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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Book Review 10: Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor

This is an important book.

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and James O'Toole is a book worth reading - not only for those who run big corporations - but also for those that aspire to be leaders.
From the Inside Flap
Transparency

In a time when the reputation of an organization or a leader can be shattered by the click of a mouse, transparency is often a matter of survival in a world of global competition. But as stakeholders in different organizations increasingly clamor for transparency, what are they truly asking for? What is the promise of transparency? What are its very real risks? And why is it essential that leaders understand it? In this book, distinguished authors Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and James O'Toole explore what it means to be a transparent leader, create a transparent organization, and live in an ever more transparent world culture.

In three interconnected essays, they examine transparency from three different vantage points—within and between organizations, in terms of personal responsibility, and finally, in the context of the new digital reality—all with an emphasis on how these relate to leaders and leadership. The first essay explores an urgent dilemma for every contemporary leader: how to create a culture of candor. The second essay—with the provocative title "Speaking Truth to Power"—discusses a prerequisite for transparency and a responsibility we too often fail to fulfill. The final essay explores how digital technology is making the entire world more transparent.

Combining theory and experience, this book offers both a long view of transparency and a wealth of practical advice. The ideas in each chapter will make anyone both a better follower and a better leader.

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