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Chapter 1

What is leadership?
Leading people, Influencing people, Commanding people, Guiding people

Leadership is one of the most salient aspects of the organizational context.


However, defining leadership has been challenging. The following sections discuss
several important aspects of leadership including a description of what leadership is
and a description of several popular theories and styles of leadership. This page
also dives into topics such as the role of emotions and vision, as well leadership
effectiveness and performance. Finally, this page discusses leadership in different
contexts, how it may differ from related concepts (i.e., management), and some
critiques that have been raised about leadership

Leadership versus Management


Over the years the terms management and leadership have been so closely related that
individuals in general think of them as synonymous. However, this is not the case even
considering that good managers have leadership skills and vice-versa. With this concept in mind,
leadership can be viewed as:
• centralized or decentralized
• broad or focused
• decision-oriented or morale-centered
• intrinsic or derived from some authority

Any of the bipolar labels traditionally ascribed to management


style could also apply to leadership style. Hersey and Blanchard
use this approach: they claim that management merely consists
of leadership applied to business situations; or in other words
management forms a subset of the broader leadership process.
They say: "Leadership occurs any time one attempts to influence
the behavior of an individual or group, regardless of the reason.
Management is a kind of leadership in which the achievement of
organizational goals is paramount." And according to Warren
Bennis and Dan Goldsmith, A good manager does things right.
A leader does the right things."
However, a clear distinction between management and
leadership may nevertheless prove useful. This would allow for
a reciprocal relationship between leadership and management,
implying that an effective manager should possess leadership
skills, and an effective leader should demonstrate management skills. One clear distinction could
provide the following definition:
• Management involves power by position.
• Leadership involves power by influence.
Abraham Zaleznik (1977), for example, delineated differences between leadership and
management. He saw leaders as inspiring visionaries concerned about substance while managers
he views as planners who have concerns with process. Warren Bennis (1989) further explicated a
dichotomy between managers and leaders. He drew twelve distinctions between the two groups:
• Managers administer; leaders innovate.
• Managers ask how and when; leaders ask what and why.
• Managers focus on systems; leaders focus on people.
• Managers do things right; leaders do the right things.
• Managers maintain; leaders develop.
• Managers rely on control; leaders inspire trust.
• Managers have short-term perspective; leaders have long-term perspective.
• Managers accept the status-quo; leaders challenge the status-quo.
• Managers have an eye on the bottom line; leaders have an eye on the
horizon.
• Managers imitate; leaders originate.
• Managers emulate the classic good soldier; leaders are their own person.
• Managers copy; leaders show originality.
Paul Birch (1999) also sees a distinction between leadership and management. He observed that,
as a broad generalization, managers concerned themselves with tasks while leaders concerned
themselves with people. Birch does not suggest that leaders do not focus on "the task." Indeed,
the things that characterise a great leader include the fact that they achieve. Effective leaders
create and sustain competitive advantage through the attainment of cost leadership, revenue
leadership, time leadership, and market value leadership. Managers typically follow and realize a
leader's vision. The difference lies in the leader realising that the achievement of the task comes
about through the goodwill and support of others (influence), while the manager may not.
This goodwill and support originates in the leader seeing people as people, not as another
resource for deployment in support of "the task". The manager often has the role of organizing
resources to get something done. People form one of these resources, and many of the worst
managers treat people as just another interchangeable item. A leader has the role of causing
others to follow a path he/she has laid out or a vision he/she has articulated in order to achieve a
task. Often, people see the task as subordinate to the vision. For instance, an organization might
have the overall task of generating profit, but a good leader may see profit as a by-product that
flows from whatever aspect of their vision differentiates their company from the competition.
Leadership does not only manifest itself as purely a business phenomenon. Many people can
think of an inspiring leader they have encountered who has nothing whatever to do with
business: a politician, an officer in the armed forces, a Scout or Guide leader, a teacher, etc.
Similarly, management does not occur only as a purely business phenomenon. Again, we can
think of examples of people that we have met who fill the management niche in non-business
organisationsNon-business organizations should find it easier to articulate a non-money-driven
inspiring vision that will support true leadership. However, often this does not occur.
Differences in the mix of leadership and management can define various management styles.
Some management styles tend to de-emphasize leadership. Included in this group one could
include participatory management, democratic management, and collaborative management
styles. Other management styles, such as authoritarian management, micro-management, and
top-down management, depend more on a leader to provide direction. Note, however, that just
because an organisation has no single leader giving it direction, does not mean it necessarily has
weak leadership. In many cases group leadership (multiple leaders) can prove effective. Having a
single leader (as in dictatorship) allows for quick and decisive decision-making when needed as
well as when not needed. Group decision-making sometimes earns the derisive label "committee-
itis" because of the longer times required to make decisions, but group leadership can bring more
expertise, experience, and perspectives through a democratic process.
Patricia Pitcher (1994) has challenged the bifurcation into leaders and managers. She used a
factor analysis (in marketing) technique on data collected over 8 years, and concluded that three
types of leaders exist, each with very different psychological profiles: Artists (imaginative,
inspiring, visionary, entrepreneurial, intuitive, daring, and emotional), Craftsmen (well-balanced,
steady, reasonable, sensible, predictable, and trustworthy), Technocrats (cerebral, detail-oriented,
fastidious, uncompromising, and hard-headed). She speculates that no one profile offers a
preferred leadership style. She claims that if we want to build, we should find an "artist leader" if
we want to solidify our position, we should find a "craftsman leader" and if we have an ugly job
that needs to get done like downsizing, we should find a "technocratic leader". Pitcher also
observed that a balanced leader exhibiting all three sets of traits occurs extremely rarely: she
found none in her study.
Bruce Lynn postulates a differentiation between 'Leadership' and ‘Management’ based on
perspectives to risk. Specifically,"A Leader optimises upside opportunity; a Manager minimises
downside risk." He argues that successful executives need to apply both disciplines in a balance
appropriate to the enterprise and its context. Leadership without Management yields steps
forward, but as many if not more steps backwards. Management without Leadership avoids any
step backwards, but doesn’t move forward.

Managers vs. Leaders: Comparison

Managers Leaders
Focus on things Focus on people

Do things right Do the right things

Plan Inspire

Organize Influence

Direct Motivate

Control Build

Follows the rules Empowers people

 Creates structure Controlling

 Job descriptions  Devises strategy

 Staffing  Sets direction

 Hierarchy  Creates vision

 Delegates Organizing

 Training  Gets people on board for


strategy
 Planning
 Communication
 Budgeting
 Networks
 Sets targets
 Motivate
 Establishes detailed
steps  Inspire

 Allocates resources  Gives sense of accomplishment

A simple comparison showing main differences.

Leadership and Management


What is leadership, and what is the difference between leadership and management?
In a nutshell, the difference between leadership and management is:
• Leadership is setting a new direction or vision for a group that they follow, ie:
a leader is the spearhead for that new direction

• Management controls or directs people/resources in a group according to


principles or values that have already been established.
The difference between leadership and management can be illustrated by considering what
happens when you have one without the other.
Leadership without management
...sets a direction or vision that others follow, without considering too much how the
new direction is going to be achieved. Other people then have to work hard in the
trail that is left behind, picking up the pieces and making it work. Eg: in Lord of the
Rings, at the council of Elrond, Frodo Baggins rescues the council from conflict by
taking responsibility for the quest of destroying the ring - but most of the
management of the group comes from others.

Management without leadership


...controls resources to maintain the status quo or ensure things happen according
to already-established plans. Eg: a referee manages a sports game, but does not
usually provide "leadership" because there is no new change, no new direction - the
referee is controlling resources to ensure that the laws of the game are followed
and status quo is maintained.

Leadership combined with management


...does both - it both sets a new direction and manages the resources to achieve it.
Eg: a newly elected president or prime minister.

Some potential confusions...


The absence of leadership/management is not to be confused with participatory or
facilitative management, which can be a very effective form of leadership.

Also, the absence of leadership should not be confused with the type of leadership that calls for
'no action' to be taken. For example, Gandhi's calls for protests to stop demonstrated great
leadership, because taking no action was a new direction for the Indian people at that time.
Symbolic Leadership
When a leader acts as a figure-head without setting any direction, technically this is
not leadership. However, the figure head may be viewed as a leader. For example,
in the UK, the monarch is often viewed as a leader, but actually provides very little
leadership (most of the 'leadership' in the UK comes from political figures).

