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Building the Bridge As You Walk On It: A Guide for Leading Change Hardcover – Illustrated, April 12 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 102 ratings

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“Quinn’s work captures a crucial truth about great leadership―that it is about who we are and not what we do. In facing our fears and harnessing our uniqueness, we bring forth the capacity for inspired leadership and for enduring change. Robert Quinn is a gifted storyteller. This is his best book to date.”
―Peter J. Frost, Edgar F. Kaiser Professor of Organizational Behavior, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, and author of
Toxic Emotions at Work

“Quinn's fundamental state of leadership is fundamentally uncommon. Rather than focusing on how to lead others, he has served up authentic insights on how leaders can best lead themselves.”
―Jim Haduan, CEO, Root Learning, Inc.

“Read this book only if you are willing to address the fear that keeps you from leadership, and from profound change in yourself and others.”
―Allan R. Cohen, Distinguished Professor of Global Leadership, Babson College, and coauthor of
Power-Up: Transforming Organizations Through Shared Leadership

“Quinn takes us to the chasm where deep change is lived and led―then guides us over it.  Practical scholarship. Masterful teaching.”
―Philip Mirvis, coauthor of
To the Desert and Back: The Story of One of the Most Dramatic Business Transformations on Record

“A gem of a book, as wise and practical a guide on individual and organizational transformation as you’ll find anywhere.”
―Warren Bennis, university professor, University of Southern California and coauthor of
Geeks and Geezers: How Era, Values, and Defining Moments Shape Leaders

“The process of becoming a leader or revitalizing yourself is chaotic and frightening. Through many inspirational stories in this book, readers will find the courage to embrace a truly transformative change.”
―Richard E. Boyatzis, professor and chair of the Department of 0rganizational Behavior, Case Western Reserve University, and coauthor of
Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence

“Prepare yourself for a journey into intellectual, emotional, and spiritual integrity―a journey this will span the remaining course of one's life.”
―Allen C. Bluedorn, author,
The Human Organization of Time

“Bob Quinn makes exquisite use of real life experiences in such a way that his book is engaging as well as profound. It speaks to me directly.”
―Ricardo B. Levy, founder, chairman of the board, Catalytica Energy Systems, Inc.

“This book is not about superheroes, but about how each one of us how the power to create positive change – if only we are willing to see and step into our own capabilities.”
―Professor Sim B Sitkin, director, Fuqua-Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics, Duke University

“For someone who has struggled for 25 years with change personally and professionally―as an internal change agent,  external consultant, and academic―Building the Bridge as You Walk on It provides a profound integration of the self/other/organizational contexts and a timely reminder that all change is self-change.”
―Mike McGrath, vice president of consulting services, Executive Development Associates

“I picked up "Building the Bridge..." on a gray, rainy, California morning thinking I would peruse a few pages before a nap. I laid the manuscript down only when the last page had been turned many hours later. No nap! Instead a bright awakening to insight and wisdom regarding leadership that Robert Quinn lucidly structures through stories carefully paired with precise conceptualization.”
―Andre' L. Delbecq, Thomas J. and Kathleen L. McCarthy  University Professor, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

“Quinn details the practices to follow in the journey towards the fundamental state of leadership. Leaders of corporations, governments, nonprofits, community action, families, academic departments-all find resonance with this book!”
―Laurie N. DiPadova-Stocks, founding director, Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, Northern Kentucky University

“This book provides a guide for change that leaders at all levels of the organization can understand and use. More importantly it will help them become people who really like themselves. Because they live and act from principle, they will not have to worry about the craziness of organizations and life.”
―Professor Lloyd Baird, director, the Leadership Institute, Boston University

“With more and more people reading this book the notion of resistance to change may gradually fade. Quinn’s attractive concept of positive deviancy is not only an antidote to resistance but a way of thinking and acting that embraces change.”
―W. Warner Burke, Edward Lee Thorndike Professor of Psychology and Education; Teachers College, Columbia University

“Effective leadership is crucial for successful organizational change, but the person as leader is often ignored in discussions of change. This wonderful book places the person of the leader front and center. It invites, encourages and inspires its readers to find in themselves the leadership of which they are capable.”
―Jean M. Bartunek, professor of organization studies, Boston College

“This book highlighted for me that leadership is an endogenous development, not an exogenous event. The most effective leaders are those whose who remain coachable themselves, and focus on developing themselves.”
―Bert Whitehead, author,
Facing Financial Dysfunction: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things With Money

“If you or your family or your organization are in pain, and you want the pain to stop but it won’t, read this moving, action-oriented book. ”
―Bill Torbert, author,
Action Inquiry: The Secret of Timely and Transforming Leadership

“Robert Quinn's book is fascinating, I wish it's valuable insights had been available to me when I lead a major bank. It is so easy to glide along in your comfort zone. I was particularly taken by the quote, ‘real leadership is about moving forward in faith and doing so requires both head and heart.’”
―Jack Hoag, director, First Hawaiian Bank and BancWest Corp

“Bringing integrity and humanity clearly into leadership study, Quinn's work recognizes that leadership is not a mere fragment of life-not something you leave behind as you close your office door-and not organizationally constructed.  It is truly for all seasons and settings, integrally woven into our lives and psyche, grounded our best selves.”
―Laurie N. DiPadova-Stocks, Ph.D., founding director, Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, Northern Kentucky University

“Bob Quinn makes exquisite use of real life experiences in such a way that his book is engaging as well as profound. It speaks to me directly.”
―Ricardo B. Levy, founder, chairman of the board, Catalytica Energy Systems, Inc.

From the Inside Flap


When it was first published, Robert Quinn's best-selling book Deep Change revealed that anyone can become a leader of change, but to do so requires the transformation of self. The book struck a chord with thousands, and inspired readers wrote Quinn to share their stories of how his book guided them on their journeys to deep change.

Building the Bridge As You Walk On It tells the personal stories of people who have embraced deep change and inspired author Robert Quinn to take his concept one step further and develop a new model of leadership—"the fundamental state of leadership." The exploration of this transformative state is at the very heart of the book. Quinn shows how anyone can enter the fundamental state of leadership by engaging in the eight practices that center on the theme of ever-increasing integrity—reflective action, authentic engagement, appreciative inquiry, grounded vision, adaptive confidence, detached interdependence, responsible freedom, and tough love. After each chapter, Quinn challenges you to assess yourself with respect to each practice and to formulate a strategy for personal growth.

Building the Bridge As You Walk On It emphasizes that developing leaders is not a simple matter of imparting a set of concepts or reaching into a toolkit of strategies and behaviors. To become a leader requires engagement in the process of deep change in oneself, thereby inviting others to do the same. Once this process is in motion, we truly begin to transform one another to become the type of leaders we strive to be.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 078797112X
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Jossey-Bass; 1st edition (April 12 2004)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780787971120
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0787971120
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 422 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.49 x 2.29 x 23.11 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 102 ratings

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Robert E. Quinn is chair of the Department of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at the University of Michigan School of Business. He is coauthor of Becoming a Master Manager (1990).

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
102 global ratings

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