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There have been many thousands of books and seminars on the subject of leaders and leadership over the past few decades. Most make no effort to explain that leadership is amoral. It is a power over others that can be used for good or for ill. People are subjected to all kinds of abuse by their leaders organizationally or politically, and as children, they are being poorly led by their parents and teachers. The original concept of leadership was that it would be used for good purposesthat those who purported to be leaders would have virtues that would necessarily be good for the people, for their communities, and for the larger culture. This is obviously no longer the case. There has been plenty of talk about successful leaders, but successful leaders are not necessarily good leaders. Merely making the numbers or being successful in some quantitative way does not imply good leadership. This book, which has already attracted wide attention because it is so outspoken, unpacks the concept of leadership. Once one knows how to do this, identifying the good from the bad becomes much easier. The benefits to all of us as individuals and to the world we all share can be remarkable. It is time to stop idolizing our leaders. It is time to call them to task. It is time to help them become what they should be. The Good Leader can do this for them and for you.
Lee Thayer is a scholar and writer known around the world for his many years of research and publications on the human condition. He has taught or lectured at many of the most prestigious universities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, and China. He has been a Fulbright professor in Finland, a Ford Foundation Fellow at Harvard, and was twice awarded a Danforth Foundation Teacher Award for excellence in his teaching. His background is in music (composing and arranging), the humanities, engineering, and social and clinical psychology. He was one of the founders of the field of communication as a university discipline, and is a Past President of what was at that time the largest association of human communication scholars in the world. He was also the founding editor of the influential journal Communication, which was devoted to pragmatic insights into the human condition by the top thinkers in the world. His early work consisted of 14 books of research on the connection between communication and the human condition. More recently, he has summarized his long life of research into all matters human and social in such books as Communication: A Radically New Approach to Lifes Most Perplexing Problem, two collections of essays, On Communication and Pieces: Toward a Revisioning of Communication/Life. The present Doing Life; A Pragmatist Manifesto is a summary of his innovative perspectives on this subject for past 60 years. There is also his proposed alternative to the reach of biological evolution into the social sciences, Explaining Things: Inventing Ourselves and our Worlds. He lives in Western North Carolina with his artist/wife Kate Thayer. He is also renowned for his current work as a CEO coach of choice.