The Leader’s Digest

Timeless Principles for Team and Organization Success

If you’re looking for a book that illuminates the topic of leadership in a useful, readable, and lively way, this is it.

Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business, USC, and Co-author of GEEKS AND GEEZERS: How Era, Values and Defining Moments Shape Leaders

The Leader's Digest by Jim ClemmerOnline special: $16.95

Steep volume discounts 5+ copies – details below

Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback for his previous bestseller, Growing the Distance, Jim Clemmer wrote The Leader’s Digest using the same “leadership wheel” framework. By popular demand, he continues with the unique format interweaving pithy quotations, anecdotes, and insightful commentary. Instant Kindle preview

Download the Ebook now! $9.95

Now available in French, Spanish & Portuguese!

Click for details about the companion The Leader’s Digest: Practical Application Planner

Introduction – PDF
Chapter One – PDF

Reviews and Feedback

“If you’re looking for a book that illuminates the topic of leadership in a useful, readable, and lively way, this is it.”
Warren Bennis
Distinguished Professor of Business, USC, and Co-author of GEEKS AND GEEZERS: How Era, Values and Defining Moments Shape Leaders

“Hi Jim, I’m writing to you from the shade of a palm tree here in Florida. The weather has been perfect…in the 80’s and sunny. I just finished my vacation reading, The Leader’s Digest. Very enjoyable…and inspiring. I really appreciate the way you’ve structured the book, with a wonderful mix of quotes, fables and stories, research, personal examples, illustrations and graphics. This is very effective and makes for an easy and enjoyable read (with or without the Pina Colada).

Like a lot of people, I have a stack of those ‘I’ll get around to reading sometime’ books. I could have picked any one of them to pack in my carry-on bag, but I’m glad I picked your book. Now I’m looking forward to cracking open Growing the Distance when I get home!”
Scott Martin, Vice President
Hydro Human Resources & Employee Safety, Ontario Power Generation

“Easy to digest…presenting it in easily accessible snippets is a smart way to reach leaders who are usually busy, well, leading rather than reading.”
“Recommended Readings,” Marketing Magazine

“An incredibly readable and useful collection of wit and wisdom on today’s most critical success factor — leadership.”
David Chilton, author The Wealthy Barber

“The Leader’s Digest is an easy and very inspiring read. Jim has managed to condense and concentrate the many perspectives, research, and wisdom on leadership into a highly digestible format that allows each reader to customize the book to his or her own needs and interests.”
Peter Urs Bender, Author of Leadership from Within

“This book is a stirring compilation of wisdom regarding leadership. It assembles thoughts from incredibly diverse sources and makes them understandable and capable of being applied. No one can read it without learning (or re-learning) some important lessons about leadership.”
John H. Zenger, Vice Chairman
Novations Group

“Remarkably thoughtful, provocative and useful. Jim has captured the collective wisdom on leadership from the world’s greatest experts and thinkers, and encapsulated it in an exciting to read, comprehensive digest, using examples that will turn average Managers into great Leaders.”
Joseph Sherren
Canada’s Corporate Health Guru, Co-Author, Vitamin “C” for a Healthy Workplace

“The latest from the leadership guru…a wonderful, simple, easy format and style that delivers the guts of exceptional leadership in digestible bits and bites.”
Peter Jensen
Sports Psychologist, Author and Founder of Performance Coaching

“In a clear voice that rings true, Jim Clemmer brings you an insightful, yet common sense, approach to everyday leadership dilemmas. This book will guide you into the learning that will turn leadership challenges into opportunities for growth. As you continue to refer to it, this book will become a ‘trusted advisor’ that will continue to deepen the integrity of your leadership practice.”
Hubert Saint-Onge, Knowledge Management Expert and CEO
Konverge Digital Solutions

“If you have a pulse it is certain you will at some time, in some situation, for some purpose, be called on to lead. I strongly and enthusiastically suggest you read this book before you need to!”
Ian Percy, Author of Going Deep: Exploring Spirituality in Life and Leadership

“As soon as I heard of Jim Clemmer’s new book, The Leader’s Digest, I asked him to personally present an overview to our entire Canadian region management team. At this presentation everyone will be presented with a copy of the book, which will become required reading. Being in a leadership role for more years than I would like to remember, I have come to realize the importance of staying current with new and innovative leadership ideas and techniques. Growing the Distance and now The Leader’s Digest fit to a tee the direction we at Laidlaw see ourselves moving toward. One of my pleasures in life is to see young, bright managers grow into leaders. For some this is a natural phenomenon, but others may need a little more direction and coaching. My suggestion is for everyone to familiarize themselves with the Leadership Wheel; this is what it’s all about.”
Gary Wilson, Senior Vice President
Laidlaw Education Services, Canadian Region

