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The Leader's Ladder is a well-founded and practical  leadership handbook - suitable both for individuals and management teams.
It's based on agile and lean principles and successful practices, integrated with Care and Growth concepts.

(The book is also available in Spanish - La Escalera al Liderazgo. Please let us know if you are interested in supporting availibility into other languages or areas.)


The Leader's Ladder is available both as an E-book and a paper editon. See distributions alternatives below.
  Please email us on info@braveship.com to recieve information on alternative ways to get the book.

Versions in English and Spannish
are now available through Amazon.

lean and agile leadership

Better leadership can grow in symbiosis with Lean and Agile principles.
Real Lean (as opposed to the much too common fake lean) and Agile practices have proven to be a good base for very successful strategies in many organizations - resulting in growing people and systematic improvement of both products & ways-of-working.
Succesful Lean and Agile practices require good leadership - but Lean and Agile principles/practices also give great opportunities for leadership development. The Leader's Ladder helps you to understand and try these opportunities.

About the author

Bengt Savén is a committed promoter of a better & sustainable leadership that long-term favours all stake-holders of an organization.

His vast experience comes from many years in business management, complemented by a career in academia.  He has been on the front line, serving as manager om all levels, leading both small and large organizations – ranging in size from just three subordinates to well over a thousand. Besides leading lean-agile Operational Excellence and Leadership tranformations, Bengt Savén is currently working part-time as professor in Sustainable Leadership at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm.

By combining his practical leadership experience with new theoretical findings, he has managed to evolve the three complementary models that forms the core of  The Leader's Ladder (i.e., besides the ladder itself, also The Collaboration Tree and The Contribution Model).
Bengt is a committed inspirational speaker and promoter of a better, braver and sustainable leadership.

Foreword by Etsko Schuitema

'The Leader’s Ladder is one of those unique texts that transcend the distinction between the theoretical and the practical. Based on the extensive experience Bengt Savén has had both of the Lean methodology and of the Care and Growth leadership model, the book provides immensely helpful tools for leaders to produce genuinely and practically enabling environments for their people.
In my consulting experience, I have repeatedly seen that a synthesis of a leadership excellence approach and an operational excellence methodology provides the drivers for an authentic transformation process that delivers engaged employees. In weaving the requirements of the Care and Growth model and the Lean methodology, Bengt has achieved just such a synthesis. The added advantage that Bengt has is that he developed his insights not only as a consultant, but also as a line leader who was responsible for delivering a business outcome. What you have in this text is a methodology which works because it has been tested by its author in a very challenging environment.
It is also important to recognize that this book does not only represent a practical application of a pre-existing theoretical framework. In applying the ideas of the Care and Growth model, for example, Bengt has reworked them into a form which fits his context and hence contributes a unique richness to his handling of the material. This book is therefore not merely a ‘how to’ investigation. It represents a serious contribution to our thinking about organizations and the human being at work."

Etsko Schuitema
Lead Partner, Schuitema Human Excellence Group

"I wish that I had The Leader's Ladder available for myself and my colleagues when I was a manager!

Bengt Savén has covered everything from the communication of the high level strategic vision right down to how to set meaningful objectives at all levels of the organisation. I like the way the author deals with accountability/attitude, for example stressing the need for a courageous approach to giving honest feedback. Savén has  succeeded in combining the Care and Growth Model with a continuous improvement process (Lean) - and his integration is excellent. The book contains great illustrations and several practical examples to illustrate ​important points, supporting you to become a better leader step-by-step.

There is a lot in this book, and I think all practicing managers will benefit from reading it. "

Dr. ​Graham Edwards 
Chief Executive (Rtd), AECI

more Comments

About inspirational lectures
"It was really great! It put to perspective 'manager' vs. 'leader'. It challenged me to see the diffrence and to reflect on if I am a manager or a leader and  which I want to be going forward.  I  have learnt a lot, e.g. the new model of MAA. The concept of ' 'hard and soft', Tough Care ,was great.  I will try out 'all'!!, specifically  (1) a daily balance between to deliver, improve and learn, (2) taking time to coach leadership and (3) giving concious focus to MAA and soft vs. hard coaching."
a 2018 Executive Program participant

About the book
“Every time I return to The Leader’s Ladder it happens again - recognition, inspiration and learning. It has provided me with numerous simple but constructive advice. The Leader’s Ladder has become a major source of energy - motivating me to grow continuously.”
Lotten Tholander
CEO, Nordic Construction Systems

“Despite my many years as a manager I haven’t come across a book anything like The Leader's Ladder. It is really easy to comprehend and very practical in how it describes the process of developing as a leader. Coaching leaders has become so much easier since we got access to the insights and structure that Bengt Savén presents in his book. The Leader’s Ladder has become more or less as a bible in our office.”
Jacob Kramer
Head of Business Development, LF Insurance

“The Leader’s Ladder describes the importance of value-based leadership – and makes it practical and useable for everyday work. The book contains concrete tips for challenging both managers and coworkers to grow. I highly recommend it to everyone interested in creating better leadership.”
Johanna Strömgren
Head of Lean Center, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

“The Leader’s Ladder is an amazing handbook for those who want to develop great and effective leadership. Its messages are firmly established in modern research. It is a book to read and regularly revisit, regardless of your background, organisation and management level.”
Jason Martin
Leadership researcher, Linkoping University

“This work is a candle to help us see better in the shadow.”
Johan Southey
MBA, South Africa

Read more about Bengt Savén as a lecturer, inspirator and coach here.

