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What to Ask the Person in the Mirror


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Table of Contents

1. Vision and priorities 2. Managing your time 3. Giving and getting feedback 4. Succession planning and delegation 5. Evaluation and alignment 6. The leader as role model 7. Reaching Your Potential 8. Bringing it all together

About the Author

Robert Steven Kaplan is a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School and former vice chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group. He is also co-chairman of Draper, Richards and Kaplan, a global venture philanthropy firm. He advises numerous companies around the world.


"The areas appear as chapters with a concluding section that underlines his findings, making the book easy to follow." -- Director magazine "Leaders don't have all the answers ... When you're unsure what to do next, it's time to answer the questions that Kaplan poses in his seven steps." -- Dallas Morning News "Kaplan's business philosophy, applicable to everyone from CEOs to new college graduates, begins with a willingness to ask questions." -- Chicago Tribune "the key strength of the book is its practical approach. -- People Management "In his timeless book, What to Ask the Person in the Mirror, Kaplan offers seven basic types of inquiry or areas of focus--actually a system of inquiry that ties the leadership function together--that you should be looking at on a regular basis." - LeadershipNow "Kaplan is part of a refreshing vanguard of management scholars who no longer view the CEO as a superhero, the corner office Zeus who creates value by force of will and top-down edict. Rather, the modern executive is reflective, empathetic, full of self-awareness, someone who leads by example and by motivation, not by power and fear." -- BNET "...Kaplan argues against the notion that great leadership is about having all the answers. He believes that leadership skills can be learned--and that many of these skills require executives to rethink their conception of what a superb leader actually does. Developing and practicing these skills requires hard work and may demand that talented executives overcome some degree of discomfort and even anxiety in order to raise their game." -- HBS Working Knowledge "Throughout the cabinet file of information stacked into these pages, challenging questions are asked that will make you ponder the success rate of leadership strategies you employ." -- Kennedy Book Reviews "Grab a copy of this easy-to-read yet deeply insightful book." -- 800 CEO READ "Reading Rob Kaplan's brilliant new book is like being coached by a great mentor. Written clearly and lucidly, with dozens of real-world examples, Kaplan's savvy and practical advice results from hundreds of outstanding leaders he has mentored successfully. Don't just read it--incorporate his ideas into your leadership." -- Bill George Author, True North; professor of management practice, Harvard Business School "Rob Kaplan is an outstanding leader and business executive. In What to Ask the Person in the Mirror, he provides a valuable and adaptable framework that can be used by business and nonprofit leaders. This book lays out the important questions that leaders should ask in order to achieve their goals and reach their potential." -- Henry M. Paulson, Jr. Seventy-fourth Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury; Chairman and CEO , Goldman Sachs (1999--2006) "Kaplan succeeds in translating his vast knowledge of the leadership field into clear, graceful language, almost as if he is having a conversation with the reader. He tells engaging stories to illustrate his general points--the most effective way to give abstract concepts life. This book should have a wide readership." -- Doris Kearns Goodwin Pulitzer Prize--winning presidential historian and author, Team of Rivals

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