Letters to a Young Leader: A New Leadership for a New Generation, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Letters to a Young Leader

A New Leadership for a New Generation, 1st Edition

By Robert B. Denhardt


196 pages

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Paperback: 9780367244002
pub: 2019-07-26
Available for pre-order
Hardback: 9780367243999
pub: 2019-07-26
Available for pre-order

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If you are interested in becoming a better leader, this book is a great place to start. Rather than using the familiar text book approach, leadership expert Robert Denhardt offers practical lessons drawn from a lively year-long correspondence with two (fictional) former students about their experiences in leadership.

The letters explore the deeply personal issues these and other young and emerging leaders are facing – what are the skills and personal qualities you need for contemporary leadership, what will leadership mean to you and those you lead, and even why or why not you might want to become a leader. Along the way, the book speaks to the big picture, arguing that leadership today has been stripped of its historic contribution to creating meaningful human experience and has been reduced to a technical exercise in executive management.

Based on his experience teaching leadership to thousands of undergraduates, graduate students, and advanced practitioners, Denhardt speaks person-to-person with young leaders about their questions and their concerns as they enter into the somewhat flawed world of leadership today. The result is a call for a new leadership for new generation.

This book will be valuable to students enrolled in regular and executive degree programs in leadership, business management, public administration, nonprofit management, educational administration, and many other fields. It also speaks to young leaders out of school but committed to enhancing their leadership. Indeed, readers of all ages will learn lessons relevant to their own professional development.


"Denhardt’s Letters offers a very realistic view into both the opportunities and the roadblocks young leaders face today. You’ll be drawn into the correspondents’ journey of self-discovery and end up discovering a lot about yourself along the way. That’s no surprise--Denhardt is a master of the art of great leadership!" –Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller and author of Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family

"A much-needed fresh look at leadership and the passing of the torch to young leaders. This book blends the energy and dreams of a new generation with the voice of experience and wisdom to suggest new approaches leadership based on honor, engagement and connection rather than power and position." –Afsaneh Nahavandi, Professor of Leadership and Management, University of San Diego

"Denhardt has proven once again that he can provide valuable insights on leadership that advance our understanding of the modern workplace. Letters to a Young Leader is book we especially need in these times." –Jay Hakes, former director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library

"Research shows that people learn best from stories and experiential narratives. Letters to A Young Leader, is a terrific example of how everyday storytelling and first-hand experiences can drive important lessons among young professionals. It’s a must-read for anyone engaged in a growing and dynamic organization" –Robert Rodriguez is founder and CEO of Cambria Solutions, an IT solutions company.

"This is a must-read book on leadership. Fresh in its perspective and personal in its style, it will appeal to both millennials and baby boomers at the same time. I could not put the book down." –Prasad Kaipa, leadership consultant and educator. Co-author of From Smart to Wise and You Can.

Table of Contents


One: Letter from Bob August 21

Two: Letter from Kayla September 5

Three: Letter from Mike September 12

Four: Letter from Bob October 2

Five: Letter from Kayla October 14

Six: Letter from Mike October 20

Seven: Letter from Bob October 31

Eight: Letter from Bob November 5

Nine: Letter from Kayla November 10

Ten: Letter from Mike November 20

Eleven: Letter from Bob December 10

Twelve: Letter from Kayla December 15

Thirteen: Letter from Mike December 14

Fourteen: Letter from Bob January 15

Fifteen: Letter from Bob January 22

Sixteen: January 20 Letter from Mike

Seventeen: January 30 Letter from Bob

Eighteen: Letter from Bob February 2

Nineteen: Letter from Kayla January 13

Twenty: Letter from Mike January 25

Twenty-one: Letter from Bob February 2

Twenty-two: Letter from Kayla February 14

Twenty-three: Letter from Mike February 22

Twenty-four: Letter from Bob March 8

Twenty-five: Letter from Bob April 2

Twenty-six: Letter from Bob April 12

Twenty-seven: Letter from Bob April 14

Twenty-eight: Letter from Kayla May 1

Twenty-nine: Letter from Mike May 5

Thirty: Letter from Bob May 15

Thirty-one: Letter from Bob May 20

Thirty-two: Letter from Kayla June 1

Thirty-three: Letter from Bob June 8

Thirty-four: Letter from Mike June 21

Thirty-five: Letter from Kayla July 3

Thirty-six: Letter from Mike July 16

Thirty-seven: Letter from Bob July 18

Thirty-eight: Letter from Bob July 21, 2018


End Notes

Reader’s Guide




About the Author

Robert B. Denhardt is a central figure in leadership education and currently heads Denhardt Leadership, a boutique consulting and publishing firm. He was Professor and Director of Leadership Programs in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California, USA.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Mentoring & Coaching