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The Versatile Leader

Make the Most of Your Strengths—Without Overdoing It 

by Bob Kaplan and Rob Kaiser

We all know the phrase, "strengths can become weaknesses." But many leaders don't readily grasp how placing great faith in what they are good at can cause them to go overboard and get out of balance. Yet all around us we find lopsided leaders—"strong leaders" who fail to empower their staff, results-oriented leaders who lose sight of the bigger picture. The list goes on, illustrating how a strength taken too far crowds out the complementary skill and limits the leader's versatility.

In this groundbreaking new book, Bob Kaplan and Rob Kaiser introduce an innovative approach to identifying and correcting lopsidedness in leaders. Readers will discover how to make optimal use of their strengths and avoid getting trapped in a one-dimensional mindset that results in "too much of a good thing."

Based on twenty years of research and extensive work with senior leaders, The Versatile Leader is packed with illustrative cases and practical applications. It is equally useful for self-improvement and for coaching other managers.

Managers who become versatile will be able to continually adjust their behavior and deftly apply the right approach, to the right degree for the situation.¿They will boost their personal effectiveness and enhance the organization's vitality and productivity.

The Versatile Leader is available here.


"The Versatile Leader, offers a valuable mapping of the terrain of outstanding leadership, and useful roadmap for how to get there."

—Daniel Goleman, author, Emotional Intelligence

"Transforms ancient wisdom of 'know thyself' and 'nothing in excess' into practical tools to help modern leaders increase their versatility and effectiveness."

—Wendell Weeks, CEO, Corning, Inc.

"Managers will quickly understand how to apply this book to themselves. It's about balancing strengths—when to turn the dial up on something you're good at and when to dial it down when it's not needed. This concept, with the Leadership Versatility Index 360, is the next chapter in understanding your impact on others."

—Maureen Nash, director of learning & organizational development, TYCO Engineered Products & Service

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