However, if a new group sets a direction of its own accord, it will often express that new
direction in the form of a leader. For example, Nelson Mandela was regarded as a great leader
even though he was in prison and unable to communicate with his followers! And he had been
historically classified as a "terrorist"! Yet his symbolic power grew across the world. This was
because he was a symbolic spearhead of the anti-apartheid movement.
However, Nelson Mandela was more than just a symbolic leader. When he was released from
prison, he showed great leadership in the statesmanship he showed, and in reaching out a hand of
friendship to his oppressors. This landed a double-whammy blow against the apartheid regime,
because:
• During the period when Nelson Mandela was imprisoned (when his ability to
provide personal, direct leadership was limited) he continued to grow in
power and influence as the symbolic leader for the anti-apartheid movement.
• Following his release from prison, he demonstrated actual leadership.

Leadership and Management Summary


Leadership is about setting a new direction for a group; management is about directing and
controlling according to established principles. However, someone can be a symbolic leader if
they emerge as the spearhead of a direction the group sets for itself.

The Beginning of the Journey


Give me beauty in the inward soul; may the outward and inward man be at one.
— Socrates
Anyone can lead, and there is no single chief executive officer: There is a problem
of
getting used to the idea of no single chief, but the passage of time will allay that.
— Robert Greenleaf

“What is fundamental to the most effective, results producing


leaders that supports their various competencies or styles?”
Three patterns became
clear:
1. Authenticity:Well-developed self-awareness that openly faces strengths,
vulnerabilities,
and development challenges.
2. Influence: Meaningful communication that connects with people by reminding
self
and others what is genuinely important.
3. Value Creation: Passion and aspiration to serve multiple constituencies—self,
team,
organization, world, family, community—to sustain performance and contribution
over the long term.
Continuing to evaluate and test these emerging principles over the next 18 months,
we
landed on what we think is an essential definition of personal leadership:
Leadership is authentic influence that creates value.
The implications of this definition are potentially far-reaching. From this new
perspective,
leadership is not viewed as hierarchical; it exists everywhere in organizations. The
roles of
leadership change, but the core process is the same. Anyone who is authentically
influencing
to create value is leading. Some may influence and create value through ideas,
others
through systems, yet others through people, but the essence is the same. Deep
from their
core, leaders bring forward their talents, connect with others, and serve multiple
constituencies.
Reacting to this definition of leadership, John Hetterick, former President of Tonka
and
CEO of Rollerblade, told me, “This definition of leadership speaks to me. The single
biggest
performance issue organizations face is inspiring leadership at all levels.”

The essence of leadership is not giving things or even providing visions. It is


offering oneself and one’s spirit.
— Lee Bolman and Terrance Deal

Using this definition, we acknowledge that there are an infinite number of ways to
manifest
leadership. There are as many styles of leadership as there are leaders. Viewing
leadership
from this vantage point, we will be exploring three essential questions to enhance
our leadership
effectiveness:

• How can we enhance our authenticity as a leader?


• How can we extend the influence we have?
• How can we create more value?

Leadership is about our ongoing journey to discover and develop our


purposeful inner capabilities to make a more positive contribution to the world
around us.
Bill George, former Chairman and CEO of Medtronic, shares this view: “As leaders,
the
more we can unleash our whole capabilities—mind, body, spirit—the more value we
can
create within and outside of our organizations.”

Mastery of Leadership is not merely a function of achieving things. It is


principally about achieving one thing—consciously making a difference by fully
applying
more of our potential. This does not mean that we only lead from the inside-out. On
the
contrary, we lead just as much—and sometimes more—from the outside-in.
Leadership involves
a constant dynamic between the inner and the outer. We are emphasizing the
insideout
dynamic because too often it is overlooked. We tend to focus too much on the
outside.

We are in a continuing flow, a dynamic relationship with ourselves and our


constituencies—
the marketplace, our customers, our employees, and our personal relationships.
Ultimately,
we want a balance of leading from the inside-out and the outside-in. Our decisions
and actions
are in a dynamic loop from us to others and back again. To practice leadership at
the
highest level, we need to take responsibility—personal and social responsibility. We
need to
be equally vigilant about the “I” and the “We” of effective leadership. Daniel
Goleman’s
work on emotional intelligence precisely identified this inner-outer/outer-inner
dynamic as
the two interactive qualities of emotional intelligence: awareness of self and
awareness
of others.

The purpose of this book is to help you master seven ways to lead more effectively.
I will do this by sharing our* distilled insights from working with thousands of
leaders. Although the subsequent chapters will elaborate, there are a few essential
themes, which consistently
surface as we help people to master their leadership effectiveness:

• As the person grows, the leader grows. The missing element in most leadership
development
programs is actually the “Master Competency” of growing the whole person
to grow the whole leader.
• Most definitions of leadership need to be balanced from the inside-out, moving
from
viewing leadership only in terms of its external manifestations to seeing it also from
its internal source. To balance leading from the inside-out and from the outside-in
gets to the essence of genuine leadership development.
• Helping leaders to connect with their core talents, core values, and core beliefs is
central to effective leadership development.
• Leaders who learn to bring their core talents, core values, and core purpose to
conscious
awareness experience dramatic, quantum increases in energy and effectiveness.
• Leaders who integrate personal power and results power with relational power
accelerate
their leadership effectiveness.
• Leaders who work on achieving congruence—alignment of their real values and
their
actions—are more energetic, resilient, effective, and interpersonally connected.
• Transforming leadership development programs from a series of fragmented,
contentdriven
events to an integrated, inside-out/outside-in growth process greatly enhances
leadership, team, and organizational excellence.

Kevin Wilde, Chief Learning Officer for General Mills, who was named “CLO of the
Year”
by Chief Learning Officer magazine, put it this way, “Ultimately, leadership
development has
to integrate the depth of the inner self-awareness work with the breadth and
complexity
of external marketplace and cultural dynamics. Enduring leadership development
brings
together both of these inner and outer realities.”

* Since much of the work we do at LeaderSource and the Executive to Leader Institute
involves integrated teams
of coaches working together to impact individual and organizational effectiveness, I cannot
accurately write
about the work without saying “our,” “we,” and so forth.

There is but one cause of human failure and that is a man’s lack of faith in
his true Self.
— William James

Leadership involves clarifying our inner identity, purpose, and vision so that
our lives thereafter are dedicated to a more conscious, intentional manner of living
and leading.
This inner mastery directs our diverse intentions and aspirations into a purposeful
focus where
increased effectiveness is a natural result. As we move to a more fulfilled manner of
living and
leading, a focus on purpose replaces our single-minded focus on external success.
However, our
purpose cannot stay “bottled up” inside; we feel compelled to express it. This
purposeful intention
and action serves as the energetic, inspired basis for enhanced leadership
effectiveness and
achievement. Unfortunately, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve met with a
CEO, business
owner, or corporate executive who had lost connection to this inner core of success.
John, a business owner, approached me a while ago. By all external measures he
was a great success.
He had a thriving business. He recently built a new facility to house his expanding
operations.
But something was missing. When he sat down with me, he opened up immediately
by
saying, “You know, everyone thinks I’m a big success. My neighbors think I’m
successful. My
friends think I’m successful. My family thinks I’m successful. My employees around
the globe
think I have it all together. But you know what? I’m miserable. I’m unhappy in what
I’m doing.
My whole life I’ve been just successfully reacting to circumstances. I got my degree
and that defined
my first job, and that first job defined my second job, and so on. And before I knew
it I
had this business, a family, and a mortgage. Recently I ‘woke up’ and said to
myself, ‘Is this
me? Is this my life, or just a series of circumstances I’ve successfully reacted to?’
I’m not sure
what to do, but I have this sense of urgency that I need to take my life back.”

From a development perspective, many leaders of organizations today are like John.
We are
like naturally gifted athletes who have mastered our external performance
capabilities but
have neglected the inner dynamics supporting our success and fulfillment. What
happens to
natural athletes who become coaches? They often have an extremely difficult and
frustrating
time. Why? Most often it is because they have not comprehended from the inside-
out how
they became great. As a result, it is challenging to mentor others to greatness, and
it is
equally challenging to be consciously aware of how to replicate their own success in
the
future. This is why most significant growth and development needs to begin with
selfleadership,
mastery of oneself.

