Bootstrap Leadership 9781605093451

50 Ways to Break Out, Take Charge and Move Up

Bootstrap Leadership
Do you want to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and really earn your next promotion?
  • Arneson was named one of America's top leadership consultants by Leadership Excellence magazine in 2008
  • Enables leaders at all levels to design a complete self-directed leadership development program
  • Concise, accessible, practical and flexible

Leadership training can be inconsistent in the best of times. In tough economic times it's often one of the first things that even the most progressive companies cut back on. And you can't necessarily depend on finding that mentor you've been looking for either. Now more than ever, if you're going to advance your career you need to lift yourself up by your own bootstraps. But not entirely: Steve Arneson is here to give you a boost.

In Bootstrap Leadership Arneson, one of America's top leadership coaches, offers a complete blueprint for designing your own personal leadership development program. In fifty brief, to-the-point chapters he provides practical ideas and techniques that have been proven successful in his work with executives at Fortune 500 companies like AOL, PepsiCo and Capital One. Surprisingly, most of these ideas cost nothing to implement, nor do they require any elaborate equipment or infrastructure-they're open to anyone with sufficient initiative, drive and ambition.

The chapters are entirely self-contained and can be read in any order and at any pace. You can read one a week and you'll have a comprehensive year-long self-improvement program (with two weeks off for vacation). Or you can choose a chapter that speaks to a particular challenge you're facing at work or one that just seems intriguing. There's a self-assessment at the beginning of the book to suggest specific chapters that fit your developmental needs.

No one is going to just hand that next promotion. You have to earn it by developing and demonstrating your leadership skills. And ultimately it's not just about you-true leaders make everyone around them better. Bootstrap Leadership shows you how.

  • Arneson was named one of America’s top leadership consultants by Leadership Excellence magazine in 2008
  • Enables leaders at all levels to design a complete self-directed leadership development program
  • Concise, accessible, practical and flexible

 

Leadership training can be inconsistent in the best of times. In tough economic times it’s often one of the first things that even the most progressive companies cut back on. And you can’t necessarily depend on finding that mentor you’ve been looking for either. Now more than ever, if you’re going to advance your career you need to lift yourself up by your own bootstraps. But not entirely: Steve Arneson is here to give you a boost.

In Bootstrap Leadership Arneson, one of America’s top leadership coaches, offers a complete blueprint for designing your own personal leadership development program. In fifty brief, to-the-point chapters he provides practical ideas and techniques that have been proven successful in his work with executives at Fortune 500 companies like AOL, PepsiCo and Capital One. Surprisingly, most of these ideas cost nothing to implement, nor do they require any elaborate equipment or infrastructure—they’re open to anyone with sufficient initiative, drive and ambition.

The chapters are entirely self-contained and can be read in any order and at any pace. You can read one a week and you’ll have a comprehensive year-long self-improvement program (with two weeks off for vacation). Or you can choose a chapter that speaks to a particular challenge you’re facing at work or one that just seems intriguing. There’s a self-assessment at the beginning of the book to suggest specific chapters that fit your developmental needs.

No one is going to just hand that next promotion. You have to earn it by developing and demonstrating your leadership skills. And ultimately it’s not just about you—true leaders make everyone around them better. Bootstrap Leadership shows you how.

Read more and meet author below

Read An Excerpt

Paperback:

$20.95$14.67

Additional Links:

Endorsements
Bulk Discounts
Rights Information


Featured Books


More About This Book

Overview

Do you want to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and really earn your next promotion?

  • Arneson was named one of America's top leadership consultants by Leadership Excellence magazine in 2008
  • Enables leaders at all levels to design a complete self-directed leadership development program
  • Concise, accessible, practical and flexible

Leadership training can be inconsistent in the best of times. In tough economic times it's often one of the first things that even the most progressive companies cut back on. And you can't necessarily depend on finding that mentor you've been looking for either. Now more than ever, if you're going to advance your career you need to lift yourself up by your own bootstraps. But not entirely: Steve Arneson is here to give you a boost.

