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Former Gundersen CEO pens book on leadership


People and organizations can be successful by following their values with courage, discipline and durability.

That's the message of Lead True, the new book from Jeff Thompson, MD, Gundersen Health System executive advisor and CEO emeritus.

"Lead True is a collection of stories and insights, some from our colleagues at Gundersen, some local leaders, some from thoughtful leaders around the United States," Dr. Thompson says. "Many of those who share their stories weren't successful early on, but they had the courage, they had the discipline and they had the durability to ultimately be successful."

The book includes a foreword from Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric. In his message, Immelt shares, "The world needs leaders who can take smart risks, adapt to context, make decisions, and see them through, leaders who have a sense of mission, commitment to core values, dedication to community and the courage, durability, and discipline to persevere. This book is an investment in those leaders, the cultures they build, and their ultimate and lasting success."

Dr. Thompson, who stepped down after 14 years as Gundersen CEO in 2015, says Lead True isn't intended to be preachy, but rather to inspire readers to find the purpose that drives personal and professional success.

"You can be true to your personal values or work for a values-based organization that includes its people and its community among its core goals and still be competitive. Sometimes it's a long, hard process, but there is inspiration in being consistent with your values and to follow through on those values for success."

Lead True is through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. All proceeds of Lead True will benefit a newly-created Gundersen Medical Foundation Leadership Development Fund.

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