Take the Lead

Take the Lead Cover

Take the Lead

Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You

By Betsy Myers; John David Mann; Warren Bennis (Afterword by)

Atria Books, Hardcover, 9781439160671, 256pp.

Publication Date: September 13, 2011


“Why is it that some people challenge us and motivate us to rise to our best abilities, while others seem to drain our energy and spirit? What is that particular quality certain people have that causes those around them to engage fully and feel connected?”

You are a leader. You do not need to be in a boardroom, on a battlefield, or on a ballot to have a profound impact on everyone around you. In this life-changing book, Betsy Myers—senior adviser to two US presidents and former executive director of Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership—demonstrates how each of us has opportunities to take the lead every day and shares seven core principles that will enable us to be more productive, engaged, and successful.

From the Oval Office to the playground, cabinet meetings to kitchen tables, in public life and private, Betsy Myers has seen firsthand the emergence of a new leadership model where having all the answers up front is less important than asking the right questions, where strength is derived less from the power you wield than from how you make the people around you feel.

With personal stories from her time in government, in academia, and on the campaign trail, as well as her experiences as a wife, daughter, and mother, Myers helps all of us learn to set the right priorities for ourselves; to connect on a deeper level with the people around us; to uncover problems early when they are still easy to fix; to collaborate with those whose points of view are different from our own; and to push through our fears and live our most authentic lives. Myers demonstrates that more than simply making people feel good, this kind of leadership can have a profound effect on the results achieved: it is how initiatives are launched, profits are made, and work gets done.

Personal, practical, and profoundly inspiring, Take the Lead is a book for anyone who wonders where all the great leaders have gone. Betsy Myers helps us see that true leadership is all around us—and within us.

Praise For Take the Lead

“A home run.... a perfect read for anyone seeking to understand, develop, or unleash his or her genuine leadership potential.”

—Publisher’s Weekly

“An enjoyable and insightful read for anyone interested in increasing their personal and professional effectiveness.”

Kirkus Reviews

“An ‘original’ take on leadership sounds absurd. But Betsy Myers has given us just that. This peerless book truly is for everyone. ‘Take the lead’ means you and it means me; and it means today, not tomorrow.”

—TOM PETERS, author of the #1 national bestseller In Search of Excellence

“Betsy Myers will help you recognize the leader within you and show you how to use that gift to bring out the best in others. Read this book over and over and absorb its simple truths.”

—KEN BLANCHARD, coauthor of the #1 national bestseller The One Minute Manager ® and Lead with LUV

“After forty years of being a boss, I’ve found Take the Lead the most inspirational new tool, not only for leadership but for life.”

—KAY UNGER, cofounder of Phoebe Couture and Kay Unger New York

“A principled yet practical guide to twenty-first-century leadership. Myers’s candid, courageous stories offer convincing evidence of what it takes to be an authentic leader.”

—BILL GEORGE, author of True North and former CEO of Medtronics

“Betsy Myers, adviser to US presidents and longtime advocate for women, shares her considerable experience and wisdom with everyone who cares about high-level and everyday leadership. This charming, engrossing book will particularly excite and empower women, who will treat this book as their personal mentor and apply Myers’s principles to enrich their lives.”

—ROSABETH MOSS KANTER, Harvard Business School professor and bestselling author of Confidence and SuperCorp

“A must-read for current and rising leaders. Betsy Myers approaches leadership in a personal, compelling, and actionable way.”


Take the Lead captures essential, practical wisdom, anchored by powerful stories with key insights for any reader who aims to lead.”

—RONALD HEIFETZ, founder of the Center for Public Leadership, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

“In working with some of the most powerful leaders in the world, Betsy has had the opportunity to see into their hearts and minds and understand what makes them inspiring and successful leaders. The result is a book filled with insight and wisdom. ”

—STEVE BELKIN, chairman, Trans National Group