In Bootstrap Leadership Arneson, one of America's top leadership coaches, offers a complete blueprint for designing your own personal leadership development program. In fifty brief, to-the-point chapters he provides practical ideas and techniques that have been proven successful in his work with executives at Fortune 500 companies like AOL, PepsiCo and Capital One. Surprisingly, most of these ideas cost nothing to implement, nor do they require any elaborate equipment or infrastructure-they're open to anyone with sufficient initiative, drive and ambition.

The chapters are entirely self-contained and can be read in any order and at any pace. You can read one a week and you'll have a comprehensive year-long self-improvement program (with two weeks off for vacation). Or you can choose a chapter that speaks to a particular challenge you're facing at work or one that just seems intriguing. There's a self-assessment at the beginning of the book to suggest specific chapters that fit your developmental needs.

No one is going to just hand that next promotion. You have to earn it by developing and demonstrating your leadership skills. And ultimately it's not just about you-true leaders make everyone around them better. Bootstrap Leadership shows you how.

  • Arneson was named one of America’s top leadership consultants by Leadership Excellence magazine in 2008
  • Enables leaders at all levels to design a complete self-directed leadership development program
  • Concise, accessible, practical and flexible

 

Leadership training can be inconsistent in the best of times. In tough economic times it’s often one of the first things that even the most progressive companies cut back on. And you can’t necessarily depend on finding that mentor you’ve been looking for either. Now more than ever, if you’re going to advance your career you need to lift yourself up by your own bootstraps. But not entirely: Steve Arneson is here to give you a boost.

In Bootstrap Leadership Arneson, one of America’s top leadership coaches, offers a complete blueprint for designing your own personal leadership development program. In fifty brief, to-the-point chapters he provides practical ideas and techniques that have been proven successful in his work with executives at Fortune 500 companies like AOL, PepsiCo and Capital One. Surprisingly, most of these ideas cost nothing to implement, nor do they require any elaborate equipment or infrastructure—they’re open to anyone with sufficient initiative, drive and ambition.

The chapters are entirely self-contained and can be read in any order and at any pace. You can read one a week and you’ll have a comprehensive year-long self-improvement program (with two weeks off for vacation). Or you can choose a chapter that speaks to a particular challenge you’re facing at work or one that just seems intriguing. There’s a self-assessment at the beginning of the book to suggest specific chapters that fit your developmental needs.

No one is going to just hand that next promotion. You have to earn it by developing and demonstrating your leadership skills. And ultimately it’s not just about you—true leaders make everyone around them better. Bootstrap Leadership shows you how.

Back to Top ↑

Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Steve Arneson


Steve Arneson is a nationally recognized speaker, executive coach, and leadership consultant. He founded Arneson Leadership Consulting in 2007 to provide practical solutions for individuals and companies looking to enhance their leadership impact. Prior to that, Steve served as the head of leadership development and talent management at divisions of PepsiCo and Yum Brands, and later at AOL, Time Warner Cable, and Capital One.

Steve has been named one of America’s “Top 100 Thought Leaders on Leadership” and one of the country’s “Top 10 Leadership Consultants” by Leadership Excellence magazine. As a speaker and seminar leader, Steve has inspired thousands of leaders worldwide to take charge of their own development, working with the principles in his first book, Bootstrap Leadership. Steve holds a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Kansas, a Ph.D in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Tulsa, and a leadership coaching certificate from Georgetown University. Steve lives with his family in Boulder, Colorado, and can be reached at steve@arnesonleadership.com.

Back to Top ↑


Foreword by Dave Ulrich

Preface

Introduction

Part One: How Are You Showing Up as a Leader?

Chapter 1: Where Have You Been?

Chapter 2: Build a Spider Web

Chapter 3: Spin Around in a Circle

Chapter 4: Your Own Private Detective

Chapter 5: When the Student is Ready

Chapter 6: Just Like the CEO

Chapter 7: Get in the Weight Room

Chapter 8: Go Back in Time

Chapter 9: Is There Another Way?

Chapter 10: How Am I Driving?

Part Two: Add Something New to Your Game

Chapter 11: Break Out the Dictionary

Chapter 12: Put It in Writing

Chapter 13: One Year at a Time

Chapter 14: What Is It that Only You Can Do?

