Getting In guest blogger Warren Bennis is a university professor, distinguished professor of business administration, and founding chairman of the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. and advisory board chairman of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School. For the past 14 years, he and USC President Emeritus Steven Sample have taught an honors class, “The Art and Adventure of Leadership.”
One of the world’s foremost experts on leadership, Bennis has written 30 books and numerous articles on leadership, change and creative collaboration. His book Leaders was designated by the Financial Times as one of the top 50 business books of all time, and he received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for An Invented Life. Geeks & Geezers, co-authored with Bob Thomas and republished (2007) in paperback as Leading For A Lifetime, examines the differences and similarities between leaders 70 years and older and 32 years and younger. In 2005, HarperCollins published his series of conversations with the late Bob Townsend, Reinventing Leadership. His best-selling book On Becoming A Leader, republished in 2009 on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, has been named one of the 100 best business books of all time. Three of his recent books are: Judgment: How Great Leaders Make Winning Calls, Transparency, and The Essential Bennis. His memoir, Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership,was published in 2010.
Prior to his tenure at USC, Bennis spent 11 years as a university administrator, first as provost at SUNY-Buffalo and then as president of the University of Cincinnati. He has consulted for many Fortune 500 companies and has served as an adviser to five U.S. presidents. In May 2000, the Financial Times referred to Bennis as “the professor who established leadership as a respectable academic field.” Forbes referred to him as the “dean of leadership gurus.” In 2007, Bloomberg Businessweek named Bennis as one of the top 10 most influential thought leaders. In World War II, at the age of 19, he led an infantry platoon in Germany, honored with a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Bennis received his PhD in economics and social science from MIT in 1955.