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Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations

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"A rare combination of deep insight and helpful research, and an important book. Relevant and timely. Smart and helpful guidance for leaders about today's pressing problems."
--Stephen R. Covey and Stephen M. R. Covey, bestselling authors and father and son (from the Foreword)

"It's been more than thirty years since the sport of kings last saw a Triple Crown. We can't wait that long for the triple crown of leadership--the stakes are too high and the need too urgent. It's time to embrace this vision of lasting, ethical leadership."
--Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of "Drive" and "A Whole New Mind"

"The Vanoureks have written the new leadership manifesto.... It is a gift to all of us who believe in the power of purposeful leadership."
--Richard Leider, bestselling author of "Repacking Your Bags" and "The Power of Purpose"

"A clarion call for anyone striving to create an enduring organization with lasting positive impact."
--David Gergen, Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and CNN Senior Political Analyst, and Christopher Gergen, founder and CEO of Forward Ventures, father and son

"A powerful case for leaders who simultaneously combine ethics and excellence to create enduring organizations."
--Bill George, Harvard Business School Professor and Former CEO, Medtronic

"An extremely timely and practical book about the complex art and practice of leadership. Every leader of tomorrow must read this book today."
--James O'Toole, leadership author and professor

"An inspiring call to action, a challenging mandate, and a compelling road map for leaders across the public, private, or nonprofit sector. A must read."
--Marty Linsky, Harvard Kennedy School Faculty and cofounder, Cambridge Leadership Associates

"In a crowded marketplace of books on leadership, this one stands out. A book of wisdom and practical advice."
--Barry Z. Posner, coauthor, The Leadership Challenge

In today's fiercely competitive world, it takes more than "business as usual" to stay strong and stay ahead of the curve. It takes "Triple Crown Leadership." Inspired by the most elusive championship in sports, the Triple Crown of horseracing, this compelling road map is designed for leaders at all levels, from supervisors to CEOs. If you want to win, you'll want this book.

"Triple Crown Leadership" provides helpful tools for any leader seeking a better way. The book shows you how to: Be excellent (achieve exceptional performance), ethical (do the right thing), and enduring (stand the test of time) Align your organization for peak performance Instill a culture of character Lead with both "steel" and "velvet" Achieve impact and sustainability while maintaining high performance. Turn your company around after a breakdown.

Based on the authors' experience and interviews with over sixty organizations in eleven countries, this book provides compelling leadership lessons from an array of enterprises, including Zappos, Google, eBay, Infosys, Xerox, Spotify, Mayo Clinic, KIPP, Ashoka, and more. Executives Bob and Gregg Vanourek--a dynamic father and son team--show you how to achieve high performance, integrity, and sustainability.

In horseracing, it takes more than speed for a horse like Secretariat to win the Triple Crown. In organizations, it takes both head and heart, commitment to an inspiring cause, steel and velvet leadership, stewardship, and alignment--the practices of triple crown leadership. "Triple Crown Leadership" also provides hard-hitting, practical advice on leading turnarounds, startups, and social ventures--and addresses the leadership needed from CEOs, boards, senior managers, and even people without authority.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published June 1, 2012

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About the author

Bob Vanourek

3 books2 followers
Leadership expert and award-winning author, Bob Vanourek is the former CEO of five companies, ranging from a start-up to a $1 billion NY stock exchange company. They include winners of a state-level Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award and the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence. Bob is a highly popular speaker on ethical leadership.

Bob is the author of Leadership Wisdom: Lessons from Poetry, Prose, and Curious Verse and the co-author of Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations, a 2013 International Book Awards Winner, called “the best leadership book since Good to Great.” Bob has been a contributing writer to many publications and a chapter-contributor to six books on ethics, trust, and servant leadership.

Bob is a former adjunct leadership instructor at the University of Denver and Colorado Mountain College. He was Chairman and Chairman Emeritus of the Vail Leadership Institute (now a part of The Vail Centre), and a former board member or leader of ten for-profit and non-profit boards. Bob has been a consultant-coach for many corporations, non-profits, and international, state, and local governments.

