Bob Vanourek | Foreword
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Foreword

 

This is an inspiring book.
This is an informative and practical book.
This is a book that raises more questions than it answers.
This is a book full of the author’s personal reflections, whichstimulates you to think deeply as well.
This book is an antidote to the hubris of know-it-all executives and authors.
This is a fast-readbook; however, readit slowly, and savor to the last drop.
This book will surprise you with its insights and simple truths.
This book is a treasure.

 

That’s really all you need to know about why you should purchase this book and take the time to read it.

 

You don’t have to know Bob Vanourekpersonally to get his voice and perspective in this volume. Simply conjure an image of what you believe a wise person would look and sound like, and how this individual would share his or her insights with you. And, how that individual would spend the time with you because she or he cared aboutyou and about what you needed to be your best self. That’s the tone of this book—sagacious, warm, and considerate.

 

Bob has been an avid student of leadership his whole life. He spent thirty years primarily in the rough and tumble world of corporate turnarounds and strategic challenges. When Bob and his wife moved to Colorado, he began to teach, speak, and write about all he had learned about leadership, wishing to share the successes and failures he had experienced in order to help others not only learn how to lead better but to be better people.

 

Bob writes poignantly from his heart and is quick to give credit to many others for what he has learned; from extraordinary colleagues as well as the leadership experts he has met along the way. Bob is not only an experienced practitioner of both ancient and current models of leadership, but a deep thinker about what works, what doesn’t, and what is changing as we move to confront the challenges of today and tomorrow.

 

Leadership Wisdom: Lessons from Poetry, Prose, and Curious Verse is different from any other leadership book you will read. It’s not a chest-thumping recitation of all Bob has done as an award-winning CEO — indeed, he fesses up to many mistakes. Nor is it a fable about what some fictional character did to succeed;or a dense academic treatise on leadership principles. Nor it it a book of short pithy leadership quotes without any interpretation or practical applications.

 

Instead, Bob turns to the wisdom of the sages over the centuries and plumbs their insights from the poems and prose they have written. Then Bob offers his clear commentary on each passage along with some insightful practical applications based on his experience, challenging you to think about important issues regardless of where you are on your leadership journey. It’s a powerful and perceptive approach.

 

You can read this book straight through, or just choose a passage or two each day to enhance your leadership skills. Bob quotes from over sixty celebrated authors and poets as well as political leaders, social activists, soldiers, educators, journalists, religious leaders from many faiths, and Native Americans.

 

If you are hungry for a better way to lead, if you want to experience the wisdom of the masters of literature, if you want to learn from an experienced and successful leader, then we are sure you will enjoy immensely this rich and unique work.

 

Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner
Co-authors, The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations and Learning Leadership: The Five Fundamentals for Becoming an Exemplary Leader.