About M.E. Sharpe
Sharpe Reference
Sharpe Online Ref.
Sharpe Focus
Author Guidelines
Subject Catalogs
Catalog Request
Library Rec. Form
North Castle Books

The Dance of Leadership: The Art of Leading in Business, Government, and Society
Authored by: Robert B. Denhardt; Janet V. Denhardt

Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-1733-0 Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-1734-7
Cloth Price Paper Price
USD: $74.95 USD: $29.95
Discount Code:
Discount Code:
Available to all countries
Information: 208pp. References, index.
Publication Date: December 2005.  


Description: Most successful leaders know that leadership is an art, not a science. They recognize that beyond all the sophisticated systems and theories, the strategies and tactics, leadership is ultimately about intangible things such as timing, intuition, and passion. This book shows how successful leaders can master the artistic aspects of their work. It guides readers to the ways that the art of leadership can be practiced and learned.

The Dance of Leadership explores the art of leadership by examining the perspectives, training, and insights of artists, most particularly in the fields of music and dance. The authors look at how these people learn their craft, practice their skills, and attain mastery of their art. Then they adapt these lessons from the arts to the experiences of successful leaders in all fields.

The book incorporates in-depth interviews with some of the world's premier artists and writers, as well as dozens of leaders in business, government, the military, and sports. The result is a book that celebrates the art of leadership-- but an art that can be learned, developed, and practiced.

Selected Contents:


1. Exploring the Art of Leadership
What is the Art of Leadership?
Drawing Lessons from the Arts
A New Language for Leadership
2. The Interplay of Space, Time, and Energy
The Elements of Dance
Working with Space
Working with Time
Working with Energy
3. Understanding the Rhythms of Human Interaction
The Roots of Rhythm in the Human Experience
How Rhythms Interact with One Another
The Tempo of Groups and Organizations
Cycles, Stillness, and Nonmetric Rhythms
Leading with Rhythm
4. Communicating in Images, Symbols, and Metaphors
Empathy and Emotion
Evocative Speaking
Physicality and Movement
5. Improvising with Creativity and Spontaneity
The Elements of Improvisation
Leading Improvisational Organizations
6. Leading from Within
The Inner Disciplines
The Inner Resources
7. Learning the Art of Leadership
The Studio Experience
Lessons from Learning the Arts
Appendix: List of Interviews
Artists, Musicians, and Dancers
Leaders in Business, Government, Nonprofit Organizations, the Military, Higher Education, and the World of Sports


Comment(s): "Leadership is one of the most important processes in human society and also one of the most complex and least understood. In this creative work, Bob and Janet Denhardt offer new insights in clear and captivating prose. For those who realize that leadership involves artistry and individual expression, this book will become a primary source." -- Kenneth P. Ruscio, Dean, Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond

"In their book, The Dance of Leadership: The Art of Leading in Business, Government, and Society, Bob and Janet Denhardt look at the 'art' of leadership from a refreshingly new perspective. Throughout my career I have read and listened to the arguments on whether leadership was art or a science. This book leaves no doubt about where most successful leaders come down on the subject. A 'must have' addition to any library collection on leadership." -- General Ron Fogleman, USAF, (Ret.), Former Chief of Staff, USAF

" The Dance of Leadership frames the issue of leadership in a new and insightful way. It's a clichT to say that leadership is an art, but the Denhardts actually demonstrate not only why it's art, but also how one can apply the principles of artistic performance to improve individual and organizational leadership. This is powerful and timely stuff." -- Roger Hughes, Executive Director, St. Luke's Health Initiatives

"When I saw the title of this book I thought it was going to be too 'soft' in its approach to leadership. The assertion that real leadership is a performance rings true to me, and made me realize the limits of thinking in traditional ways about this subject. Leadership really does have an audience, does have emotional content, and does leave the participants uplifted when done right. If you are looking for a book that challenges your assumptions about leadership, and is really about 'hard' skills, read this one." -- Thomas Downs, former CEO, AMTRAK

"Using concepts and experiences drawn from the arts, this book makes an elegant and persuasive case for a new language of leadership, one quite different from traditional command and control models in favor of an art of leadership that engages and energizes people and causes them to act. Modern leaders will resonate with the Denhardts' description of leadership; those seeking to become leaders would be well advised to do so as well." -- Lattie F. Coor, President Emeritus, Arizona State University

" The Dance of Leadership shakes up conventional wisdom about management. Just when you think nothing new can be said about leadership, the Denhardts come along with an innovative interpretation full of fresh ideas and valuable insights." -- Jay Hakes, Executive Director, Jimmy Carter Presidential Library

"We can talk about leadership as an art and not a science, but Bob and Janet Denhardt go beyond talk. They take us to the heartbeat of leadership itself. The Dance of Leadership evokes the artist within each of us in a way that makes leadership natural and accessible to all." -- James Keene, Executive Director, California State Association of Counties

"Bob and Janet Denhardt have added a new dimension to the leadership 'industry.' The Dance of Leadership provides energy to all leaders who are brave enough to learn that leadership is most of all an art that has to be discovered together with the people they are leading." -- Jan Sturesson, Global Leader, Big Cities Network and Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

"Many have said leadership is an art, but no one has explored that art with as much artful discipline as Bob and Janet Denhardt. This is a wonderful book and a delight to read. I highly recommend it." -- John M. Bryson, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

"Since art can be inculcated, and techniques for its pursuit can be taught, this book should be of great use to those who seek to lead, or simply to understand how leadership works. The outline is clear and the tips well-grounded in common sense." -- Hugh Downs, Former Co-Anchor, 20/20, and Host, The Today Show

Book Subjects
Exam Request
Award Winners
Forthcoming Books
New Releases