Chapter 15: The Whistle and the Clipboard

Chapter 16: Hit the Books

Chapter 17: The Best Thinking Tools Ever Invented

Chapter 18: I Have a Theory

Chapter 19: Once Upon a Time

Chapter 20: This Is Me

Part Three: Get Curious about the World Around You

Chapter 21: Take a Trip Around the World

Chapter 22: So This is What We Do

Chapter 23: Keep Tabs on Your Friends

Chapter 24: That Thing Called the Internet

Chapter 25: Who Are These People?

Chapter 26: Ask the Experts

Chapter 27: Scout the Enemy

Chapter 28: Go Back to School

Chapter 29: Road Trip!

Chapter 30: Bring It Home

Part Four: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Chapter 31: Get Outside the Circle

Chapter 32: You're Right and I'm Wrong

Chapter 33: Become a Member

Chapter 34: Share Your Story

Chapter 35: Tell the Boss You're Bored

Chapter 36: Love the Numbers

Chapter 37: Build the Business Base

Chapter 38: A Healthy You

Chapter 39: Write Your Own Screenplay

Chapter 40: Question Everything

Part Five: It's Not About You

Chapter 41: It's All About Them

Chapter 42: Give Something Back

Chapter 43: What the Boss Needs to Hear

Chapter 44: Extend Your Reach

Chapter 45: Your Most Precious Resource

Chapter 46: Step Up to the Podium

Chapter 47: Talk to Yourself

Chapter 48: Join the Volunteer Army

Chapter 49: The Best Advice Ever

Chapter 50: Welcome to the New Guard

Where Do You Go From Here?

Figures

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

About the Author

Back to Top ↑

Bootstrap Leadership

Introduction

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE DECISION to develop yourself into a more effective leader! You are about to embark on an exciting journey, one that will reward you with more knowledge, improved skills, and enhanced maturity as a leader. By picking up this book, you’ve decided to take charge of your own leadership development and, in the process, create your own personalized learning agenda. Given today’s economic climate and pace of change, you can’t wait for the organization to bring leadership training to you; you have to be willing to work on your own game. You can’t rely solely on your boss for coaching and mentoring; you need to take charge of your own growth as a leader. And you certainly can’t take just one class a year and consider that your development plan. No, you need a broader, deeper learning strategy and a customized plan of action. In short, you need to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. And you need to do it now.

If You’re Not Moving Forward, You’re Moving Backward

We are living in extraordinary times. The world is becoming more complicated every day, and we are becoming increasingly reliant on one key ingredient, at all levels of business and society, to help us make sense of the complexities. That critical factor is leadership. Whether it’s the relentless march of technology, global competitiveness, sustainability, or innovation, strong leadership has never been in greater demand. But you know this, because you’re living it. You’re on the front lines—connecting with customers, reducing costs, creating green strategies, and motivating and inspiring your employees. If you’re a leader (at any level) in an organization today—whether a large or small company, a professional services firm, a school, or a nonprofit or government agency—you must continue to learn and grow or you won’t keep up. No matter where you are, if you don’t take charge of your development, who will?

Make no mistake: It’s competitive out there, and one of the ways to stay ahead of the competition is to constantly develop your skills. Think of it this way: How would you like to come to work tomorrow with the same skills you had ten years ago? Most of us wouldn’t last a day! As you’re well aware, right behind you are plenty of bright, aggressive managers who would love to move up and take your place. If you’re not willing to evolve as a leader, they certainly are. So what’s it going to be?

The fact is, if you manage people or have a leadership role in your organization, you have to constantly add new capabilities to your toolkit. This isn’t about maintaining the status quo anymore—things have changed. This is about you staying ahead of the curve and developing your leadership skills so you’ll be ready for challenges that you haven’t even dreamed of yet. This is about taking control of your own development and establishing your own leadership brand—one that says: “I care about becoming a better leader.”

What’s Your Legacy?

Why lead at all? What’s so remarkable about being a leader? There are many ways to contribute in this world that have nothing to do with leading people. While that’s true, there’s something magical about being the driving force that helps a group of people accomplish something extraordinary. My philosophy on leadership is that it’s all about the people, not the task. Yes, you’re trying to get stuff done; that’s why the team or organization exists. But leaders don’t lead buildings or computer systems or budgets; they lead people. For me, leadership is about helping others to be the best they can be.

