Monday, March 4th, 2024

Leadership Agility — The Book

Winner of the Integral Leadership Review’s Readers’ Choice Award for
best leadership book of the year.
(See why).

Selected by LeadershipNow as one of the
best 10 leadership books of the year.

Leadership Agility is described by reviewers as a “groundbreaking” book that “sets a new gold standard for the leadership field.” Based on five years of research and three decades of work with leaders, it has received kudos from managers, leadership coaches, and corporate leadership development professionals. Its key findings:

  • Leadership agility is not a single competency. It’s the master skill-set needed for sustained success in today’s increasingly complex, fast-paced changing business environment.
  • Leaders grow through a series of predictable, learnable “agility levels” that correspond to well-documented stages of personal development.
  • As leaders develop through these agility levels, they become more visionary, collaborative, and creative — and more proactive in learning from their experience.
  • Only 5-10% of today’s managers have mastered the level of agility needed for consistent effectiveness in the turbulent era of global competition.

Richly illustrated with stories and written in an engaging, down-to-earth style, this book is designed as a roadmap that shows you how to bring increased agility to the initiatives you take every day — whether you want to improve working relationships, develop your team, or improve your organization. Reading this book will confirm your best instincts and introduce you to new forms of leadership practiced by only a small vanguard of highly agile leaders.

Order the book

Order the book or the Kindle edition at a discount of about 1/3 off.

See LeadershipNow’s useful review.

What Leadership Experts Are Saying About This Book

Leadership Agility is a unique and extraordinarily important contribution to our understanding of what it takes to lead in a world of rapid change and increasing complexity. They show us with vivid real-life examples how leaders grow, that this growth is essential to achieving higher levels of success, and that agility is the new master skill of leadership. I highly recommend this book.

Jim Kouzes, coauthor of the best-selling book, The Leadership Challenge

In an era of turmoil and complexity, Leadership Agility is a breakthrough in thinking about leadership competencies. Joiner and Josephs have achieved a creative synthesis of best practices in strategic thinking, emotional intelligence, problem-solving, and action learning. Profusely illustrated with clear examples from real-life leaders, this groundbreaking book will be welcomed by both the line leader and the leadership development professional.

David Giber, Senior Vice-President, consulting and leadership development,
Linkage, Inc.

As executives operating in an often chaotic business environment, we know instinctively that our company’s ability to zig and zag is critical. Leadership Agility takes that instinctive understanding and defines it, measures it, and shows us how to develop it in ourselves and others. This is a timely, thought-provoking, and very important book on leadership.

Betsy Bernard, former President, AT&T

An instant classic and a significant contribution to the leadership field. A must-read for leaders who aspire to a higher level of awareness and contribution.

John Fayed, CEO of Business Book Reviews

Leadership Agility gave me the inspiration I needed to respond creatively and decisively to several of my current leadership dilemmas. Many readers are bound to be similarly inspired. The clear, specific guidance it provides makes it a “playbook” that managers and leaders will read closely and return to again and again.

Bill Torbert, Professor Emeritus of Management at the Boston College Carroll School of Management; author, Action Inquiry: The secret of timely and transforming leadership

Leadership Agility gives you an insightful, research-based framework that helps you develop as a leader. This book is not about reading and agreeing/disagreeing, it’s about learning and doing.

Patrick Canavan, former Senior Vice-President of Global Governance, Motorola

Joiner and Josephs provide a clear, detailed road map that helps pinpoint where you are on your leadership journey and show you how to get where you want to go.

Lee Bolman, author, The Wizard and the Warrior; Marion Bloch/Missouri Chair in Leadership, Bloch School of Business and Public Administration, University of Missouri-Kansas City

What Leadership Coaches Are Saying About This Book

Great coaching on how to develop leadership agility! Probably the most important competency for leaders to have in today’s rapidly changing world.

Marshall Goldsmith, author, Coaching for Leadership

Using the Leadership Agility framework has been the most significant extension of my coaching practice in many years. It has proven very accessible for my clients, as it opens the mind and generates curiosity for ways of leading they could not see previously.

