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Your First Leadership Job: How Catalyst Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others

SKU: 9781118911952
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Becoming the Very Best First-Time Leader

Congratulations! You're now in charge. Perhaps it's your first time as a leader, or maybe you want to fine-tune your skills. Either way, you've begun one of the most rewarding chapters of your career. But, like many beginnings, the first few years can be challenging. Fortunately, you don't have to tackle this challenge on your own. Your First Leadership Job gives you practical advice straight from others who have walked in your shoes. Not only does it include dozens of tools to ensure your success, but it's also based on the authors' and DDI's extensive experience and research, which ultimately has led to the development of millions of leaders around the world. In fact, a quarter-million leaders will be developed this year alone via DDI training.

Your First Leadership Job is divided into two sections. Part 1 introduces the concept of catalystleaderone who sparks energy, passion, and commitment in others. Your transition to catalyst leader is a major step in your leadership journey. This book provides essential tips to put you on the catalyst path. Ultimately, leadership is about the many conversationsfrequent, clear, authentic, and occasionally difficultthat you will have daily. Your First Leadership Job builds awareness of the fundamental skills you'll come to rely on to make every one of these interactions successful.

Part 2 devotes 13 chapters to critical core leadership competencies, including coaching for success, hiring the best employees, turning dreaded appraisals into discussions that propel performance, and handling difficult employees. It also includes a chapter for first-time female leaders.

Look at Your First Leadership Job as an indispensable companion to becoming an awesome leaderone who will make a positive, lasting impact on your team, family, and career. Visit to learn more.


TACY M. BYHAM, PHD, is the CEO of Development Dimensions International (DDI). Tacy has worked with dozens of global organizations, creating custom solutions to improve their leaders' performance. She believes that better leadership is not only about the workplace, but also about better communities and, ultimately, a better world.
RICHARD S. WELLINS, PHD, is a global expert in leadership development. Your First Leadership Job is Rich's fifth book on talent management, including the bestseller, Empowered Teams. His research has been featured in Fortune, BusinessWeek, CNBC, NPR, BBC, and Forbes.


One of the biggest HR challenges organisations face is to ensure that they have effective and motivated managers. Making the transition into a management role is a daunting one for most people and one for which they often get little support. There is no doubt in my mind that this book will have a global appeal and should be seen as a must-read for those taking on their first management role. I like that it takes a very practical approach with lots of case studies, check-lists, self-assessment questions, reflections, and exercises. I particularly like the chapter on establishing your own leadership brand by being authentic and trustworthy.
Danny Kalman Talent Management Professional and ICF Accredited Coach

There are so many leadership books and so little time for new leaders, but if there is one book to squeeze in, it would be Your First Leadership Job. It is a combination of important insights, theory, and research on leadership that follows up with a section that emphasizes mastering the skills. This section is filled with no-nonsense, practical information and examples punctuated with thoughtful questions and checklists that encourage self-reflection for the individual interested in taking on the challenge of being a leader for a living.
Pam Benoit Executive Vice President and Provost, Ohio University

Leaders are made by hard work and determinationthe price one pays to be able to make a difference to people and society. Like all big goals, it starts with one single step. Your First Leadership Job is that one first step for you and builds the foundation of global leadership.
Ester Martinez CEO and Editor-in-Chief, People Matters

At Whirlpool, we put millennial new hire sales reps into a house together for 10 weeks and call it the Real Whirled. They learn technical skills about our products as well as the interaction skills in this book. Both are crucial to their success. Every new hire, whether a formal leader or not, should read this book.
Donna Porter Manager, Organizational Development and Learning, Whirlpool Corporation

I had been a manager for several years, and I was missing foundational conversation skills in my leadership style. I really wish I had been exposed to them early in my leadership career. For more than 10 years now, I have put the new skills to work every day. They helped me achieve my success.
Steve Sutton Volvo

Few career transitions are as difficult as becoming a first-time leader; few books provide such a clear, detailed blueprint to being successful. Rich and Tacy have distilled decades of wisdom in an effort to make great leaders less rare.
Rebecca L. Ray, Ph.D. Executive Vice President, Knowledge Organization, Human Capital Practice Leader, The Conference Board

Leadership is work. It takes commitment and courage. The building blocks inYour First Leadership Job are a great launch pad for leaders. Then, you practice, fine-tune, and never stop working on it.
Linda Aldred Senior Vice President, Texas Children's Hospital

The transition from individual contributor to supervisor or manager is the single most difficult transition for most leaders. This book is a marvelous compendium of practical advice to assist in successfully navigating that move. Building on decades of practical experience, the authors present their wisdom in an easily digestible way.
Jack Zenger CEO, Zenger Folkman; co-author of The Extraordinary Leader

We believe leaders shape great companies, so building great leaders is a key business imperative for Philips. These fundamental interaction skills lie at the very core of leadership.
Peter Hope Head of Leadership Development, Philips International B.V.