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Discovering Leadership

Discovering Leadership
Designing Your Success

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January 2019 | 504 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

An introductory leadership textbook that guides students through the concept of leadership by design, a theory that involves planning each step of their leadership development, focusing on practical skills and valuable attributes that will maximize their leadership success now and into the future.


Organized around five major design challenges, each challenge is explored in a stand-alone module. Students begin the leadership journey with themselves, understanding their own strengths, styles, and skills. The text moves on to relationships, exploring how leadership is a process that involves values, decision-making, motivation, and power. A module on others’ success unpacks the most effective practices of leadership and management, this is followed by a module on leading culture, teams, and community, before concluding with a section on how leaders can create lasting, positive change.


The book covers foundational leadership topics with a strong emphasis on skill building and helping develop CORE competencies: confidence, optimism, resiliency, and engagement. Students are encouraged to develop these skills through experiential learning, with multiple features in each chapter such as reflective and scenario-based exercises, and case studies of internationally recognized companies like Amazon and Proctor & Gamble, along with interviews with Fortune 500 Company CEOs.


There are online resources for instructors and students, which include: Test bank, PowerPoint slides, an instructor manual, teaching tips, answers to in-text questions, multimedia resources, quiz questions, and flashcards.

Suitable reading for first and second year undergraduates on Leadership, Introduction to Leadership, and Leading Organizations courses

About the Authors
Introduction and Foundations
Leadership Matters  
Organization of This Textbook: The Leadership by Design Framework  
Content: Topics and Special Features  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Chapter 1. A Framework for Leadership Success: Design and Your CORE
Designing and Leadership  
Designing Your Leadership by Building Your CORE  
Designing Your Leadership—First Step: Your Goals  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
You: Student and Designer of Your Own Leadership  
Chapter 2. Designing Your Perceptions of Leaders and Leadership
Your Brain Is a Lean, Mean, Pattern-Making Machine: You Construct Your World  
Misconceptions About Leaders and Leadership  
Effective Leaders Are _____: Characteristics and Traits  
Effective Leaders Can Do _____: Skills and Expertise  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Chapter 3. Designing Your Leadership Capacity
New Challenges . . . Need New Leadership . . . Need You  
New Leadership Skills in Demand  
Design Your Leadership Capacity: Highlighting Strengths  
Design Your Personal Leadership Brand  
Commit to a Journey to Accelerate Your Career  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Chapter 4. Your Values and Ethical Actions
Ethical Issues and the Student Experience  
Ethics—The Key Concepts  
The Roots of Moral Development  
The Ethical Challenges of Leadership  
Designing Your Ethical Leadership  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
The Leadership Challenge: Designing Leadership Relationships  
Chapter 5. Design Thinking and Brain Leading
Introduction: Designing Self to Designing Relationships  
Brain Leading in Six Dimensions  
Design Thinking for Your Leadership Toolbox  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Chapter 6. Decision-Making
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions in Leadership  
In Leadership, Decision-Making Is a Team Sport (Much of the Time)  
How Did We Get Here? This Was Not the Plan: Barriers to Decision-Making  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Chapter 7. Influence, Power, and Motivation
Forms of Influence  
Moving Individuals and Team From A to Z  
Gaining Power in Groups and Organizations  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Designing Others’ Success: The Other Engagement  
Chapter 8. Creativity, Problem-Solving, and Idea-Generating
Yes, You Really Are Creative  
Yes, You Have Problems  
Yes, Creativity Will Help (a Lot)  
Yes, You Can Generate Many, Many Ideas  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Chapter 9. Effective Practices for Leading Others to Success
Design for Followers’ Needs and Motivation  
Augment Leadership and Management Functions: When Multitasking Really Matters  
IGNITE as a Leader  
DELIVER as a Manager  
Design Others’ Success With a Situational Leadership Approach  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Chapter 10. Utilizing Change Processes Effectively
Introduction: Change Happens—Lead It or Not  
Identify Levels of Change  
Change Yourself Before You Can Change Others  
Barriers to Change  
Leading Change  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Strategic Planning  
Chapter 11. Culture
The Way We Do Things Around Here: Understanding Culture  
The Leader’s Role and Organizational Culture  
Designing Organizational Culture  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Chapter 12. Leading a Team
Introduction: Designing Teams Within the Organizational Culture  
Just What Is a Team?  
Essentials of Great Teams  
From Group to Team: Stages of Development  
Leading and Being a Team  
When Teams Go Wrong  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Chapter 13. Designing a Culture That Cares
Introducing a Culture That Cares  
Leading With Service  
Make a Difference: Designing a Culture That Cares  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Designing in the 5th Dimension  
Chapter 14. Creating a Culture of Innovation by Jules Bruck, PhD
Why Innovate? Designing the Future  
Understanding Innovation  
Diverge for Creativity, Converge for Innovation  
Design Thinking for Innovation Culture  
Creating a Climate of Innovation With the Dimensions of the Brain  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Chapter 15. Entrepreneurial Leadership by Tony Middlebrooks, PhD, and Dan Freeman, PhD
Entrepreneurship: Re-envisioning Leadership  
The Entrepreneurial Mindset  
Leading the Entrepreneurial Process  
The Evolving Role of the Entrepreneurial Leader  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  
Chapter 16. Systems and Sustainability
Systems and Systems Thinking  
Design for Sustainability  
Sustainable Leadership—Authentic Leadership  
Chapter Summary  
Key Terms  


Instructor Teaching Site

Instructor Teaching Site (Password Protected)

SAGE edge for Instructors, supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students. 

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course. 
  • Multimedia Resources that include meaningful web links to facilitate further exploration of topics covered in the reading.
  • Instructor Manual containing lecture notes, teaching tips, answers to text questions, and additional activities.
Student Study Site

Student Study Site (Open Access)

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts.
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material.
  • Chapter summaries with learning objectives reinforce the most important material.
  • Multimedia Resources that include meaningful web links to facilitate further exploration of topics covered in the reading.

“One of the best leadership texts I have ever read. If students immerse themselves in the activities and discussions contained within, they will put this book down with an understanding of how to motivate others to know, be, and do more.”

Joshua H. Truitt
University of Central Florida

Discovering Leadership: Designing Your Leadership Success represents an excellent first conversation and illustration of the catalyst intersection between design thinking and more traditional business management and leadership conversations. Students will benefit from the holistic five dimensional view of leadership, and faculty will be challenged to think beyond traditional boundaries of organizational management and effectiveness.” 

DeNisha McCollum
John Brown University

“A comprehensive leadership development text based on principles of design thinking.”

Kerry Priest
Kansas State University

“This book will help us better prepare out students for the internships and post-graduation placements we hope for.”

Linette P. Fox
Johnson C. Smith University

“The text is a phenomenal guide for using a design thinking process toward developing effective leaders that are desperately needed by our world.”

Don Mulvaney
Auburn University

“Provides an opportunity for students to learn about themselves as leaders and how they can use their leadership skills to effectively lead others within an organization.”

Heather A. Vilhauer
California State University, East Bay

“This is a text that lays a foundation from which the students can build their leadership knowledge and begin their personal leadership journey.”

Patricia Mitchell
The University of San Francisco

Sample Materials & Chapters

4. Your Values and Ethical Actions

7. Influence, Power & Motivation

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ISBN: 9781506336824