Book | 2012

Harder Than I Thought: Adventures of a Twenty-First Century Leader

by Robert D. Austin, Richard L. Nolan and Shannon O'Donnell

Abstract

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 twentieth-century leadership practices won't work in the turbulent twenty-first century. This engaging book gives you the insights you'll need to navigate in a fast-changing business landscape.

Keywords: Leadership; Complexity; Crisis Management; Problems and Challenges; Volatility;

Citation:

Austin, Robert D., Richard L. Nolan, and Shannon O'Donnell. Harder Than I Thought: Adventures of a Twenty-First Century Leader. Harvard Business Review Press, 2012.