“The Leader’s Digest is an excellent traveling book for today’s busy executive. It is filled with common sense leadership advice built upon solid research. The book’s easy-to-read format spiced with humor makes for pleasurable learning and provides the inspiration to turn its common sense principles into common leadership practice.”
Bob Brennan, President
ServiceMaster Canada

“I have read all of Jim’s books over the years. I especially enjoyed The Leader’s Digest. I picked up several inspirational and practical ideas that will help me begin a new venture at our University. I agree with Jim’s comment that “it is one thing to know, and another to do.” When I owned and operated my business I saw to it that all our employees had the opportunity to read Growing the Distance. It was a morale boost for all of us. The Leader’s Digest is a very effective next step to expanding those timeless leadership principles. I plan to share it with all my colleagues who are trying to grow businesses in today’s complex environment.”
Steve Farlow, Executive Director
Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship School of Business & Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University

“Jim Clemmer is a wise and special man. His insights into leadership are powerfully illustrated in his newest work The Leader’s Digest. Learn from him . . . I do!”
Dr. Peter Legge, CSP, CPAE, LL.D. (Hon)

“Jim returns to his favourite themes of leadership authenticity, accountability and action in this user-friendly leaders’ handbook. Through anecdotes, musings, examples and best practice research, he manages an irresistible combination of simplicity and profundity, theory and pragmatism, strategy and tactics. A source of inspiration for leaders at all levels.”
Nancy Semkin, Director Leadership Development
Royal Bank Financial Group

“I wanted to give you some quick feedback on The Leaders Digest. The feedback is that I thoroughly enjoyed it! I couldn’t put it down once I started and found it to be an easy read. The way you have written the book and formatted the chapters (quotations, anecdotes, stories, references to family, humor) is revolutionary. The linkages to your previous books allowed me to easily understand and digest (no pun intended) the material and concepts.

And by the way, “Let’s be Frank” is a classic! I’m going to facilitate a session with my management team based on those pages.

I find the Frank stories to be a reflection of the truisms in the workplace and Frank to be the spirit in all of us. He runs into the same issues and challenges that we have all faced at one time or another, but perseveres through what seems like an insurmountable series of set backs to ultimately get him and the business to where it needs to be. There are many timeless themes embedded in there that I really enjoyed.

I am an advocate of the ageless principles that your books convey and have worked hard at molding my behaviors so I demonstrate these skills as regularly as possible. I don’t let people of rank or in power sway me from my values. Neither did Frank.

I’m a Clemmer disciple that can’t get enough of this stuff!”
Alan Zimmermann, Director
Business Customer Support, AT & T Canada

“I am thoroughly learning, applying, and enjoying every chapter in the The Leader’s Digest. This book sums up beautifully and professionally all those 30-something books I have on leadership, team building, and so forth. Thank you for giving management a breath of refreshing and soothing air! Well written, well said, and well done!”
Tanya Paoletti, Information Services
McGill University Health Centre

“I’m currently reading The Leader’s Digest. The book is fantastic! It will be a book that I return to again and again. Jim has described some people I know right down to the last detail!!! The ‘talk the talk’ kind who will never be able to ‘walk the walk’ – awesome book! I have recommended it to my colleagues as it is a great follow-up to a team building exercise we had a few weeks ago.”
Barbara Foubister, The Canadian National Institute for the Blind

“The Leaders Digest is a thought provoking, inspirational book which is having the dual effect of both confirming and developing my leadership skills. I love the layout, quotes and creative magazine style approach.”
Steve Lambert, Manager
Durham Probation Service Public Protection Unit, Durham City, County Durham, UK

“A good friend of mine, Craig Ross, Safety Director for Barrick Gold Corporation, lent me a copy of a book he recommended entitled The Leader’s Digest by Jim Clemmer. I found this book very different from other leadership books on the market. The book is written in a true digest format. This unique aspect makes it easy to read. After reading just a fourth of the book, I was online ordering a copy for myself. Clemmer states, “One of my goals in writing The Leader’s Digest was to distill all the information on leadership down to its essentials—to provide a series of executive summaries or briefings on the key elements of leading people.”

The principles outlined in the book are truly timeless. Thus, they are not new leadership principles. Through a wide range of examples and comparisons, Clemmer describes ways in which these principles are proven effective. Clemmer encourages, “We need to continually rediscover and repackage them for today’s circumstances.” One of the key comparisons made in the book is management versus leadership. In short, Clemmer defines management as “pushing employees toward a goal” and leadership as “pulling employees toward a goal.” In my experience, I have seen a lot of strong managers fail from lacking the ability to lead. More so now than ever, today’s workforce demands not only strong management but also strong leadership, especially when it comes to safety and health compliance. Companies must respond and produce managers with strong leadership qualities if they are to succeed in their goals.The Leader’s Digest is a great tool that can assist all managers in any industry with understanding the principle difference between management versus leadership and the importance of leadership in the workplace.