When we define our identity and purpose only in terms of external results, the
circumstances
of our lives define us. In this externally driven state of identity, life is fragile,
vulnerable,
and at risk. Everything that happens to us defines who we are. We are success. We
are
failure. We become our circumstances. Life defines us. Our core identity and
passionate

purpose are overshadowed by the events of our lives. Success


may even be present, but mastery has escaped us. Unintentionally,
we have chosen to “major” in the “minor” things
of life. Can we lead when we don’t see beyond the external
circumstances surrounding us?
Bill, a senior executive in a global company based in
Europe, was caught in this external trap, but he didn’t know it. His career had been
a fast
and consistent ascent to the top. He had the “right degree,” his background was
with the
“right companies,” and his results were always outstanding. However, his single-
minded
pursuit of success had great costs. Without intending to, he
left a wide wake of people in his path to success. As a result,
he had few close supporters and team morale was low. At
earlier stages in his career, this was not an issue. As he advanced,
it became an increasing problem. One day his boss
approached him and said, “Bill, your results are outstanding,
but we need more than that. The way you’re getting results
is starting to diminish your effectiveness here.” Bill was
shocked. A flood of thoughts came to mind: “What do you
mean my results are not enough? Since when has my style
been an issue?” Am I missing something here?” Bill’s externally built facade of
success was
being questioned by his boss and by Bill himself. This jolt was exactly what he
needed to foster
his development to the next level.
After a few days, Bill arrived in my office for leadership coaching. The shock of his
boss’s
comments and his need to reconcile them with his limited self-understanding had
put him
in a reflective mood. “I’ve been avoiding this. If I’m honest with myself, I know I
have to do
some work. Not the type of work I’m accustomed to, but work on me. But I’m totally
at a
loss. My whole life has been focused on achieving at all costs: getting the grades in
school,
winning in sports, getting results in business. When I’m faced with changing, doing
things
differently, growing . . . whatever you call it, I’m lost. I’m even beginning to wonder
what’s
really important to me anymore. My life has been invested in getting results. Now
that’s not
enough? What do I do?”
After a couple of months of intensive work, Bill began to turn his life inside-out. He
started
to sort out what was really important to him. He began leading more from his core
values.

Try not to become a man of success. Try to become a man of value.


— Albert Einstein

For this is the journey that men make: to find themselves. If they fail to do this,
it doesn’t matter much what else they find.
— James Michener

He built more relationships with people. He started to master the power of inner-
driven,
purposeful leadership. His team environment responded to his newfound sense of
service.
His boss, co-workers, friends, and family all felt that something significant,
something of
real substance, had begun.
It’s important to note that we didn’t try to change Bill by taking him through some
sort of
“charm school.” We helped him to wake up. He woke up to his identity. He woke up
to the
influence he was having on people. He woke up to his values and purpose. He woke
up to
his vision. He woke up to how others perceived him. This inside-out and outside-in
mastery
authentically reconnected him to himself, to others, and to the world around him. It
was
there all the time, but he needed to connect to it. Like Bill, we all fall into a
metaphorical
slumber at times. Rarely questioning where we are going and why, we go about our
business
and relationships day after day. Unfortunately, it often takes a traumatic event—a
death, a
termination, a divorce, a disease, or even a global crisis—to bring us out of the
depths of our
deep sleep. But why wait for a shocking wake-up call? Why not make a more
conscious
choice to awaken to new potentialities now?

REFLECTION
CONSCIOUS WAKE-UP CALL

Go to your favorite spot to sit. Get comfortable. Close your eyes but don’t lie
down. (Remember, this is an awakening exercise, so our goal is to wake up, not to
sleep!) Listen to your internal dialogue and chatter: “This is a dumb exercise!”
“Why did I buy this book?” “I’m hungry.” “I’m tired.” “I’m worried about . . .”
Observe the dialogue in a non-judging way. Don’t mind your thoughts and feelings;
just let them be there and pass in and out. Let your thoughts settle down.
This will happen naturally in your non-judging state.

Start to listen. Listen for your inner voice, not the one in your head with the
dialogue
and thoughts. Listen for the one in your gut, the impulse that speaks to you
through feelings, inspirations, intuitions, and possibilities.
From that place, ask questions and listen: “What is really important to me? Is this
the life I want to live? How do I really want to live my life? What gives passion,
meaning, and purpose to my life? How can I make even more of a difference?
How can I live connected to these inner values?” Pause deeply. Let the questions
and answers come to you easily and spontaneously.

Some people prefer doing this while listening to gentle music, others while walking;
there are many ways to open up to this state. Use whatever way works for you
and practice it regularly. There are endless layers to explore. If you’re a bit
uncomfortable
or embarrassed at first, don’t worry about it. Over time you will settle
into it, and your discomfort will pass.

When was the last time you woke up in the morning feeling thankful, fulfilled, and
happy to
be alive? On these days, the sun seemed brighter, your sense of self stronger, your
life’s purpose
clearer, and your mental and physical energies more abundant. These moments did
not
happen by accident. Several aspects of your life “came together.” Your self-
recognition, sense
of purpose, relationships, career, health, and lifestyle were all “more alive” at these
times. As a
result, you found yourself thinking, feeling, leading, and achieving in a more
positive and energizing
way.

For at least a brief period of time, each of us experiences these masterful moments.
How can
we experience them on a more consistent basis? Unfortunately, there is not a
simple answer.
There are no quick-fix programs in leadership development. Programs that take
shortcuts
may get some immediate results by temporarily masking acute symptoms, but the
chronic
situation remains. Over time, the person returns to an even more difficult condition.
“Quick fixes” may be quick, but they don’t fix anything. The people I’ve worked with
over
the years are looking for something more—mastery of excellence over the long
haul.
These people are not interested in getting “psyched-up” by a motivational speaker;
they are
interested in substance, results, process, and research-based solutions. They want
to reach a
deeper, more comprehensive level to master their lives as a whole.

Knowingly or unknowingly, we attempt to master personal and professional


situations according
to how we interpret our experiences. We filter our experiences through our unique
belief system and create our personal reality. For instance, if we were in a totally
dark room,
we could attempt to gain mastery by interpreting it in a variety of ways:

• We could curse the darkness and become very effective at blaming it for all our
problems;
• We could struggle and strain, trying with all our might to force the darkness out of
the room;
• We could accept the darkness as a natural part of our existence and even create
an elaborate
belief system around our particular dark experience;
• We could pretend the darkness does not exist and maybe even convince
ourselves that
the room is actually full of light;
• Or we could take the advice of people who have been in this room before: “Turn
on
the light switch and dispel the darkness.”
Leadership is about lighting the pathways to our growth and development.
It is not about ignoring negativity, convincing ourselves it does not exist, or
pretending
things are fine when they are not. Joseph Campbell, in
The Power of Myth, described how effective, heroic people
acknowledged and faced both the darkness and the light.
They learned to acknowledge both realities as part of the
whole. But, as Campbell emphasized, “Although they stand
at the neutral point between darkness and light, they always
leaned into the light.”
Leadership will help you to face your toughest
challenges and lean into the light.
After years of helping leaders and teams to enhance career, life, and organizational
effectiveness,
we have identified seven practices for mastery of Leadership from the Inside Out.
These
practices are not stages of development arranged in a sequential or hierarchical
order.
Rather, they are an ongoing, interrelated growth process in which the practices are
illuminating
one another. When arranged together, we can think of them as an integrated whole,
with each practice supporting progress toward a more fulfilling destination: making
an enduring
difference from within.
Now it’s time to begin our journey. Each of the following chapters offers you
pragmatic
torches to illuminate your pathways to Leadership from the Inside Out.

Chapter 2
Leading with Awareness &
Authenticity
PERSONAL MASTERY
I once heard a poignant story about a priest who was confronted by a soldier while
he was
walking down a road in pre-revolutionary Russia. The soldier, aiming his rifle at the
priest,
commanded, “Who are you? Where are you going? Why are you going there?”
Unfazed, the
priest calmly replied, “How much do they pay you?” Somewhat surprised, the
soldier responded,
“Twenty-five kopecks a month.” The priest paused, and in a deeply thoughtful
manner said, “I have a proposal for you. I’ll pay you fifty kopecks each month if you
stop me
here every day and challenge me to respond to those same three questions.”
How many of us have a “soldier” confronting us with life’s tough questions, pushing
us to
pause, to examine, and to develop ourselves more thoroughly? If “character is our
fate,” as
Heraclitus wrote, do we step back often enough both to question and to affirm
ourselves in
order to reveal our character? As we lead others and ourselves through tough times,
do we
draw on the inner resources of our character, or do we lose ourselves in the
pressures of the
situation?

