, performance without appraisal, and other lessons for leaders.

Comment by: Quality Management Journal | Quality Digest | Clare Crawford-Mason | Daniel K. Oestreich | Alfie Kohn | Donald J. Wheeler | David P. Langford | Henry Neave | Myron Tribus | Dr. Edward M. Baker | Peter Scholtes

"It is the integration of current ideas that makes this book stand out from others on the topic of leadership"
Quality Management Journal, 1998

"He leads readers from theory to practice with a wide variety of activities and exercises to help leaders immediately begin implementing breakthrough improvements... a witty and understandable format."
Quality Digest, June, 1998

Author's comments on The Leader's Handbook: Making Things Happen, Getting Things Done

It took me a long time to write this book... a process of distillation and percolation, even before I put words on paper. This was the result of a long labor and delivery.

My publisher had asked what my purpose was in writing this book. Here is what I said: I want a book that will make a difference. I want my book to say that simple answers to complex issues will not accomplish anything worthwhile. Behind the complexity is a simplicity that we can come to understand only by struggling. Oliver Wendell Holmes said it eloquently: "I wouldn't give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity; But I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity."

I hope this book is more than a management book. Leadership is a universal experience both for the leader and those being led. While much of my book applies to leading a business the insights and learnings apply to educators, healthcare, leaders, government, social groups, religious organizations... anywhere people try to make things happen and get things done together.

I've tried to make The Leader's Handbook fun to read. I write as I speak, with lots of side bars telling various anecdotes. I try to lace it with humor. And I try to feel passionately about what I have to say. For all of this the reader, of course, will be the final judge.

This is what some of my friends have to say about The Leader's Handbook:

Peter Scholtes has done it again! The Leadership Handbook is the perfect guide for people trying and hoping to accomplish positive change. It's witty, deceptively simple, clear and, most of all, wise and effective. The conclusion with 47 Habits of Pretty Good Leaders should be required reading for everyone of voting age. An excellent and easy to understand primer for continual improvement for the individual and any organization in today's turbulent world.
Clare Crawford-Mason

"The Leadership Handbook is a rare gift for all leaders who want to continue their personal path of learning. Scholtes writes as gracefully as he speaks. His unending supply of insightful models, delightful stories, and practical suggestions for action offers an exceptional bridge to the future. How can you argue with the teachings of a master?"
- Daniel K. Oestreich, co-author
Driving Fear Out of the Workplace and The Courageous Messenger

It is not often one finds top notch theory and practiced in one place, but The Leaders Handbook is a treasury of specific suggestions informed by a wise, humanistic model of how organizations work - and ought to work. Peter Scholtes may actually manage to give consultants a good name
Alfie Kohn

Peter Scholtes' delightful new book should be required reading for all managers and executives. He goes beyond the anecdotal fluff which is common today and gives us a way to become effective leaders which is based on sound theory and practice.
Donald J. Wheeler, President of Statistical Process Controls
and author of several best selling books on statistical thinking

Peter Scholtes has made another prominent contribution to the complex world of quality improvement. The Leader's Handbook is a great companion to The Team Handbook and relates, in an uncomplicated, easy to read and understand format, the necessary knowledge and role of a leader in improving organizations. Business, education, and government leaders will all benefit from this handbook. I highly recommend it for anyone serious about leading their organization into the 21st Century
David P. Langford
Co- Author of Orchestrating Learning with Quality

There are more references to Peter Scholtes in my own book on the Deming philosophy that virtually anybody else other than Dr. Deming and Shewhart. He's great! This comprehensive presentation of Peter's work over recent years will prove invaluable to everyone who is serious about managing and leading in a much better way.
Henry Neave, Director of Education and Research of the British Deming Assoc.
and Principal Lecturer in Management in the Quality Unit at Nottingham Trent University, Author of The Deming Dimension

When Peter Scholtes talks, I listen. When he writes, I read. If you want to learn about quality, you should do the likewise
Myron Tribus

Finally, in one place, a compendium of the many ideas and methods that Peter has shared with audiences over the years. The Leader's Handbook is a valuable companion to The Team Handbook and should benefit anyone desiring to improve the performance of their organization.
Dr. Edward M. Baker