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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"As a wonderfully honest reporter, Warren does not hesitate to discuss his disappointments and his mistakes, personal as well as professional. Yet this book has an excitement, an energy, a joie de vivre that is inspiring. As an essentialist, I suspect that Warren was born with an ebullient temperament. And yet at the same time, I must acknowledge that Warren is at the happiest point in his life right now, because the roles that he assumed in the last twenty years–– master teacher, mentor, writer, pundit, and, yes, guru––are the ones into which he has grown. And they have made him what he is, just as surely as he excelled in them because of who he is." (Howard Gardner , The Washington Post, August 11, 2010)

A classic American success story modest in both scope and tone very entertaining . (The Economist, August 2010). Still Surprised is an enjoyable read. Warren writes with a quiet confidence that is intriguing yet comforting. (Leadership Expert, September 2010). reveals the triumphs and struggles of the man who is considered the pioneer in the contemporary field of leadership studies . (Public Net, Octobebr 2010). --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Présentation de l'éditeur

This audio book is Warren Bennis' true autobiography, direct from the source, before other biographies start to come out. Bennis' long and storied life and career are filled with insights about many of the people who helped (and hindered) him along the way. Characters include Douglas MacGregor, Abraham Maslow, Timothy Leary, Werner Erhard, Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden, Ann Landers, Peter Drucker, Tom Peters and many more. In addition, Bennis' life and career has traversed eight decades, and the events of these decades are brought home through his many stories. As a Jewish child in a gentile town in the 30s, a young army recruit in the Battle of the Bulge, a college student in the one of the first progressive precursors to the civil rights movement, a patient undergoing daily psychoanalysis for five years, and later a university provost during the Vietnam protests, Bennis has had a first-hand seat to many of the tumultuous episodes of recent history. They shaped him and his thinking and actions; he was and is both an amazing observer and a player in this history.

This audio book promises to be honest, warts and all, and at times revelatory. Bennis is an eloquent writer -- one of the best in business -- and he will be working closely with Patricia Ward Bierdeman, his longtime writer/collaborator and personal friend, to shape a unique and lasting audio book.

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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 20 commentaires
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Four score and counting, while his insatiable curiosity explores and his sense of wonder delights 18 août 2010
Par Robert Morris - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I have read and reviewed most (if not all) of Warren Bennis' books and most of his articles. This book is different from anything he has written previously because Bennis allows his reader to accompany him on a journey back in time. Written with the considerable assistance of Patricia Ward Biederman (who was also centrally involved with earlier works such as Organizing Genius, Transparency, and The Essential Bennis), this volume combines a wealth of historical information with Bennis' comments on those he believes to have had the greatest influence on both his personal and professional development as well as his reminiscences on those experiences, events, successes and especially failures, defining moments, and cultural forces that serve as a frame-of-reference for the evolution of his personal and professional relationships.

Bennis was born on March 5, 1925, and grew up in Westwood, NJ. However, he does not follow a chronological sequence when developing his narrative. In the first chapter, "The Crucible of War," he focuses on his World War Two experiences in the U.S. Army at age 19, "the rawest second lieutenant in the U.S. Army." Following the conclusion of the war, he realized that he didn't want his old life back and probably could not have had it even if he wanted it. "I wanted to invent a new one." The next chapter focuses on his years as a student at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The contrasts between the indescribable horrors of the battlefield and the pastoral innocence and serenity of a liberal college campus are especially striking. Although deeply grateful for the experiences both worlds provided (especially what he learned from mentors such as Captain Bessinger and Douglas McGregor) but ever restless, Bennis and his newlywed wife (the former Lucille Rose) relocated to the Boston area where he continued his formal education at MIT.