Breaking Free of Self-Limiting


Patterns
Joe Cavanaugh, Founder and CEO of Youth Frontiers, in one of his powerful retreats
on
character development, tells a moving story about Peter, an elementary school
student who
suffered burns on 90 percent of his body. Peter’s burns were so severe that his
mouth had to
be propped open so it wouldn’t seal shut in the healing process. Splints separated
his fingers
so his hands wouldn’t become webbed. His eyes were kept open so his eyelids
wouldn’t cut
him off from the world permanently. Even after Peter endured one year of
rehabilitation and
excruciating pain, his spirit was intact. What was the first thing he did when he
could walk?
He helped console all the other patients by telling them that they would be all right,
that
they would get through it. His body may have been horribly burned, but his strength
of
character was whole.
Eventually, Peter had to begin junior high at a school where no one knew him.
Imagine
going to a new school at that age and being horribly disfigured. Imagine what the
other kids

would say and how they would react. On his first day in the
cafeteria everyone avoided him. They looked at him with
horror and whispered to one another. Kids got up and
moved from tables that were close to him. One student,
Laura, had the courage to approach him and to introduce
herself. As they talked and ate, she looked into Peter’s eyes
and sensed the person beneath the scarred surface. Reading her thoughts, Peter, in
his deep,
raspy, smoke-damaged voice, said, “Everyone is avoiding me because they don’t
know me
yet. When they come to know me, they’ll hang out with me. When they get to know
the real
me inside, they’ll be my friends.” Peter was right. His character was so strong that
people
eventually looked beyond the surface. People loved his spirit and wanted to be his
friend.
When I consider Peter’s situation, I’m not so sure that I would be able to come
through his
experiences with the same courage. But that’s the beauty of Personal Mastery.
Peter was challenged
to awaken his extraordinary strength and to walk down his particular path. It was
his
path to master, not yours, not mine. Somehow his life had prepared him to walk
that path
with dignity. Although usually under less dramatic conditions than Peter’s, each of
us is
challenged to master our own unique circumstances. Each of us is being called to
lead by authentically
connecting our own life experiences, values, and talents to the special
circumstances we
face. Our ability to rise to the challenge depends on our understanding of our gifts,
as well as
how prepared we are to take the journey with grace and contribution.

Integrating all of Life’s


Experiences into a Meaningful
Context
Personal Mastery is not a simplistic process of merely affirming our strengths while
ignoring our
weaknesses. It is, as Carl Jung would explain it, “growth toward
wholeness.” It is about acknowledging our talents and strengths
while facing our underdeveloped, hidden, or shadow sides of
ourselves. It is about honestly facing and reconciling all facets
of self. Personal Mastery involves appreciating the rich mixture
of our life experiences and how they dynamically form our
unique existence. Peter Senge, in The Fifth Discipline, wrote,
“People with a high level of personal mastery are acutely aware
of their ignorance, their incompetence, their growth areas, and they are deeply self-
confident.
Paradoxical? Only for those who do not see the journey is the reward.”

Courage is the ladder on which all other virtues mount.


— Claire Booth Luce

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men, true nobility is being
superior to your former self.
— Lao Tzu

Research by Lominger International, a Korn/Ferry Company, indicates that


defensiveness,
arrogance, overdependence on a single skill, key skill deficiencies, lack of
composure, and
unwillingness to adapt to differences are among the “top ten career stallers and
stoppers.”
A research study by Kenneth Brousseau, CEO of Decision Dynamics, Gary Hourihan,
Chairman of Korn/Ferry’s consulting division, and others, published in the February
2006
edition of the Harvard Business Review, connects the significance of personal
growth—an
evolving decision-making and leadership style—to leadership and career
advancement.
This global research, with its extraordinarily high degree of statistical credibility,
which
used the Styleviewtsm Decision Styles assessment tool on 180,000 individuals in five
levels of
management from entry level to the top, shows that if people don’t develop, they
do not
advance.

Deepening Authenticity for


Sustainable Leadership
Of all the principles supporting sustainable leadership, authenticity may be the most
important.
It also can be the most challenging. Most people never realize that it’s an area of
their
lives that needs attention. In almost three decades of interacting with thousands of
leaders,
I’ve yet to meet an executive for coaching who comes to me lamenting, “I’m having
real
trouble being authentic.” If authenticity is so important, why don’t we recognize it
as an issue?
The answer is both simple and profound: We are always authentic to our present
state of
development. We all behave in perfect alignment with our current level of
emotional, psychological,
and spiritual evolution. All our actions and relationships, as well as the quality
and power of our leadership, accurately express the person we have become.
Therefore, we
conclude that we are “authentic,” because we are doing the best we can with the
information
and experience that we have at this time.
There is a big hitch, however. While we are true and authentic to our current state
of development,
we are inauthentic to our potential state of development. As Shakespeare wrote so
eloquently in Hamlet, “We know what we are, but not what we may be.” As humans
and as
leaders, we have an infinite ability to grow, to be and to become more. Our horizons
are
unlimited. If there is an end-point to growing in authenticity, I certainly have not
seen it.
In The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We
Are,
Daniel J. Siegel explains that the mind is shaped continually throughout life by the
connection
between the neurophysiological processes of the brain and interpersonal
relationships.
“When we examine what is known about how the mind develops, we can gain

important insights into the ways in which people can continue


to grow throughout life.” He goes on to say, “We can
use an understanding of the impact of experience on the
mind to deepen our grasp of how the past continues to
shape present experience and influence future actions.”
To deepen authenticity, to nourish leadership from the
inside-out, takes time and attention. In today’s world, the
amount of distraction and busyness we all experience keeps us from undertaking
the inward
journey and engaging in the quiet reflection required to become more authentic
human beings.

By middle life, most of us are accomplished fugitives from ourselves. John Gardener
writes:

Human beings have always employed an enormous variety of clever devices for
running away from themselves. We can keep ourselves so busy, fill our lives with so
many diversions, stuff our heads with so much knowledge, involve ourselves with
so many people and cover so much ground that we never have time to probe the
fearful and wonderful world within.

To penetrate the commotion and distraction of our lives, to explore the depths of
ourselves
is the prerequisite for self-awareness and authenticity. So what is authenticity?
Based on our
experience coaching leaders over the years, we define authenticity as the continual
process of
building self-awareness of our whole person—strengths and limitations. As a result
of this
awareness, more often than not, the authentic person’s beliefs, values, principles,
and behavior
tend to line up. Commonly referred to as “walking the talk,” authenticity also means
being
your talk at a very deep level.

Another prominent feature of highly authentic individuals is openness. Whether


they come
to authenticity naturally or work hard to attain it, the most real, genuine, sincere
people
tend to be open to both their capabilities and their vulnerabilities. They have an
inner
openness with themselves about their strengths as well as their limitations. They
know who
they are and don’t apologize for their capabilities. They also have an outer
openness with
others about their whole selves. They try neither to cover up their weaknesses nor
to “hide
their light under a bushel.” They have managed to avoid the pitfall that Malcolm
Forbes
elucidates, “Too many people over-value what they are not and under-value what
they are.”
Self-compassion, being open and receptive to our vulnerabilities, is an important
aspect of
authenticity.
Dig inside. Inside is the fountain of good and it will forever flow if you will forever
dig.
— Marcus Aurelius

By acknowledging our own vulnerabilities and appreciating our whole selves,


we can truly be compassionate to others. As David Whyte, poet and author of The
Heart
Aroused, has written, “We need to learn to love that part of ourselves that limps.”
In Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t, Jim
Collins’ research
points out the interesting duality in “Level 5 Leaders,” who were both modest and
willful, humble and fearless, vulnerable and strong, interpersonally connected and
focused—in short, leaders we would say “had grown toward wholeness” and
authenticity.
Their “compelling modesty,” as Collins puts it, their authenticity as we would term
it, draws
people to come together to achieve.

Authentic people—people on the path to personal mastery—value all of who they


are.
A dual awareness of their own strengths and vulnerabilities allows authentic leaders
to focus
on the team, organization, and marketplaces, not on themselves. Personal Mastery
allows us
to transcend our egos and move into authentic service and authentic contribution.
As Collins
elaborates, “Level 5 leaders channel their ego away from themselves and into the
larger goal
of building a great company. It’s not that Level 5 Leaders have no ego or self-
interest. Indeed
they are incredibly ambitious, but their ambition is first and foremost for the
contribution,
not for themselves.” Level 5 Leaders—authentic leaders—see their purpose beyond
their
limited selves as passionate instruments of service and contribution. Authentic
leaders understand
that if our lives do not stand for something bigger than ourselves, our leadership
lacks purpose. Deepak Chopra wrote:

To be authentic, you have to be everything that you are, omitting nothing. Within
everyone there is light and shadow, good and evil, love and hate. The play of these
opposites is what constantly moves life forward; the river of life expresses itself in
all its changes from one opposite to another. As we discover and accept these
opposites
within ourselves, we are being more authentic.

In Daniel Goleman’s extensive research on emotional intelligence in the workplace,


Goleman
cites self-awareness, “attention to one’s own experience or mindfulness,” as the
primary
competence in his framework for managing ourselves, a prerequisite for managing
others. In
Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence, he and his co-
authors,
Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, assert, “A leader’s self-awareness and ability to
accurately
perceive his performance is as important as the feedback he receives from others.”
The
flow of crucial information comes from the inside-out and from the outside-in.