In my coaching practice, I often pose this question to senior executives: “What do you want your legacy to be?” It’s a popular question, yet many leaders struggle to answer it. Generally, if they have a response, it’s something along the lines of, “Someone who got things done and took care of his people along the way.” OK, that’s a pretty good answer. But unless you’ve invented something pretty amazing or orchestrated a big merger, no one’s going to remember your specific results; what they will remember is what it felt like to work with you. Don’t believe me? What were you working on five years ago this month? How about two years ago? Does that brilliant spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation jump right to mind? How about this one: Who was your boss two years ago? Who was on your team two years ago? Easier to remember, yes? The fact is, most people will remember your leadership in visceral terms (what it felt like to work for you) rather than a list of your specific accomplishments.

Here’s an illustration of what I mean. When I facilitate leadership development programs, I ask the participants to go through a “best boss/worst boss” exercise. I put the participants in small groups and ask them to share stories about the best boss they have ever had and how these leaders made them feel. Their answers are almost all about personal connections; how the boss challenged, coached, empowered, and enabled them to succeed. You can feel the positive energy in the room as people share stories of bosses who helped them grow and develop. The mood shifts, though, when they share stories of the worst boss they ever had; metaphorically, it’s like a shadow has been cast over the room. I’ve heard some really depressing bad boss stories, and they mainly have to do with people being ignored, humiliated, or mistreated by their boss. The common denominator is clear: “They didn’t care about me as a person.”

How do you want to be remembered by your direct reports? As one of their best bosses ever, or as the bad punch line in a “worst boss I ever had” story? It’s up to you. Are you establishing a compelling vision and creating a winning strategy? Are you setting a high bar for excellence? Are you challenging your people to grow and develop? Are you delegating effectively, so you can spend your time leading as opposed to doing? Are you stretching your leadership across the organization? If the answer is “not as well as I could be,” then read this book. It will help point you in the right direction.

Improve Something Every Day

It is possible to get a little better each day as a leader. If you’re willing to put in the time, you really can learn, practice, and apply new skills (or polish established ones) on a consistent basis. Your evolution as a leader never ends; you can always gain more wisdom, patience and maturity. You can always become a better listener or a more effective coach. And the more you grow, the more confidence you’ll gain as a leader. As you gain confidence, you’ll be willing to keep improving, and that will make you a more effective leader. Growth, confidence, effectiveness—now that’s a winning formula that you can get excited about! You can do this; you can take your leadership to a higher level and, in the process, grow and develop your team, too. Start by taking the following self-assessment, and start putting together your own customized leadership development plan!

Bootstrap Leadership:
Self-Assessment

Bootstrap Leadership includes fifty ideas, tools, and techniques for developing your leadership skills. Because every leader has different strengths and opportunities, this self-assessment is designed to help you identify which chapters of the book target your particular development needs.

Circle the rating that best describes your response to each item, and consult the scoring guide for recommended sections and chapters that can help you break out, take charge, and move up.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Bootstrap Leadership:
Self-Assessment Scoring Guide

Items in the self-assessment correspond directly to the fifty Bootstrap Leadership chapters. For example, item 35 represents the content found in Chapter 35, and so on. For items you rated a 1, 2, or 3, focus on the corresponding chapters to find tips, ideas, and recommendations for improving your leadership skills.

You can also target your development needs on a broader level by looking at how you rated yourself across the ten items that make up one of the following categories:

Items 1–10: How Are You Showing Up as a Leader?

• This section includes ideas for gathering input and feedback about your leadership style.

Items 11–20: Add Something New to Your Game

• This section includes recommendations for adding new skills to your leadership toolkit.

Items 21–30: Get Curious about the World Around You

• This section is about adding a new perspective and looking past the four walls of your office.

Items 31–40: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

• This section challenges you to take a risk and break out of your normal routine.

Items 41–50: It’s Not about You

• This section offers you ideas for making your leadership all about others.

Back to Top ↑

Endorsements

"With a refreshingly simple approach to leadership development, Steve Arneson has written an engaging, practical guide. If you want to take your leadership game to another level, Bootstrap Leadership will show you the way."

--Tom Mathews, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Time Warner Cable

Back to Top ↑