To this point and indeed until the conclusion of the book, the reader tags along as a companion to whom Bennis confides without hesitation but with selection of what (then or now) most interests him as well as what perplexes, irritates, and even angers him. At times, at least to this reader, he seems 85, at other times the age he was in a given situation or stage of his journey. The nature of the memoir is that it consists of what the memory recalls, to be sure, but also what it selects to share. Bennis remembers more than he shares, for obvious reasons, but the accumulative effect is one of candor. He maintains an informal, almost conversational tone with his reader without seeming disingenuous or self-serving.

He discusses his year abroad studying at the London School of Economics, his renewed association with MIT and the intellectual community in Cambridge, his involvement with the National Training Laboratories and its T-groups, the Institute for Management and IMEDE in Lausanne, the State University of New York at Buffalo, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Southern California; also time on the faculties of Harvard and Boston University, the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C), INSEAD and IMD. He also discusses his service as chairman of the Advisory Board of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's Kennedy School, as a visiting professor of leadership at the University of Exeter (UK) and as a senior fellow at UCLA's School of Public Policy and Social Research.

If there were a Mt. Rushmore monument for the business world, Bennis would probably be among the honorees (surely joined by Peter Drucker and hopefully by one of my intellectual heroines, Mary Parker Follett). Although Bennis shares a number of personal details, such as those concerning his various marriages, I have no interest in them as a reviewer of this book but mention those disclosures merely to suggest that -as is also true of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln - Warren Bennis is an imperfect human being.

As the title of this review suggests, I very much admire his insatiable curiosity that continues to explore and his sense of wonder that continues to encounter delight. With book in hand, and as an eager companion, I hope to share at least some of the new adventures that await this pilgrim who is "still surprised."

To those who share my high regard for this book, I also recommend other memoirs such as Peter Drucker's Adventures of a Bystander, Andrew Grove's Swimming Across, Alfred Sloan's My Years with General Motors, and John Whitehead's A Life in Leadership.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Read at Your Own Risk 21 août 2010
Par Mark Goulston - Publié sur
Format: Relié
"One of the best things about hearing people say such nice things about you is that it gives you something to live up to" - Warren Bennis speaking at a USC event honoring him and after a number of people spoke to talk about his impact on them.

Warren Bennis is not merely respected by the people whose lives he has touched, he is beloved. To so many -- including Howard Schultz at Starbucks, David Gergen of CNN, Sidney Harmon of Harmon Kardon and Betsy Myers advisor to President Obama -- he is not just that mentor or friend that makes you want to be a better person, he is frequently that parent you wish you had. For those who were homesick for a home they never had, and sick from the one they did, Warren's loving mentoring provided them with a home at last.

What does this have to do with this engaging, heart warming, and uplifting memoir? If you read it, Warren doesn't tell you how to be the kind of leader, parent and mensch that the best part of you wants to be, he shows you how with a story that is seasoned with humanity and spiced with humility and is so memorable that it will easily serve as a guide and template for you.

I don't want to give away too much, but one story that makes me smile was about Warren having a conversation with undergraduate friends at Antioch about meeting a German woman in a bar in Germany at the end of WWII and going back to her room to do what you do in such a situation. He explains that going to such a bar, meeting such a woman and going back to her room was not something one such as he should do. He then talks about waking up the next morning and with the sheets pushed to the side realizing she had a prosthetic leg. When he shared this with friends at Antioch they told him that he must publish it as an essay in one of the school's publications. He did that whereupon he was suddenly launched into "superstar" status for the rest of his years at college.

Why "read at your own risk" as the title for this review?

As you read this book and understand how Warren more than grew up, but evolved into such a beloved person, it may give you an ache to have had him as a mentor or parent if you haven't had either. And if the lack of either is great, that ache can be profound. On the other hand there will be few other books that you will read that will help you to become the parent or mentor to others that you never had. And if you can do that, the ache will go away and you too might become someone who is beloved by others. And there is no better transformation for you than to give onto others what was never given onto you.