Although the world may be headed toward a time when topdown, authoritarian
leadership will be outmoded, I have seen authoritarian leaders with substantial
authenticity outperform
leaders who strove to be collaborative, yet lacked authenticity. I’ve seen leaders
low in charisma and polish get in front of a group and stumble around a bit, but
their personal authenticity and substance were so tangibly established that they
inspired the group members and moved
them to a new level of excellence. Could such leaders benefit from working on their
style of presentation? Certainly. But how much would it really matter, compared
with their trust-inspiring authenticity? “The individual who does not embody her
messages will eventually be found out,” warns Howard Gardner in Leading Minds.

“Even the inarticulate individual who leads the exemplary life may eventually come
to be appreciated.”
Exploring Beliefs
One of the most effective ways to take this journey to a more integrated, complete
understanding
of ourselves is to explore deeply our personal belief system. Few psychological
dynamics are as fundamental as our beliefs. Beliefs literally create our reality; they
are the
lenses or filters through which we interpret the world. Some of these “lenses” focus
and open
up new horizons; others dim our view and limit possibilities. Beliefs are
transformational.
Every belief we have transforms our life in either a life-enriching or life-limiting way.

One of the most dramatic examples of the transformational power of beliefs comes
from
heavyweight fighter George Foreman. In the 1970s, Foreman was renowned for
being one of
the toughest, nastiest human beings on the planet. Angry and antisocial, he often
came
across as a tough, mean, uncommunicative person, not at all the person you see
today. He
was not known for social graces, self-awareness, or his big smile. Immediately
following his
surprising loss to Jimmy Young in Puerto Rico, George went to his dressing room, lay
down
on the training table, and reportedly had an overwhelming spiritual experience.
After that
experience, George changed. He changed his entire life, everything: his personality,
his relationships,
his life purpose. He transformed them all into a more life-affirming direction.
George peeled the onion of his personality and the delightful, humorous, self-
effacing
“George” came forward. The important thing to note here is not whether George
Foreman
actually had a spiritual revelation. Many medical professionals said he suffered from
severe
heat exhaustion, and that’s what caused his “experience.” That’s not the issue. The
key principle
is that George Foreman believed he had a spiritual transformation and the belief
changed his life. What we believe, we become.

What you bring forth out of yourself from the inside will save you. What you do not
bring forth out of yourself from the inside will destroy you.
— St. Thomas
Through my years of coaching people, I have observed consistently two distinct
types of belief
systems operating in people: Conscious Beliefs and Shadow Beliefs. Conscious
Beliefs are
the explicit, known beliefs we have. When asked about these beliefs about
ourselves, about
other people, or about life in general, we can articulate many of them. Even though
it may
take some effort to access and to clarify some of these beliefs, they are accessible
to us on an
everyday level. Examples of Conscious Beliefs someone might have are: “I believe
in treating
people with respect; I fear trying new things; I am creative and resilient; many
people are
untrustworthy; hard work brings results.” Although we can access these beliefs on a
conscious
level, this does not mean we are always aware of them. We can, however, become
more aware of Conscious Beliefs and whether or not we are living in accordance
with these
beliefs.

Recently, we guided the chairman of the board of a fast-growing public company


through
the process of bringing his beliefs into conscious awareness. As a result, the 60-
year-old
chairman remarked, “Most people probably think I had this all figured out. What I
discovered
is that my beliefs were operating, but not consciously enough. After more than 30
years
in leadership roles, I realize that unknowingly I’ve been holding back crucial aspects
of myself,
critical to continued leadership success. Once I saw it in my work, it was easy to see
that
I was doing the same thing at home with my family.”

Elena was an executive in a global service firm in the United Kingdom. Her
intelligence, energetic
work ethic, results orientation, and excellent relationship skills had supported her
pattern
of success. She prided herself on how connected the people on her team were with
her and
each other. In meetings, team members conducted themselves respectfully, and
they rarely engaged
in conflict. One day during a one-on-one with her boss, Elena was taken aback when
her
boss said, “Elena, you’ve been on the team for a while now, and you never disagree
with me. I
don’t really know if you are really invested in all these new changes we’re making,
or if you are
just going along with them. You’re too nice! I need you to step forward more
powerfully and
challenge me.” Ingrained in Elena from a young age was the fear of rejection, which
operated
with the belief that being liked and accepted was the only way to really connect
with people.
Elena’s boss encouraged her to see that speaking up, being more open, is not only
more

respectful but also more authentic. After working with Elena for a while, we were
able to help her break free of Shadow Beliefs around rejection and see that
fostering more open
discussions, even constructive conflict, surfaces not only unspoken issues but also
innovation. As we believe, so shall we lead.

Although we access Conscious Beliefs somewhat easily, Shadow Beliefs are subtler
and much more challenging to uncover. Doing so, however, is crucial to high
performance. Taken from the Jungian concept of shadow, Shadow Beliefs are those
beliefs that are manifestations of hidden, unexplored, or unresolved psychological
dynamics. A Shadow Belief is cast when we don’t want to deal with something.
When we hold onto a type of “secret,” a lack of awareness, we hold onto a Shadow
Belief
within us.
We all have Shadow Beliefs. If we don’t think we do, then the shadow is probably
operating at precisely that moment by obscuring a view of a portion of ourselves.
Jeffrey Patnaude,
in his work Leading from the Maze, writes, “The leader must be awake and fully
alert. Like a nighttime traveler attuned to every sound in the forest, the leader must
be aware of all possibilities lurking in the shadows. For we can neither challenge nor
transform
what we cannot see.”

On a personal level, some of my Shadow Beliefs have to do with exceptionally high


standards
for others and myself. From a young age, I evaluated myself by this external, often
critical,
yardstick. As a result, I developed a series of Shadow Beliefs: “I’m never quite good
enough; I have to work twice as hard to be valued; if something is not exceptional,
it is not
worthwhile; I am afraid to fail.” As you can see, these beliefs have some value. They
have fueled
a drive to achieve. On the other hand, some of these same beliefs cast a shadow on
my
behavior and relationships at times. However, when I am actively committed to
fostering
my awareness of these shadows, I’ve been able to shed some light on them and
hopefully
minimize their limiting influence on others and me.
To leave our self-defeating behaviors behind, we must use our conscious minds to
undermine the destructive but unconscious beliefs that cause us to defeat
ourselves.
— Milton Cudney and Robert Hardy

Personality can open doors. Only character can keep them open.
— Elmer Letterman

Transforming Shadow Beliefs to Conscious Beliefs is crucial to Personal Mastery.


This
is not to say we don’t struggle continually with them. We do. The difference is we
consciously engage them vs. unconsciously being driven by them. What happens to
us if
we don’t deal with Shadow Beliefs? We pay a high price. Addictive behaviors,
difficulty in
relationships, achievement overdrive, imbalanced lifestyles, and health problems
can be
some of the costs associated with them. Shadow Beliefs are not scary; not dealing
with
them is.
While I was coaching Steven, the president of a multibillion-dollar international firm
based in
Latin America, a Shadow Belief that was limiting him surfaced. Let me preface this
story by explaining
that Steven was not referred to us because he had any “issues.” He was wildly
successful
in his current role. His consumer products firm was number one in revenue and
market
share globally for four consecutive years. In fact, it was his success that was
starting to be a
problem for him. He had this nagging anxiety—“Can I continue to top my past
achievements?”
Each time we would explore future plans, he would conjure up all sorts of disaster
scenarios. As I got to know him better, I understood that he had internalized a
hidden belief
that no matter how hard he worked or what he achieved, it could all go away
tomorrow. On
one level this Shadow Belief served him well; it gave him the drive to achieve many
goals.
However, because he wasn’t aware of it, his fear of failure was actually inhibiting
him from
risking new experiences and new learning. It also was squeezing the life out of his
team, which
was totally inconsistent with his values and intentions. Finally I asked Steven, “You
don’t get it,
do you?” Surprised, he looked at me and said, “Get what?” I responded, “Steven,
look at your
life. You succeed in all areas of your life: your career, your family, your
relationships. What evidence
do you have that you are going to fail at your next endeavor?” It was a defining
moment
for Steven. He saw the shadow and brought it into the light. He moved from trusting
his fear
to trusting his contributions. He brought a Shadow Belief into the Conscious Belief
arena. Before
that moment he wasn’t aware of its presence. It had been controlling him, and now
he was
beginning to take control of it. A few months later, describing his experience, he
said, “This
one insight has opened a doorway for me. It has given me the peace of mind to
trust myself
and to lead from who I am. I now know that no matter what I attempt, I will make it
a success,
and if not, I will adapt, learn, and somehow make it work.”