The Leader’s Digest does not directly address safety and was not written specifically for the safety professional. However, a safety professional can turn to any page in it, read an excerpt and be able to apply any one of the “timeless principles” Clemmer has collected to the safety profession. I greatly enjoyed this book. The Leader’s Digest will not collect dust on my shelf. It will be a book that I will refer to quite frequently throughout my career. I highly recommend it for all safety professionals—as we are not only managers of safety but also leaders of our workforce in our endless challenge to achieve and maintain a proactive safety culture.”
Mark Chavez
Jacobsen Construction Company, ASSE News (October 2006), reprinted courtesy of the Utah Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers

Congratulations on your new book, The Leader’s Digest… I’ve got 4 copies of it! A supporter!

Just to share some feedback…I believe the new book is excellent and is a significant enhancement of the earlier version. A lot of valuable information and quotes making it more suitable for the business community.
– Peter Chan, Ontario Power Generation, Ajax, ON

Loved the book…read it in record time…the book now looks like it had a run-in with a kaleidoscope due to my overzealous highlighting of the relevant sections. This in my view is a good thing!

I have passed your e-mail and the links you provided to our Learning Resources Group as well as our Librarian for further consideration.

Thank you for richly fertilizing my knowledge tree and enhancing my growth and lifelong learning.
– Lena Zwicker, Quality Improvement Coordinator, Mental Health Center, Penetanguishene, ON

Congratulations again on the book!! Thanks also for your new e-newsletter.

I am also impressed with the branding of your “personal touch!” I believe you’ve captured what I’ve always imagined to be your very greatest strength and area of expertise. It’s what you bring to the world that’s so exceptionally “unique and special” – your relentless passion and breadth and depth of knowledge and interest in the field of Leadership!
– Gail Voisin, Executive Coach, Toronto, ON

You might be surprised to hear that I started on page 152 with the fish-tank factor (my husband would have preferred the tank top factor!) It speaks volumes.
It’s such a joy to see you seize the opportunity to make your living doing what you love! Like you, I seek to help others find their feet, and their ideal work situations.
I appreciate how you succinctly state philosophy and concepts, and proceed to provide procedures for real-world implementation. Thank you for filling a serious gap on the management bookshelf.

Perhaps too few readers will comment on the format and layout of the book. It’s friendly, like an elementary school reader. The large typeface is user-friendly, and the margins provide space for personal notations.

‘As we speak’, I’m experiencing some turbulent times, and have undertaken a strategic job search. The Leader’s Digest is my pillar of strength. I can open it at any time at any page, and find exactly what I need to read.
– Linda Stagg, B.Com., MPA Student

Table of Contents

Introduction – PDF
Chapter One – PDF


  • Getting to the Point
  • What’s New?
  • Finding Your Own Path
  • Principles in Practice
  • Growth Can Hurt a Little

Chapter One
Leaders Make the Difference

  • What are People Worth?
  • Management versus Leadership: Symbiotic Roles
  • The Leadership Wheel: Well-Rounded Leaders
  • Soft Skills, Hard Results
  • Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

Chapter Two
Focus and Context: Points of Origin

  • Three Core Questions
  • Leading Change from the Core
  • Vision: Seeing the Possibilities
  • Managers set goals, leaders have vision
  • The limits of planning
  • Vision at work
  • Values: Priorities of Principle
  • Bringing values to life
  • The value of values
  • Purpose: At the Heart of Leadership

Chapter Three
Responsibility for Choices: From Victim to Victor

  • No More Excuses
  • The Possibilities of Change: Doing What We Can
  • Prisons of the Mind: Breaking Out
  • Management Without Limits
  • I’m In Charge: It’s Up To Me
  • Leading from the middle
  • Making the best of a bad boss
  • Just Go and Do It: Don’t Stand There Waiting
  • Leadership is action, not a position
  • Tempered Radicals: Steely Leadership Choices

Chapter Four
Authenticity: Let’s Get Real

  • Know Thyself
  • Being True to Me: The Inside Story
  • Leaders can’t please everyone
  • Moral Authorities: Badges of Honor
  • Authenticity means integrity
  • Measuring the value of trust
  • “We” and “They”: Across the Great Divide
  • Sharing tough times
  • I’ll Go First: Shining Examples
  • Perception and Reality: Do I See What They See?
  • Seeing through their eyes
  • What do I see?
  • The Moose on the Table: Authentic Conversations
  • Hearing the Hard Truths