If my lack of objectivity is betrayed by my love and appreciation for him, that's MY story and I'm sticking with it. It is also why I dedicated my book, Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone to him which in great part is an elaboration of something he has taught me by who he is much more than what he does: "When you deeply listen to people, get where they are coming from AND care about them when you're there, they're more likely to do what you'd like them to do."
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Outstanding Work by an Outstanding Leader 28 août 2010
Par James Strock - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I'm one of the many who regards Warren Bennis as a leadership hero. He stands in a unique place--one he created--at the intersection of theory and practice.

'Still Surprised' is a warm, engaging, enveloping memoir of a life well-led--with a lot more ahead. As the title says, Warren Bennis continues to learn, maintains a durable optimism, enabling him to make an amazing contribution.

I would refer you to Robert Morris' fine review for additional, serviceable detail and perspective.

I'll simply add: Don't miss this book. No matter how much you have learned from or about Warren Bennis, you'll still be surprised....
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
I'm NOT surprised that this is a terrific book! 5 février 2011
Par B. J. Hateley - Publié sur
Format: Relié
"Who the heck is Warren Bennis?" I muttered to no one in particular. The year was 1980 and I was headed back to my office at USC after having lunch with Marilyn Ferguson, author of The Aquarian Conspiracy. Several times during the course of our lunch meeting, Marilyn had quoted Warren Bennis. "Warren Bennis says this..." or "According to Warren Bennis...," she said repeatedly.

She wasn't the only one. People all across campus were quoting Warren Bennis. I'd been at the University of Southern California since 1974 - first as an undergrad, then as a grad student, and finally on staff as a program administrator - and thought I knew pretty much everyone. But suddenly, people were buzzing about this guy Warren Bennis.

When I got back to my office I called the campus operator and asked for Warren Bennis's office. She gave me the number for future reference and put me through to his office at the business school. He answered his own phone.

"Hi there," I said. "My name is BJ Gallagher and I work for the College of Continuing Education. You don't know me but I'd like to buy you lunch at the faculty center one day next week."

"Sure," Bennis chuckled. "Any particular agenda for the lunch meeting?"

"Well, yes," I replied. "Everywhere I go lately, people are quoting you. So clearly you're famous but I don't know why. I thought I'd invite you to lunch and find out."

He laughed heartily, and then gave me a date that worked for him.

We met at the faculty center on the appointed day and were ushered to our table. We ordered our food and once that was out of the way, I got down to business.

"Thanks for agreeing to meet with me," I began. "So now tell me why you're famous. I know that you were the president of the University of Cincinnati, but that's not enough to have people quoting you all the time. So... why are you famous?"

A bemused smile animated his handsome face and his Paul Newman blue eyes twinkled mischievously as he paused for a moment before answering. Then he leaned in, and with a conspiratorial tone, replied, "Oh, I think you know."

Now it was my turn to laugh. The quest to find out what made this guy so special wasn't going to be as easy as I had thought, but I could tell it was going to be a fun lunch - and interesting. There was something about his presence, his energy, his charisma, that made people take notice when he walked into a room. I knew right then and there that Warren Bennis was more than just another pretty face.

Fast-forward thirty years...

By now, everybody who is anybody - in business, in government, in the military, and in the non-profit world - knows who Warren Bennis is... and why he's famous. But if by chance you don't know (because you're a junior manager working on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean with no books or Internet or cell phone access, or you've been in a coma the past thirty years), Bennis's new book, "Still Surprised," is a great place to catch up on your leadership development.

The book is a series of stories - inspiring, engaging, touching, uplifting, enlightening, and illustrative of how a leader learns. As the chapters unfold, we see how Bennis grows, stretches, struggles, overcomes, and walks his personal path through life, love, and leadership.

Like all great teachers, Bennis knows that stories are powerful teaching tools. People forget facts and figures, but they remember good stories. It is no accident that the Bible is written in parables, that we read bedtime stories and fairy tales to our kids to teach them values, and that culture, history, and traditions are passed down through the ages in the form of stories, fables, tales and parables. Bennis understands this; he is a master storyteller/teacher.