Hermann Keuster

Leadership Agility is a breakthrough book, a deep artesian well overflowing with innovative insights and practical strategies for leaders, their coaches, and the scholars who serve them. If you lead an organization, you know that your agility — how adept you are at dealing effectively and wisely with change and complexity — is the name of the game. Leadership Agility is like a playbook for taking your game to a whole new level. With twenty-two real-life stories, this is a great read — the book I keep putting in the hands of my CEO friends. If you coach leaders, as I do, Leadership Agility is like a GPS system for navigating the fast-changing terrain. This book enables you to pinpoint for your clients their current location and to map out with precision what their next destination is. Part Three is especially useful in this regard. An invaluable tool! … Leadership Agility… constitutes a fresh rethinking of what stage-development psychology can offer leadership theory and practice. The range and depth of this synthesis are stunning, reflecting the long and varied careers of its two authors. … In a word, Leadership Agility has set a new gold standard in the leadership field, making it a primary resource for leaders, coaches, and scholars alike.

Jim Silva

I am a voracious reader of leadership books, and this is my favorite new title. What makes Leadership Agility so valuable is its clarity and insight in describing the different stages leaders move through as they grow in their leadership. I found myself having lots of “Aha” moments, as it helped me understand the various leaders I’d helped and why some things worked while others didn’t. … I felt the greatest contribution was the articulation of how leaders develop both from the inside-out and the outside-in. Most books approach leadership development as either mastering a set of critical skills and behaviors (outside-in) or becoming a more authentic, self-aware, or emotionally intelligent leader (inside-out). But I felt this book wonderfully addressed both sides of the equation. Upon completing the book, I saw immediate applications to coaching, consulting, and training leaders.

David Chow

Whoever heard of a book that imparts so much insightful and serious content in an engaging, story-driven format! In what I know is a rare achievement, it presents leadership within a developmental context, and makes it accessible, acceptable, and actionable, for leaders in all walks of life. … We have in our hands, a highly actionable tool. For me, the most compelling aspect of the book lies in its clarity; its ability to explain succinctly, what actually grows within us, when we evolve as human beings. I am very excited about this work and look forward to having it open new doors for many of us, everywhere.

Ameeta Kaul

I have read Leadership Agility very thoroughly over the past months, and I must say I am still awed by the richness and new insight offered by the authors. This is a most significant contribution not only to our understanding of leadership, but also to the theoretical understanding of adult development in general. The latter aspect of the book risks going unnoticed because the authors have aimed at reaching an audience of practitioners, using well-chosen case stories and an accessible writing style. The book is very useful not only for leaders, but perhaps in particular for coaches, organizational consultants and change agents. However, it is a veritable goldmine for people like me, who are interested in developing a keener and more differentiated understanding of what adult development really is.

Thomas Jordan

Many books on management development can (in my opinion) often be distilled into a 1-2 page synopsis as the concepts are just that simple. However, I cannot say that about Leadership Agility as nearly every page has many nuggets of practical wisdom. It is worth reading the whole thing. What I especially appreciate is the naming of both Awareness and Intent as a progressive unfolding skill in the agile leader. At each level of development, the person in consideration is able to increasingly step back and take a broader perspective on both themselves and the context-situation-world they operate in. … The objectives that previously satisfied them (increasing bottom-line results, increasing market-share, professional progress, etc.) are supportive (i.e., adequate but not totally sufficient) of deeper objectives of serving the development of people and the improvement of the environment both inside and outside the organization. … I highly recommend Leadership Agility to those in leadership roles, consultants, coaches, and anyone else who supports others in a leadership capacity. I know it will be a core part of my library going forward as it has changed my own thinking as a consultant and coach of executives and line managers.

James Tracy Puett

I’ve read quite a few books on leadership, and typically approach new ones somewhat skeptically. Leadership Agility really surprised me, and resonates very strongly with what I view as the critical elements to effective 21st century leadership.

Dan Haile

What distinguishes Leadership Agility is a thorough examination of the supportive capacities that underlie maturing leadership skills at the various stages of development. Through a variety of case studies and other examples, the authors are able to demonstrate the way these supportive capacities develop and mature as a leader moves from one stage to the next. Leadership Agility is… an actionable framework, immediately applicable to coaching and team development work. Readers of Ken Wilber will also find Leadership Agility to be a relevant contribution to the emerging dialogue about integral leadership.

Matt Brubaker

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