In a part of the supervisory training my company conducts, we ask the participants


to rate the attributes they most admire in a supervisor or manager. They are asked
to choose from a list. In five years we have always had the same result, in spite of
surveying hundreds of people. Each time, the group picks ‘trust’ and ‘respect’ as
the most important attributes.
It is interesting that ‘like’ is on the list but seldom gets a mention. In discussion, the
comment is often made that it is difficult or impossible to impose your will over a
group and have them always like you. In fact, if you look around the community at
the most successful leaders, some of them are quite obnoxious, but well respected.
A supervisor or manager is responsible for the group first, the individual second.
This often causes conflict. Consider the necessity to retrench staff during difficult
times. No manager likes to do this, but it is often necessary to keep the business
healthy. The individual to be retrenched has to suffer for the good of the group. The
consideration of the individual’s needs as secondary to the group’s interest often
causes great stress in young or inexperienced leaders. A person who is overly
sensitive will often fail to take timely action and will not be a good leader.
So, being liked is not very important — it is very difficult to be liked and make the
right decisions for the group. What is important is you must be trusted and
respected. You earn trust and respect from being disciplined in the communication
process. This means devoting the time to listening equally to all the members of the
group and then reacting consistently and with integrity.
Personal integrity is so important in a leader, yet so often lacking in practice. How
often do you hear ‘I’ll get back to you’, or ‘I’ll look into it’, or similar platitudes.
Consider the leaders around you. Some could say these things and you would know
that they mean what they say; you know they will follow through. Others will ring
bells in your head as soon as they open their mouths because you know, either
because of their body language or because of their track record, that they are
unlikely to deliver.
Some leaders find looking somebody in the eye and saying ‘no’ nearly impossible.
They ‘tap dance’, using fifty words in a response, losing the message partially or
completely in order to avoid a conflict. Usually, this behaviour is a simple lack of
assertiveness rather than an intention to deceive, but either way, behaviour like this
is viewed negatively.
Another common trap is forgetting your commitments. For example; you are busy
with lots on your mind, a staff member stops you and asks you if they can take their
holidays in October. You figure October is a long way off so without giving it a
second thought you say ‘OK’. The staff member hears this as a promise; you forget.
Come October they prepare to exit and you try to renege because you have not
planned. They see this as a lack of integrity on your part.
You can be as tough as you like as long as you are fair, consistent and live up to the
promises people perceive you to have made. You probably feel you are a good
communicator. You probably feel you do not break promises or commitments. You
probably feel you listen carefully. Why don’t you ask your staff? If they trust you
they will give you an honest answer. If not, they will tell you are wonderful. Few
good leaders are wonderful.

Chapter 3

Inside and Out


Leadership Purpose
“The quest for leadership is primarily an inner journey to discover our true selves,
which includes our strengths, skills, prejudices, and talents, and a recognition of our
unique gifts and some of our limitations. This inner adventure can also lead us to a
better understanding of what we really care about. Our actions will then be filled
with energy, caring, and commitment because we will have discovered our purpose
and passion.”
- Larraine Matusak, Finding Your Voice

Our leadership purpose serves as our compass as we go about the sometimes


rocky, mostly rewarding process of building community. For most of us, it takes
deep reflection to uncover the true identity of that purpose. There tends to be a
person or an experience that has inspired us to step into a leadership role at a
community level. Most of the time, we are also acting on some self-interest–our
children’s health, our community’s economic well-being, threats to our local
environment, etc.
Being clear about our leadership purpose is a source of great energy and
commitment. Given that community change is a long, slow process, reminding
ourselves of our purpose sustains us and holds our focus. Leading within a
community is a complex task which requires clarity of purpose in order not to get
involved in so many activities that effectiveness wanes, stress increases and burn-
out sets in.
Reflection questions:

• What are three experiences, people, books, articles, tapes, movies, sayings, etc.
that have had the deepest impact on your leadership philosophy?

• What insight(s) did you gain from each?

• When you think about why you lead (your leadership purpose), what action
phrases come to mind?

• Examples: I lead to... inspire; I lead to… learn; I lead to...support.

• Using the action phrases, construct a one sentence statement for each that
speaks to your leadership purpose (I lead to__________.)

Leadership Values

“Values are deeply held views of what we find worthwhile. As with all mental
models, there’s a distinction between our ‘espoused’ values--which we profess to
believe in--and our ‘values in action,’ which actually guide our behavior. These latter
values are coded into our brains at such a fundamental level that we can’t easily
see them. We rarely bring them to the surface or question them. That’s why they
create dissonance for us.”
- Charlotte Roberts, Fifth Discipline Fieldbook
Our leadership values are displayed in much of what we do. As leaders we strive to
act consistently on what it is that we value most. The process of discovering the
leader within involves identifying what it is that we stand for. The process of
becoming an authentic leader involves the ongoing pursuit of closing the gap
between the values we espouse and how well we live them.
Whereas community leadership involves working with many different types of
people, there are certain values that will be essential to effectiveness.
Collaboration, listening, empowerment, shared leadership, inclusivity and
democracy are a few values that, when acted upon, build community.
It is within this arena of the art of community leadership where I have seen people
stumble. One’s bag of tricks is pretty much useless if the values in action are not
aligned with the implicit values of the instruments being used. A Future Search will
not be effective if the community leader does not authentically and regularly
practice the value of inclusivity. A Teen-Adult Dialogue Night will be less effective if
the organizers do not value teenagers as resources.
When I speak of community leadership inside and out, I am describing the need for
alignment between one’s values and the tools and techniques one uses to build
community. As Richard Leider, author of the best-seller The Power of Purpose,
points out “integrity is the integration of what one is and what one does.”
Reflection Questions:

• What are your top three leadership values?

• Why is each value so important to you?


• For each value you identify, what do you consistently do now in your leadership
capacity that demonstrates this value in action?

• For each of the three values, what are two things that you will either continue
doing or start doing to more fully express your values in your leadership efforts?

Leadership Talents

“A leader’s job is to duplicate oneself–leaders developing leaders who develop


leaders.”
Carol McCall in Fifty-Two Reflections for the Leader Within
Colleagues and collaborators have very different “requirements” of their leaders
today than they did just a decade ago. Today it is not job titles or years of
experience that inspire partners and followers. They look for leadership talent.
Effective community leaders draw upon their distinct talents. Tapping into their
collaborative leadership values, these leaders use their skills to help others discover
and use their leadership talents, as well. Doing so creates what I call a
communiteam–a high-performing team at a community level.

Reflection Questions:

• What do you believe are your top three leadership talents?

• For each, how have you recently demonstrated that talent?

• What skill area represents your greatest opportunity for growth and development
and how might you improve in this area?
• How do/might you use your distinct leadership talents to further develop the
leadership skills of others?

Leadership Resources

“Our interconnections manifest themselves constantly. Drug problems have an


impact on every taxpayer, as does the cycle of poverty or the number of drive-by
shootings by street gangs. Child rearing practices in individual homes ultimately
have a collective impact. The condition of our water, the stand of timber in our
forests, the amount of pollutants in the atmosphere all merge together as part of
the planetary condition. We are one, and the sooner we move beyond the belief
that we are separate, the sooner we will support one another in creative and caring
ways.”
- Beth Jarman and George Land, Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future–
Today
As stated earlier, I believe that community leadership involves weaving together the
passions, talents, insights and experiences of a wide-range of people. Part of this
process is discovering and tapping into a variety of community and organizational
resources. The most effective community leaders think beyond the traditional
stakeholders and physical resources (money, buildings, etc.) to build community
capacity. They use tradition, ceremony, events of other organizations, underutilized
populations such as youths and community elders, even crises, as resources.
Effectively utilizing and networking community resources also requires an
understanding of the self-interests of others and how they might be used to help
meet our own self-interests, and vice versa. In their book, The Quickening of
America, my former colleagues Frances Moore Lappé and Paul Martin DuBois
propose that two prevailing views of how our “self” relates to “community life” need
to be replaced with the concept of Relational Self-Interest–recognizing and tapping
into our own interests as they are related to those of others.
As George Land and Beth Jarman suggest in the quote above, today’s community
problems–violence, homelessness, poverty, environmental devastation, drugs,
racism, etc.–are complex and interrelated. They touch us all, so the solutions
require leadership that builds relationships that uncover the common ground
between us. And the complexity requires numerous, diverse and creative actions
that can only come about through collaborative action. Effective community leaders
use their purpose, values and skills to work in partnership with others.
Reflection Questions:

• Who within your organization or community might have a self-interest in helping


you to achieve your vision and objectives? Why?

• Identify at least three resources that you can tap into for each of the following
categories:

Others who have similar concerns/visions


People or organizations that might be allies if asked
Activities and Events that you could become involved with
Seemingly negative things that may serve as a resource

• Does your community have a vision of itself in a state of “health?” If not, who
might you bring together to try to create this vision and to align resources to
achieve it?