In reading "Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership" it's also clear that Bennis knows "that which is the most personal is also the most universal." The reader can identify with Bennis because he shares himself so authentically. He knows that there is strength in vulnerability - he allows us to witness his ambitions, mistakes, hopes, desires, adventures, frustrations, successes and surprises.

If you haven't had the good fortune to meet Warren Bennis in person, his new book will make you feel as if you've known him his whole life. You'll learn from him and you'll like him, too. You'll admire and respect him. And... you'll see why he's famous.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Intriguing Personal Insights from a Leadership Leader 29 mai 2011
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Peter Drucker was often called the father of modern management thinking. Warren Bennis has been described as the father of leadership. I've long been a reader of Warren's books on leadership, change, and team/organization dynamics. I've often quoted his study findings and leadership wisdom in my books, blog, and presentations. When he said my book, The Leader's Digest: Timeless Principles for Team and Organization Success, "illuminates the topic of leadership in a useful, readable and lively way," I quoted him even more!

In Still Surprised (written with Patricia Ward Biederman), Warren opens up his life for all of us to learn from his extensive experience. The book starts with him being thrust into leadership "in December 1944 as the rawest second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, a 19-year-old shavetail trying to keep my platoon (and myself) alive as we pursued the retreating army into Germany." He went on to earn a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Each chapter of Still Surprised centers around major phases of Warren's life and what shaped his thinking. We learn about his decision to attend Antioch College on the G.I. Bill. The next year (1948) Douglas McGregor (best remembered for The Human Side of Enterprise and its description of leadership approaches Theory X and Theory Y) became Antioch's president. This began a close mentoring relationship until McGregor's early and sudden death in 1964.

Still Surprised goes on to explain Warren's move to Cambridge, MA and his scholastic work at MIT that led to a Ph.D. in economics and social sciences. The sections I found especially interesting involved his social sciences experiments and work with group dynamics to bring about change. My old Achieve Group partner, Art McNeil, and I worked briefly with Eric Trist and Ron Lippitt in the early eighties when they were in the twilight of their illustrious careers with the UK's Tavistock Institute and National Training Laboratories for Group Dynamics in Bethel, MA ("summer camp for some of the best social scientists in the world".)

I didn't know of Warren's pioneering involvement with those organizations and his work with NTL founder, Kurt Levin, and Abraham Maslow (famous for his Hierarchy of Human Needs.) This work added a much deeper understanding of the value of groups examining how they function together -- their dynamics -- as a key element in increasing their effectiveness.

There's much more about Warren's move to Lausanne, Switzerland and work with Europe's Institute for Management Development, provost at SUNY-Buffalo during the turbulent student revolutions of the sixties, and president of the University of Cincinnati. In these fascinating chapters, Warren models leadership transparency by openly sharing the high and low points of his personal and professional life that brought him huge stress, high growth, and deep insights. He also chronicles the near impossible demands of leadership, herding the very independent cats of academics and students.

After losing his job at the University of Cincinnati, Warren had a heart attack and spent months in the UK under the care of Charles and Elizabeth Handy (Charles is co-founder of the London School of Business and another outstanding leadership author I've followed for years.) With his 17 year marriage ended, Warren spent "a year at sea (the title of Chapter Seven)" living on a houseboat in Sausalito, CA figuring out what to do next. Then at age 55, hired as a professor of business administration and chair of the Leadership Institute at the University of California in Los Angeles, he began three decades of what he feels have been the most productive and happiest of his life. He went on to write a string of bestselling and landmark books drawing from and adding to the themes: "the nature of leadership, the importance of creative collaboration, how organizations and other groups work, how to effect change, the need to reinvent oneself periodically, and how to create cultures of candor."

Still Surprised is a very insightful and inspiring book for leadership/organization development geeks like me. If you're familiar with Warren's work, it fills in much background to his thinking and provides historical context to these fields. The very personal and open narration of his life journey lays out universal lessons for all of us to reflect upon and learn from.
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