He is a Baker Scholar graduate (top 5%) of the Harvard Business School, a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University, and a certified leadership instructor from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the Phi Theta Kappa Society.

Bob has been named one of the “Top Thought Leaders in Trust” for 2013 - 2016, as well as one of the American Management Association’s “Leaders to Watch in 2015.” Bob is a decorated Army officer and a lifelong student of leadership.

If you are seeking a better way to lead your life and to lead others, then you need to be in dialogue with Bob. He changes hearts and minds about leadership.

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Profile Image for Tiffany.
Author 3 books7 followers
December 11, 2016
I had started to give up on leadership books. They were all starting to read the same. But then, this little gem came along. The book uses the chasing of the elusive Triple Crown in horse racing as the backdrop for exploring the same chase that should be occurring within business. Few horses have won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. However, that goal is still pursued as the pinnacle of horse racing. Likewise, leaders should be on a quest to create businesses that deliver the three Es.

"This quest for excellent, ethical, and enduring organizations may be the defining leadership challenge for our age. Will we rise to the occasion? We can, but we need a different brand of leadership better suited to our age."

This statement contained within the concluding chapter of the book is the fundamental reason why you need to read this book.

Ethical leadership is viewed as more than good business practice with a suitable return on investment. Instead, it's presented as a business imperative on par with excellent performance and sustained long-term value. It's positioned as worthy of pursuit even if there are short-term losses and costs associated with ethical conduct. There's no easy answers, checklists, or roadmaps presented in the book because there really is no shortcut or pattern for ethical leadership. Values will be tested. Values will collide. At times you will have to choose between unpalatable alternatives. There will be adversity and setbacks. Critics will emerge. Decisions will be questioned.

However, "triple crown leaders undertake these challenges". Triple crown leaders leave the world of either/or behind. They are realists and idealists, steel and velvet, disciplined and creative, leaders and followers, willful and humble; using both head and heart to create value for today and tomorrow. Yes, this is a difficult quest -- but that's what makes it so compelling when pursued and even partially achieved.
Profile Image for Daniel Taylor.
Author 4 books82 followers
January 16, 2013
In a sentence: this book is a guide to principle-based leadership of organizations in today's business environment of low-trust.

The first chapter defines what is meant by Triple Crown Leadership: making organisations excellent, ethical, and enduring. Part One looks at the principles you need to follow to achieve that goal. Part Two is case studies of organizations that have succeeded in the Triple Crown quest.

Readers of the works of Stephen R. Covey, Stephen M.R. Covey, and Sean Covey will understand the importance of principles in everyday life, in self-leadership, and in leadership of other people. This book is influenced by their work and is backed up with research and wide-ranging reading of leadership literature.

For business leaders, it's worth a read, but I wouldn't spend too long on it as it's less actionable than you need to succeed in business.
Profile Image for Sascha.
19 reviews1 follower
December 31, 2018
A refreshing view of leadership beyond the next quarters financial success. Bob and Gregg Vanourek emphasize and demonstrate the lasting success of organizations built on ethical leadership and excellent results.

They prove in fact and based on well-known examples that one does not need to behave in a cut-throat way in order to reach ones goals and longer lasting success can rather be achieved by ethical means.

Strong recommendation for leaders on all levels as well as those, who sometimes lose hope in today's business world.
Profile Image for Barbara Lovejoy.
2,007 reviews25 followers
July 17, 2012
One of our Esperanza board members--Steve Winitzky--sent me information about this book because the author had been one of his mentors. Because of my respect for this board member and because the title intrigued me, I bought the book. It is WONDERFUL! I am ready to go out and buy a notebook specifically for applying the ideas in this book.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
306 reviews6 followers
August 31, 2013
Great leadership book that really got my wheels turning about how to apply what I learned to our organization.
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews

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