Leadership Vision

“Vision is not analytical; it is intuitive. It is knowing ‘in your bones’ what can or must
be done. In other words, vision isn’t forecasting the future, it is creating the future
by taking action in the present.”
- James Collins and Jerry Porras, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary
Companies

After reflecting on one’s leadership purpose, values, talents and external resources
community leaders carefully craft their leadership vision. This vision might well
have several dimensions to it. We will want to be clear on what external changes we
are striving for (ie- 20% reduction in local teen alcohol and other drug use) and we
will want to have clarity on what changes we are looking for in ourself and, possibly,
in the coalition of which we are a part.
Renowned futurist Avrim King suggests that our daily practices may at times be
misaligned with our vision of the future. He points out that many Americans live
their day-to-day existence as if Past + Present + Future. Avrim, like James and Jerry
suggest in the quote above, challenges people to shift their thinking and “being” so
that Past + Future = Present. That is, our past experiences and our vision of the
future determine what it is we do today. Effective community leaders live within this
paradigm.
Reflection Questions:

• Looking three years ahead, what is your vision for...

… yourself?
… your organization?
… your community?

• How does your vision relate to your Leadership Purpose?

• What Leadership Values will guide you toward achieving your vision?

• How will you use your Leadership Talents to reach your vision?

• What External Resources will you draw upon?

• How will you know when you’ve reached your vision?

Conclusion

Leadership in all arenas of life, including communities, requires an integration of


what one expert calls “form and essence.” Author, lecturer and leadership coach
Richard Leider speaks of the need for more than tools and techniques–what he calls
the “form” side of leadership. He believes that authentic leaders integrate their
skills with their “essence”–their leadership purpose, values, and vision. While we
expand our community leadership toolboxes with new techniques and activities, we
need to also continue to develop the leader within.

Chapter 4
How to become a Good Leader:
Taking the Lead
Those born under the star sign Leo are said to be born leaders. Though this
may not be entirely true, one thing remains certain: not everybody is born a
leader. Yet, everyone seems to want to become one. And, indeed, anyone
has the potential to become a good leader.
For many people, becoming a leader is like second nature. Leadership
comes rather naturally for them. For some, however, it may not be as easy.
Others are forced beyond circumstances to become leaders, and oftentimes,
this may require time, patience and determination to learn the craft.
How can one become a good leader? First, one must understand fully what
makes a good leader. A good leader has character. A good leader leads an
honest life and he is trusted by his people. He leads by example. A good
leader is a team-worker. He works together with his people, recognizing their
individual strengths and weaknesses. He helps them to grow as individuals
and as a group as well. A good leader is charismatic as he is confident. He
believes in himself and knows the extent of his capabilities.
A good leader can inspire others and motivate them into believing in
themselves, too. Most often, a good leader is very well-organized. He has
specific plans and goals and he works to achieve them one at a time. Even if
trials are expected to come along, a good leader is able to handle them
perfectly, not finger-pointing a staff for any failure. Lastly, a good leader is
always a positive thinker. There is no room for negativities in leadership.
Success is the only word that matters, no more, no less.
Having understood the characteristics that make a good leader, it is now of
apparent reason to look at some tips in order for one to learn and master the
art of leadership. First, the would-be leader must know every one of his
employees. Find out details about them. Get to know your people in a more
personal level. Talk to them as if you are talking to a friend. This builds a
trusting relationship, an important ingredient for one to become an effective
leader. Next, be a good listener. Do not insist on what you want. Rather, get
the consensus of the group you are supervising. They may have ideas that
are much better than yours. Humble yourself and listen to them.
Every organization must have a mission and vision. What is yours? Find
them out and live by them. Know your organizational goals fully. This will
help you create a plan for every player in your group. Help your people
achieve their individual goals, as well as the goals of the organization. Never
left them alone, hanging, and insecure. Remember that any fault committed
by a subordinate becomes the fault of the leader, too. So guide your people,
and guide them well. Let them feel that they are not alone, yet allow them to
be independent at the same time.

What makes a good leader?


The work culture in any company or organization is reflected in the attitudes
and behaviors of its leadership towards subordinates. The leadership attitude
at the helm of affairs is of great significance and determines the business
success of any administration. In large organizations with complex
hierarchical structures and numerous tiers of supervisory positions, inter-
personal relationships become frequently redefined by constant changes.
The desirable qualities of a good supervisor; however, remain intrinsically
the same. I will enumerate some of the important qualities essential in a
good supervisor or leader in order to be successful in his or her job.

Supervisors by nature of their job position take the role of people managers.
They must assume the mantle of a team leader rather than that of a
taskmaster. In order to earn the respect and admiration of their
subordinates, supervisors must possess and display role model behavior
worthy of emulation. To inspire others with lofty ideals, one must exemplify
it. The Supervisor must practice work place ethics, set the minimum
standards of expectations high for self and others, and consistently meet
those expectations. "Practice what you preach," and leading by example
may be daunting tasks, but reap great dividends for those who apply it
sincerely. When workers realize these qualities exemplified in work styles of
their supervisors, they are likely to become inspired and emulate it. Needless
to say, the overall effect will be salubrious for the entire organization.
A good supervisor not only appreciates people for their efforts and
successes, but will identify deficiencies, and assists in resolving them. They
must through good coaching skills be able to improve work performance of
their workers. One of the most important qualities that distinguish better
supervisors from the rest is valuing employees as vital assets. This is a core
value which is dear to many successful companies around the world. Human
dignity must be regarded with respect. A compassionate boss who treats his
subordinates with dignity will be deeply admired, loved and respected. In
fact some companies use this rather unscrupulously in their strategic goals.
I worked in a major oil company for nearly 8 years, and during that period
worked with several supervisors. Some of them happened to be my peers.
Although, it would be judgmental on my part to venture any comment
regarding their managerial abilities, I found that some indeed had
very good qualities. There were few others who were known to be hard task
masters, authoritarian and at times were supercilious in demeanor not
desirable traits. I remember one supervisor who was so popular with his
workers, that they missed him, when he transferred to another location. One
of the qualities evident in this supervisor was that he consistently
demonstrated excellent interpersonal skills. He was easily accessible to his
workers, and perceptive to their needs. He trusted and delegated a lot of
responsibility to his subordinates, while maintaining accountability for their
actions. Many other supervisors regarded this as a somewhat high risk
behavior. The trust that he reposed in his subordinates made them feel
empowered to make decisions in their job tasks. They assumed proactive
behaviors towards work, and this facilitated a positive attitude, leadership
and greater confidence in the employees. It was a rewarding experience for
them, working for such a supervisor. Understandably, they were quite
disappointed by his absence.
Merely believing the right things is not enough; one must also do the right
things to be successful. A boss who can make his employees work efficiently,
and yet at the same time make their work a rewarding experience, will lead
a successful company. A harmonious and well balanced interpersonal
relationship between a supervisor and employee is essential to success. A
supervisor who has these qualities will make a positive difference.

According to the wisdom of Chinese philosopher Confucius, the best leaders


are often the most reluctant. In other words, too much ambition can get in
the way of good leadership. Humility is a key component in effective
leadership - whether applied to the arena of politics, the corporate world or
the role of the head of a family, an overblown ego gets in its own way and
everyone else's.

The best leaders know when to put on the brakes, when to stand back and
let others make decisions and receive glory, when to say less and listen
more, when to rule rather than govern. Micromanagement breeds contempt,
and a truly great leader is one who effectively empowers others. An overly
controlling nature makes for bad management. Yet, a good leader must also
know when to assert authority and "take charge" even if only as a last resort.