The leader's ladder

- 5 steps to Braver Leadership with Structure and Tough Care

The Leader’s Ladder is a different kind of leadership book – the closest you can get to a comprehensive, and still easily readable, leadership handbook.
Based on a rare combination of diverse academic and leadership experiences, Bengt Savén has succeeded in creating a model that, in a unique way, covers everything from essential leadership values to very tangible tools for your everyday leadership. The author invites you on a journey that can take you from being a traditional manager to a leader whom others willingly follow.

By introducing important concepts like Tough Care, Leader Contribution and MAA (means, ability and attitude) Savén creates a framework (the Collaboration Tree) that illustrates what a real leader needs to prioritize. It has its roots in the Care and Growth Model, as well as in true Lean and Agile practices. With this framework as the starting point, he presents five distinct steps to becoming a better leader (the Leader’s Ladder).

The Leader’s Ladder is written both for individual reading and for discussions with colleagues. If you are part of top management, you can therefore use the book as a base for developing a common leadership standard so that your whole management team can develop together – both faster and better.

“I truly recommend The Leader’s Ladder to managers at all levels of any organisation.”

Roger Svensk
Operations Manager, IKEA Industry

BraveShip ...

... offers knowledge and inspiration for better leadership.
We provide reading, work-shops, inspiration speaches and coaching based on three fundamental models (the Collaboration Tree, Contribution Management and the Leader's Ladder) wich are both very practical and full of meaning. We claim that the roots to great leadership can be summarized in Tough Care with Courage and can be learnt in small steps, supported by structure.

Our drive comes from our mission: WISDOM-INTO-ACTION  ...
... and the insight that the world today, and our organizations, need better leadership - unselfish leaders that help people (including themselves) developing their abilities and attitudes for better collaboration!
This includes building systematic learning & improvements into the everyday work of the organization.

Both the need for, and the understanding of, such a modern sustainable leadership are slowly spreading and replacing the old view on management. That gives hope - because good leadership makes a big difference and because we can all develop our leadership, backed by new understandings and tools, ideally in dialogue with collegues and/or with a coach.

It starts with your will. If you've got it, we have the structure you need to create a new level of leadership that benefits everyone.

“It was an incredibly good day! I have learnt a lot. The most useful was Contribution Management – leading leaders.
It’s challenging to lead managers – getting results the indirect way. I will now practice The Leaders Ladder with my management team.”

Anna Cantell-Forsbom, Director of Family Service, Vantaa Hospital, Finland

"The Leader’s Ladder gives you the big picture of what it takes to become a great leader and, at the same time,
it challenges the reader in a very positive way. In my opinion it is the best book on leadership ever written.”

Andreas Westergren, Production Director, Saab Aerostructures

Certification course in Leader´s Ladder

The course "Certified Leader´s Ladder Coach" is a training for you who want to develop your own leadership skills based on the Leader´s Ladder models and tools.
As a “Certified Leader´s Ladder Coach" you get a solid foundation for developing both your own and others' leadership. You also get access to an active network of very experienced and knowledgeable coaching colleagues.
Facts about the course "Certified Leader´s Ladder Coach"
The training extends over 22 weeks and is divided into 3 parts. Part 1 consists of a knowledge part, part 2 focuses on developing your ability to coach other leaders/employees and create change based on “The Leader´s Ladder” 5 steps. Part 3 consists of the actual examination, carried out by Bengt Savén, the author of the book “The Leader´s Ladder”.
The course is based on the book "The Leader´s Ladder", but also contains a basic coach training and training in our powerful tool for business and employee development.
The training is mostly conducted remotely via Teams / Skype, but the start-up and final certification takes place on site in Eskilstuna.
Said about the course
“The theoretical basis of the education, the course leader's solid knowledge transfer and the practical elements not only provide a greater insight into “The Leader´s Ladder” models but also an in-depth understanding of my own leadership journey.” Thomas Sabel, HR Manager YASKAWA Nordic AB
“The course is very pedagogically structured with good lectures and discussions about the book's supporting models and coaching methodology. To this is added individual coaching regarding both the models and the individual challenges you face, very rewarding. The highlight of the course is the implementation of the own coaching sessions with subsequent reflections together with the course leader. I give the course top marks and can give it my very best recommendations!” Henrik Weinbach, Quality Manager Saab Communications
“For me as a leader, a good competence development is when the theory you learn can easily be translated into action in my everyday work and thus create value for the organization's stakeholders. Certified Leader´s Ladder Coach is such an education.” Roberto Citterio, head of department, City of Malmö