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Publisher's Summary

You aspire to lead with greater impact. The problem is you're busy executing on today's demands. You know you have to carve out time from your day job to build your leadership skills, but it's easy to let immediate problems and old mind-sets get in the way.

Herminia Ibarra - an expert on professional leadership and development and a renowned professor at INSEAD, a leading international business school - shows how managers and executives at all levels can step up to leadership by making small but crucial changes in their jobs, their networks, and themselves. In Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader, she offers advice to help you:

  • Redefine your job in order to make more strategic contributions
  • Diversify your network so that you connect to and learn from a bigger range of stakeholders
  • Become more playful with your self-concept, allowing your familiar - and possibly outdated - leadership style to evolve

Ibarra turns the usual "think first and then act" philosophy on its head by arguing that doing these three things will help you learn through action and will increase what she calls your outsight - the valuable external perspective you gain from direct experiences and experimentation. As opposed to insight, outsight will then help change the way you think as a leader: about what kind of work is important; how you should invest your time; why and which relationships matter in informing and supporting your leadership; and, ultimately, who you want to become.

Packed with self-assessments and practical advice to help define your most pressing leadership challenges, this book will help you devise a plan of action to become a better leader and move your career to the next level. It's time to learn by doing.

©2015 Herminia Ibarra (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good information, but not as an audio book

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, but I would recommend buying the print book instead or at least as a companion.

What did you like best about this story?

Good information about the practices that will set you up for success. As the title indicates, one must do the things a leader does in order to be a leader.

How could the performance have been better?

It was very hard to assimilate the information as it was narrated and this book has a lot of figures that do not come across well in the narration. I would recommend that the narrator speak more naturally or as if giving a lecture and recognize that some portions are anecdotal and should be delivered as a story. Some details are more important that others and should be emphasized, but not every sentence should be spoken with impactful emphasis. Finally, speak just a little faster and with a more natural cadence.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No. This is a learning book, not a story book.

Any additional comments?

This book has a lot of figures that are referenced in the text. It also has questions and assessments that really do not come through well as an audio book. I enjoyed listening to this book, but really wish that I had purchased the print version as well. This would be much better if the audio was available as a kindle companion.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Advice for Aspiring Leaders

This book contains some simple and straightforward tips for positioning yourself to grow into a leadership position.
Such information is essential to people at all levels in an organization. The key issue is to grow your network and use it properly.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great content but not a fan of the performance

I thought the content was very insightful and helpful but the reader sounded like William Shatner reading the nightly news. It was just distracting. I would recommend listening to the clip before you buy, but if you decide against the audiobook, the physical book is definitely worth it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 10-13-17

Flips traditional leadership training in its head

Excellent book for creating change in your career or role. Ibarra's primary lesson is that changing your behaviour will be far more impactful in helping you change your thinking, than trying to change your behaviour based on thinking differently. Our actions are more often driven by our experiences, not our knowledge, so the best way to grow is to get new experiences, not by reading books (besides this one I guess).

The book has some great examples, stories and some actionable steps to help you on this new journey.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Thought provoking!

This book gave me much insight into the change processes or transformations we undergo and the appropriate activities to encourage these transformations to occur. This book was of value not only for my own professional growth but also in my work with transformational change. I'd highly recommend this book!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding book

This book was written beautifully, it recommends how to become an effective leader. Its not the typical self self-help book that tells you to focus only on yourself but instead focus new experiences then reflect on those new experiences. Great but looking to step into leadership and for those looking to expand the leadership capabilities.

Sly Gittens

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Clearly defines that old wont bring you new

In a social skills there is no other way then to fake it until you make it. The difference is that when you are joung, they say that you are searching your self, but when you ard older, they say that this is no you. Well if you want to advance you need to learn and the only way to do that is to fall a few times.

Also if somebody needs more on this social stuff and step-by-step guides, check out some David DeAngello or RSD pickup artist groups. They are masters of how to learn new behavior. And as bussiness and pua material have 70% same material there is a lot for business people in there too.
For example, I was wussy 10 years ago tgat I started with upgrading my self, now I have my company and I'm a proudly standing on my feed. So print and put this on your wall: "Change is good!" and don't be scared of falling.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book for experienced leaders

I have been in a leadership role for over a decade. This book was equal parts validation and inspiration. It confirmed many of my decisions and would have probably accelerated my learning if read earlier in my career.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Simple, yet useful and profound

I am in my third year of self transformation into a leadership role. I was shocked to see how predictable the stages I have experienced in this process actually are. This book is a classic paradigm shifter. Important work in the field of leadership by a brilliant mind. My sincere gratitude and deep admiration to Professor Ibarra.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great if you are at right point for it

I've read this at a point that I'm moving from a head of unit role to senior management team. It's perfect for me and the things I'm thinking about. If that's you it's a 5, if not perhaps a 3 or 4. It's a link piece book built upon what it took to be a good manager but will prevent you from letting go to lead at a level above functional responsibility. It's a post-MBA book if you ask me, as the it challenges you to drop some of those teachings. I'll be re-reading it a few times over the next year.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 12-15-16

truly insightful

This is a very good book for practical advice on leadership but is also well supported by research and case studies.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Federico
  • 06-04-18

unconventional

extremely interesting and unconventional. requires focus as some concepts can be difficult to grasp straightway. worth it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • arp
  • 04-09-18

useful insights. a bit short 😀

would have been great to get some tips and tricks. still a very decent book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Moutasem
  • 03-23-18

Awesome book.

Awesome book. Very helpful in validating your thinking if you're already stepping up into a leadership role, or to set your expectations for the journey to becoming a leader. My favourite part is chapter 4 where it helps you understand your new possible personalities and how to tackle the imposter feelings you get while exploring new parts of yourself. The practical steps and evaluations are also easy to follow and very useful.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • MR
  • 01-03-18

poor, unstimulated.

struggled to take much from this and didn't enjoy the delivery or the content. was expecting a lot more!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-20-17

Excellent book for growing leadership capability

This is a must for anyone like me who has struggled not only to build networks but to understand why they matter and how to break down the barriers that prevent you from acting. it also helps develop wider skills by putting across the idea of trying out new behaviours to develop more effective leadership styles through test and learn rather than starting with the desired end state as that only becomes clear later in the journey.