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Harder Than I Thought  By  cover art

Harder Than I Thought

By: Robert D. Austin,Richard L. Nolan,Shannon O’Donnell
Narrated by: Walter Dixon
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Publisher's Summary

Being a great leader today is much harder than you think.

Meet Jim Barton. He’s a newly minted CEO, rising leader of a firm in transition, and manager of massive complexity - thanks to our incredibly networked and increasingly unpredictable world of business. What if you were in his shoes?

If you’re a top executive today, you probably are.

Harder Than I Thought is a fictional narrative that puts the increasingly complex job of chief executive in a very real context. It serves as a practical guide by allowing you to walk alongside Jim as he takes on his new role and all its attendant challenges. Jim’s story - developed in collaboration with seasoned, real-life CEOs - includes crucial lessons for anyone hoping to master the new-world skills required of successful business leaders today.

As the narrative unfolds, Jim grapples with an array of business crises, some he inherited and some of his own making. As events push this new leader to the edge of his abilities, he seeks counsel from a panel of advisers - resulting in a wealth of teaching moments bound to keep you captivated. Experts agree that many 20th-century leadership practices won’t work in the turbulent 21st century. This engaging book gives you the insights you’ll need to navigate in a fast-changing business landscape.

©2012 Harvard Business School Publishing (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC

Critic Reviews

“A delightful cliff-hanger of a book that delivers essential wisdom for twenty-first-century CEOs. Walk in the shoes of a new CEO and learn what effective leadership truly demands.” (Karen Fine Coburn, President and CEO, Cutter Consortium)

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I am just scratching my head.......

I bought this book as it was subject to an online course about Leadership in 21st Century Organisations. I was just curious. As it is from Harvard Business Review Press my expectations very pretty high .......just to fall longer to the bottom.

I went back several times to check if I had mistaken the source of the book or the publication year. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.....

The new, 1st-time CEO whose life during his first couple of months is determined by chauffeured limousines, business jets, high powered charity events with lots of booze and the female supermodel disguised as a journalist falling for our hero at first encounter.... - this is probably how my mum's hairdresser envisions the life of a CEO.

Key managerial insights are derived from dandelion farming (no kidding!), the new CEO reflects apparently for for he first time in his life about board room dynamics, company culture, core competencies, corporate strategy development etc. OMG!

The book has essentially little to do with Leadership . The focus is more or less on basic managerial skills required from every industry leader and manager long before seeking a C-level, leave alone a high calibre CEO role.

A word of caution to the adopters of the book. If you find yourself one morning in the gutters clothed in rags and you have no idea what hit you - it may be that you tried to copy our 1st-time CEOs example of changing structure and members on your company's Board of Directors during the first coupe of months in office. For obvious reasons, this is not within the authority of the CEO who reports to the Board, but the shareholders.

Can't recommend the book.

I am a CEO.