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Transforming Leaders Into Progress Makers

Transforming Leaders Into Progress Makers
Leadership for the 21st Century

© 2011 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Leadership Solutions

Progress: the focus of a new perspective on leadership

Weaving together original research, novel strategies and tactics, and stories of successful leaders, this book provides insight into how to become a progress-making leader. Written by an academic and a business executive, the book provides actionable ideas grounded in sound research and tested in real organizations.

Find out more!

1. Click on the Features/New to this Edition tab above for more information about the book.

2. Visit the authors' website for teaching and learning resources:

3. Watch the video! A video touching on some of the issues covered in the book is available on YouTube: click here to watch the video. This video is a great resource that can be used in the classroom to launch discussion about the nature of leadership.


1. Introduction
Our Purpose  
Our Approach  
2. Exploring
Attributes of Explorers  
Exploring and Progress Making  
Concluding Thoughts  
3. Refining
Attributes of Refiners  
Refining and Progress making  
Concluding Thoughts  
4. Platforms
How Platforms Emerge  
Features of Platforms  
Concluding Thoughts  
5. Progress
Defining Progress  
Implications of the Progress Definition  
Concluding Thoughts  
Progress Maker Profile: Oscar Boldt and The Boldt Company  
6. The Progress Model
How the Progress Model Works  
So What?  
Concluding Thoughts  
7. How Explorers and Refiners Make Progress
The Explorers Mode of Making Progress  
The Refiners Mode of Making Progress  
The Challenges Faced by Explorers and Refiners  
Concluding Thoughts  
8. Progress Makers
The Central Conundrum  
The Progress Maker’s Response  
Making the Right Choices  
Progress Maker Profile: Ron Reed and the Discovery Channel  
9. Envision the Future with Calculated Boldness
Defining the Concept  
What Inhibits Calculated Boldness  
What to Do?  
Concluding Thoughts  
Progress Maker Profile: Brigadier General H.R. McMaster  
10. Cultivate a Focused Flexibility Mindset
A Deeper Look at Focus and Flexibility  
Why is Focused Flexibility so Difficult?  
What to Do?  
Concluding Thoughts  
11. Enlarge the Circle of Engagement
The Concept  
Why Don’t We Enlarge the Circle?  
How do You Enlarge the Circle of Engagement?  
Concluding Thoughts  
Progress Maker Profile: Vicki Wilson and Door County Coffee & Tea  
12. Foster the Growth of Investment-Worthy Employees
Defining the Concept  
What to Do?  
Concluding Thoughts  
13. Seek, Nurture and Evaluate Actionable Ideas
Defining the Concept  
Phases to Generate Actionable Ideas  
What to Do?  
Concluding Thoughts  
Progress Maker Profile: Laura Hollingsworth and The Des Moines Register & Gannett  
14. Select, Detect, and Correct the Proper Errors
Error Management Framework  
The Counter Forces  
What to Do?  
Concluding Thoughts  
15. Practice Receiver-Centric, Strategy-Based, Feedback-Driven Communication
Defining the Concept  
What to Do?  
Concluding Thoughts  
16. Conclusion
Appendix 1: Progress Makers
Appendix 2: UMM and the Origins of Focused Flexibility
About the Authors


Companion Web Site

Instructor Teaching Site

The password-protected instructor teaching site includes:

Test Questions

Multiple-choice and true/false questions for every chapter help instructors assess students’ progress and understanding.

PowerPoint Presentation

Chapter-specific slide presentations offer assistance with lecture and review preparation by highlighting essential content, features, and artwork from the book.

Chapter Summary and Outlines

Summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to assist in preparing for lecture and class discussion.

Discussion Questions

Chapter-specific questions help launch discussion by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content.

Term Project Ideas

Progress Makers Interview Guide

This book will quickly become required reading for all who aspire to organizational leadership. Phil Clampitt and Robert DeKoch have crafted an insightful and practical approach to leadership development. Packed with organizational examples from their extensive business experiences, the book draws from a broad array of literature in management, science, arts and technology to explore change, innovation and other strategic leadership issues. The book is not only readable, but hard to put down.

Angela Brenton
University of Arkansas at Little Rock

This book contains concepts and insights that advance the study and practice of leadership. It is to be celebrated equally for its humility as well as its assertions. Here there are no false claims of certainty demonstrating that the authors practice what they preach. Instead of punctuating their work with a declarative statement of truth they enjoin the reader to refine and explore. The authors are in search of a more sustainable form of leadership, a project that could be the next great platform of leadership theory.

George Reed
University of San Diego

"The book is filled with rich and diverse business examples that challenge the reader to re-evaluate long-held "truths" about how to move an organization ahead, in spite of inevitable roadblocks along the way."

Jeannette Terry
Director of Americas, Global Leadership Alliance

"Clampitt and DeKoch enhance the reader's understanding of their model by providing compelling examples of leaders who have transformed their organizations into highly effective, successful organizations; true Progress Makers."

Rick Fantini
Executive Vice President for Appleton Coated

"Underpinning their theory are practical tools to help leaders make the right day-to day choices and transform themselves into true "Progress Makers." This is a must-read for navigating these extremely uncertain times and moving your company forward."

Terri Pawer
COO of Dental City
Key features

Key Features:

  • The Progress Model: This framework shows how progress can be made by exploring (trying something new), refining (improving existing ways of doing business) and establishing platforms (a way of completing a task or providing a service)
  • Demonstrates the clear link between strategy and tactics: Helps readers see the distinction between the two and shows that while effective leaders focus on certain strategies, they may use a wide variety of tactics to implement each strategy
  • Progress Maker Profiles: Provide examples of real-world leaders who have moved their organizations forward by utilizing the Progress Model; case studies include a coffee entrepreneur, a general in the U.S. Army, a newspaper editor-in-chief, and a Fortune 500 executive
  • Includes a wealth of new leadership research: Findings are provided from interviews with over 50 leaders, and surveys of over 1,000 employees about how their organizations manage uncertainty and of over 200 employees about how they organizations manage errors

For instructors

Review and Desk copies for this title are available digitally via VitalSource.

Request e-review copy

If you require a print review copy, please call: (800) 818-7243 ext. 6140 or email

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ISBN: 9781412974691

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