Chapter Five
Passion and Commitment: All Fired Up

  • Enriching Jobs for Fun and Profit
  • Emotional Empowerment: It’s My Job
  • Internal versus external motivators
  • Commitment Connections: Passing It Along
  • Going the extra mile
  • Satisfaction at work
  • Performance Partners: All Together Now
  • A tale of two managers
  • Partnering promotes health and safety
  • Partners talk to each other
  • Retaining Top People: Loyalty Leadership
  • Creating commitment cultures
  • Strong leaders are “people magnets”
  • The Power of One: Personal Missions
  • Passionate for the right job

Chapter Six
Spirit and Meaning: Matters of the Heart

  • Let’s Be Frank: Getting All Fired Up
  • Meaning-Full Work: Rousing the Spirit
  • Spirituality in the workplace
  • Let’s Be Frank: In Search of the Company’s Lost Heart
  • A Hierarchy of Spirit and Meaning
  • Let’s Be Frank: Going to the Next Level
  • Finding Your Personal “It”
  • Connecting with Pride: If Something’s Worth Doing…
  • Spirited Cultures Give a Competitive Edge
  • Let’s Be Frank: Snowballs, stones, and stories
  • From Me to We: The Greater Good
  • Let’s Be Frank: Redefining the Role of Leadership

Chapter Seven
Growing and Developing: All That We Can Be

  • Growing Spaces: Fertile Grounds
  • The Fish-tank Factor
  • Power Usage: Spare Us the Bully Bosses
  • Heroes Don’t Help Others
  • Great Expectations: Raising the Bar
  • The Coach’s Playbook: Personnel Training
  • Clarifying goals and roles
  • Building on strengths
  • Confronting poor performance
  • Servant-leadership
  • Giving Good Feedback: Response Mechanisms
  • Asking and listening
  • Cheer Leaders: Let’s Hear It
  • Coaches Show How Much They Really Care
  • Reflecting and Renewing

Chapter Eight
Mobilizing and Energizing: Go, Team, Go

  • The Motivation Myth: Energy Sources
  • Servant-Leadership: Serving the Servers
  • Servant-Leaders remove the things that drain energy
  • The Power of Teams: Strength in Numbers
  • Building High-Performance Teams
  • Recharging with Recognition: Being Appreciated
  • Meaningful Appreciations
  • Speaking of Success: Two-Way Conversations
  • Information versus communication
  • Tell me a story
  • Powers of persuasion
  • Effective Listening

Chapter Nine
Leadership is Action

  • Hands on the Wheel: There is no Shortcut to Real Leadership
  • The Leader’s Progress: Developing New Habits
  • Practiced Excellence: Old Wisdom, New Ways

Corporate Buying Guide

Copies for Your Entire Team or Organization

Leadership is central to your organization’s success. The Leader’s Digest can help foster and reinforce key leadership messages for all your supervisors and managers, as your organization wrestles with balancing technical, processes, and people issues.

Deep discounts make it easy to provide your management teams with the core essentials: a series of insights and bite-sized briefings on the timeless principles of leading people.

This book was written to be distributed in quantity by executives, managers, and training professionals attempting to help build leaders throughout their organizations:

  • provide a strong base for leadership development programs
  • build a common foundation of values around its timeless principles
  • bring management teams together with a common language and set of values
  • embrace personal leadership development as a key to dealing with continuous and unpredictable change
  • help develop managers into leaders

Drawing on decades of research, extensive experience coaching and developing thousands of managers, and previous bestselling books, Jim Clemmer is a leading North American thinker on improving personal, team, and organization performance. He’s a popular keynote speaker, management workshop/retreat leader, consultant, and executive coach. He’s delivered over two thousand presentations and given hundreds of media interviews on leadership. His international bestsellers include The VIP Strategy, Firing on All Cylinders, Pathways to Performance, and Growing the Distance.
An Excellent Companion to Growing the Distance.

Growing the Distance inspires powerful personal growth for everyone in your organization — from the senior management team to the frontline employees, by creating “leaders in action.” Today, more than ever, companies look to everyone, at all levels, to think and act like leaders. The key, as Jim Clemmer demonstrates, is to first create inner self-leadership, which ultimately will determine how people perform in their roles and help move the organization forward.

Get Copies for Your Whole Team

The Leader’s Digest is used in organizations around the world as part of leadership development and training programs. Now you can take advantage of our new discount schedule to provide this valuable resource to every member of your team.

Volume Discount Schedule




1 to 4 $19.95 0%
5 to 49 $13.95 30%
50 to 199 $11.97 40%
200 to 2,499 $9.98 50%
2,500 to 4,999 $8.98 55%
5,000 to 9,999 $6.98 65%
10000 or more $5.95 70%

Order copies for your whole team today! Place your order by phone (519) 748-1044 or email today!

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