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Greenleaf Book Group
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Don't Lead Alone

Think. Act. Lead. It seems simple enough. But understanding your desired impact and how it fits into a larger picture, connecting your work to others and finding new collaborators, and bringing those collaborators together and moving them in a unified direction is never easy. Governments, businesses, and nonprofits all have unique approaches and ideas that many of us learn through our work. Yet, we rarely consider the skills needed to create and maintain the partnerships between them. Most of us learn those skills through trial, error, and often, failure. Worse, we typically stay in our self-reinforcing silos, sharing perspectives and frustrations with like-minded people, limiting our vision of what our work can become. By partnering with other sectors, we combine and adapt approaches to solve complex problems, and leaders in any industry can create large-scale change. Cleveland Justis and Daniel Student share a road map for effective partnerships that increase impact and profitability. Using real-life examples and practice exercises, the authors teach how to acquire and use skills to solve complex problems and propel your organization forward by combining a multitude of perspectives, split into three sections: Think Like a System, Act Like a Network, and Lead Like a Movement. It’s time to get out of our silos. Don’t lead alone.

“Coming together is what it takes to address ‘wicked’ problems,” Justis and Student note in this innovative guide to leadership in a time of societal upheaval, to preparing organizations for the challenges of an uncertain future, and to enacting real change through collaboration and "recombinant innovations'', which is the process of repurposing and refashioning successful ideas in different ways in different fields and circumstances. They make a powerful case for new leadership strategies, with an emphasis on intersectionality and networking while building partnerships among businesses, the government, and nonprofit organizations—and lay out practical steps to making such collaborations succeed. Don't Lead Alone draws on fresh case studies and the authors’ own experience to demonstrate the urgency—and some best practices—for working in tandem with multiple branches of leadership teams.

The subtitle’s imperatives—"Think Like a System,” "Act Like a Network,” "Lead Like a Movement"—serve both as the authors’ message and the text’s organizational foundation. Forming an easy-to-follow road map, each section is a building block to creating and leading within a constantly evolving network to build a better, adaptable, diverse team. "One of the advantages of acting like a network is that not only does it bring in new people, but it also brings in new tools and skills,” the authors note, with their customary precision and lucidity. Exploring ideals such as code-mixing, taking risks, managing secret agendas, and writing with inviting directness but also thoughtful thoroughness, Justis and Student provide a wealth of guidance for handling the complex dynamics that come along with building expansive, collaborative networks.

Entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders, government officials, and many others in leadership roles will find much unique, forward-thinking, highly practical insight here. While organizations are a team effort, the authors demonstrate throughout that leadership roles are too often thought of as an individual task. Don't Lead Alone turns this idea on its head, offering both inspiration and nuts-and-bolts tools for moving toward a collaborative approach.

Takeaway: This innovative leadership guide bursts with insight and practical suggestions for collaboration.

Great for fans of: Eric Coryell’s Revolutionize Teamwork, Gretchen Anderson’s Mastering Collaboration.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A