The true meaning of authority is "to serve." A successful leader is one who
effectively serves the needs of others, whether it be the needs of a Nation, a
corporate body or a family unit.
In the Western world, there is a tendency to confuse power with force;
accomplishment with busy-work. We often forget that less is often more, and
leadership often justifies itself more by what it doesn't do than by pushing its
weight around. A strong leader knows that it is often better to be on "stand-
by" and be a good listener, than to rush around trying to prove a point and
overshooting the goals of a group.
An effective leader does not aim to make others dependent, but encourages
and motivates others towards greater autonomy. Strong nations, households
and businesses are built when the individuals within have cultivated a
wholesome sense of self confidence. A truly great leader knows how to
inspire others to their own greatness.
All too often, when a new politician or other official gets elected, the first
thing he sets about doing is to make himself look busy and indispensable to
justify his salary and position. This often results in unnecessary, confusing
and complicated change to the structure or system he was appointed to
steward. The best leader knows the adage "If it doesn't need fixing, don't fix
it!" More legislation does not make for less crime; more busywork does not
make for better accomplished goals. So often, the best a good leader can do
is to trim an already over-bloated body politic, or to simply stand back and
grace his subjects with some breathing space to assess their own dilemma
(assuming there is a problem!). More often than not, the problem is with an
overbearing system of governance that has discouraged its public from
thinking for themselves!
Which brings us to another important asset of a good leader: self-confidence!
It is self-confidence that truly rules, not merely governs. A confident leader
inspires others to be confident in themselves. Insecurity is all too often
played out by a bloated need to assert control over others for control's sake.
Despite the outward displays of power, people will sense that insecurity in a
leader and eventually respond with resentment, rebellion and confusion.
Most importantly, a good leader is a "peacemaker." A peacemaker knows
how to exude calm when calm is needed; knows how to nurture and soothe
relations between others and is a catalyst for trust. A good leader doesn't
resort to mud-slinging or slander as a cheap campaign tactic, but acts with
honor and dignity in any conflict, setting an example for others to do the
same. That is the kind of leader that can truly be looked up to!
“Wanting to lead and believing that you can lead are only the departure points on
the path to leadership. Leadership is an art, a performing art. And in the art of
leadership, the artist’s instrument is the self. The mastery of the art of leadership
comes with the mastery of the self. Ultimately, leadership development is a process
of self-development.”
- James Kouzes and Barry Posner, The Leadership Challenge
Effective community leaders rely on a blend of tools and personal skills. A
community leader’s “tool box” can now contain some truly remarkable resources—
instruments for assessing community assets, techniques for stimulating learning
communities, teen-adult dialogue nights, and processes for involving hundreds of
people in determining key indicators of their community’s health. However, the
effectiveness of these tools will be determined by the breadth and depth of the
personal skills of the leader(s).
In the case of community leadership–which I define as “the active process of
weaving together the passions, talents, insights and experiences of a wide-range of
people to create healthier communities”– there are five major leadership assets that
one might identify and continuously develop. They are our leadership purpose,
values, talents, vision and links to external resources.

Leadership Qualities
Leadership is nothing but the quality which makes a person stands out
different from other ordinary employees. It is associated with such a person
who has aggressiveness in speech and action, love for the employees, and
who can handle pressure under different circumstances and a person who is
always ready to fight for the rights of employee. A leader is useless without
followers. It is the followers who make a person as a leader and if required
overthrow him.
Leaders play a critical role during change implementation, the period from
the announcement of change through the installation of the change. During
this middle period the organization is the most unstable, characterized by
confusion, fear, loss of direction, reduced productivity, and lack of clarity
about direction and mandate. It can be a period of emotionalism, with
employees grieving for what is lost, and initially unable to look to the future.

In addition to forecast and amiability, the characteristics that leader must


have are ability to recognize employees' talents, the know-how to make
teams work and an open mind.

Leadership does vary to some extent as per the positions i.e. it may be slight
different for manager and different for a union leader but the basic qualities
of leadership does not change.

8 Qualities Defined
1. Good communication skill
Communication is the key to be a great leader. The reason for this is simple:
if he possesses the other nine leadership qualities but if he fails to
communicate well, he will never be great leader.

What he can do is communicate with others in the organization about what


IT can do to move the company forward. In other words, good
communication is the key for developing good business relationships. If he
can’t establish a good business working relationship, he is not going to be
that leader, that team player. He will not be able to communicate how IT can
add long-term value to the company. The modern leaders must therefore be
equipped with good communication skill and use new ways to do effective
communication.

2. Honesty
The most valuable asset of a leader is honesty. He must be honest with both
his employees and the management committee. Another part of his features
is integrity. Once a leader compromises his or her integrity, it is lost. That is
perhaps the reason integrity is considered the most admirable trait. The
leaders therefore must keep it "above all else."

3. Visionary outlook
Leadership qualities are different for different position. For a CIO he must be
thinking for stabilizing the current business and always looking for future
scope of expansion. He has to be able to look beyond where we are today,
know where the business is going, and be able to use that vision to move the
company forward. Being able to do this is a rare skill indeed.
4. Selecting a good team
A good CIO although he possesses sound technical skills he assures that the
team he selects is efficient enough to back up any skill he lacks. Choosing
the best people for such team is a skill. A CIO after all is a human being and
does not have answer for everything. But by working together he creates an
atmosphere of mutual trust and respect; the team then always find the best
solution.

5.Action speaks louder than words


Managers must be able to put aside their concerns to listen to (and appear to
listen to) those around them. As a result, they come know what is going on,
and know what is both said, and said between the lines. They have the knack
of appearing to know what people need even if those needs are not
expressed directly. However, knowing what is going on, and identifying the
needs of those around them is not sufficient. The responsive manager also
acts upon that knowledge, attempting to help fulfill the needs of employees,
superiors, etc. Responsive managers wield influence to solve problems for
those around them, often before even being asked.

6. Ability to motivate people around


A good leader must always keep motivating his team mates for good work
and should maintain healthy environment. He must give first priority to
safety of workers and see that they are not exploited by superiors.

7. Consistency
Leadership effectiveness is impossible without consistency. Every leader has
an approach that is unique to them. Don't change your personal style
radically after all; it got you in a leadership position. Modify the rough spots
but take care not to confound your staff by displaying inconsistency. Your
expectations, though subject to modification based on ever-changing
business needs, should remain as constant as possible. The business world is
confusing enough without you adding unwelcome surprises into the mix.
Keep things simple and consistent.

8. Ability to stand against critics


As the success rate increases your critics multiply and become louder. Come
to peace with the fact that you will always have a camp of people who
critique every decision you make. They are generally the ones who are
excellent problem-identifiers rather than problem-solvers. Develop your skills
of repelling such critics so that they do not diminish your confidence or
enthusiasm.

It takes focus and confidence not to be adversely affected by criticism.


Strong leaders learn the art of listening to critics, but ultimately making
decisions for the good of the department, not to simply please the critics.
The following quote sums it up nicely: "Some of the most talented people are
terrible leaders because they have a crippling need to be loved by
everyone." As rightly stated by James Schorr.

The Top 10 Leadership Qualities

A leader with vision has a clear, vivid picture of where to go, as well as a firm grasp
on what success looks like and how to achieve it. But it’s not enough to have a
vision; leaders must also share it and act upon it. Jack Welch, former chairman and
CEO of General Electric Co., said, "Good business leaders create a vision, articulate
the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion."

A leader must be able to communicate his or her vision in terms that cause
followers to buy into it. He or she must communicate clearly and passionately, as
passion is contagious.

A good leader must have the discipline to work toward his or her vision single-
mindedly, as well as to direct his or her actions and those of the team toward the
goal. Action is the mark of a leader. A leader does not suffer “analysis paralysis” but
is always doing something in pursuit of the vision, inspiring others to do the same.

Integrity is the integration of outward actions and inner values. A person of


integrity is the same on the outside and on the inside. Such an individual can be
trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, even when it might be
expeditious to do so. A leader must have the trust of followers and therefore must
display integrity.

Honest dealings, predictable reactions, well-controlled emotions, and an absence of


tantrums and harsh outbursts are all signs of integrity. A leader who is centered in
integrity will be more approachable by followers.

Dedication means spending whatever time or energy is necessary to accomplish


the task at hand. A leader inspires dedication by example, doing whatever it takes
to complete the next step toward the vision. By setting an excellent example,
leaders can show followers that there are no nine-to-five jobs on the team, only
opportunities to achieve something great.

Magnanimity means giving credit where it is due. A magnanimous leader ensures


that credit for successes is spread as widely as possible throughout the company.
Conversely, a good leader takes personal responsibility for failures. This sort of
reverse magnanimity helps other people feel good about themselves and draws the
team closer together. To spread the fame and take the blame is a hallmark of
effective leadership.

Leaders with humility recognize that they are no better or worse than other
members of the team. A humble leader is not self-effacing but rather tries to
elevate everyone. Leaders with humility also understand that their status does not
make them a god. Mahatma Gandhi is a role model for Indian leaders, and he
pursued a “follower-centric” leadership role.

Openness means being able to listen to new ideas, even if they do not conform to
the usual way of thinking. Good leaders are able to suspend judgment while
listening to others’ ideas, as well as accept new ways of doing things that someone
else thought of. Openness builds mutual respect and trust between leaders and
followers, and it also keeps the team well supplied with new ideas that can further
its vision.

Creativity is the ability to think differently, to get outside of the box that constrains
solutions. Creativity gives leaders the ability to see things that others have not seen
and thus lead followers in new directions. The most important question that a leader
can ask is, “What if … ?” Possibly the worst thing a leader can say is, “I know this is
a dumb question ... ”

Fairness means dealing with others consistently and justly. A leader must check all
the facts and hear everyone out before passing judgment. He or she must avoid
leaping to conclusions based on incomplete evidence. When people feel they that
are being treated fairly, they reward a leader with loyalty and dedication.

Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness. Rather, it is the ability to clearly


state what one expects so that there will be no misunderstandings. A leader must
be assertive to get the desired results. Along with assertiveness comes the
responsibility to clearly understand what followers expect from their leader.

Many leaders have difficulty striking the right amount of assertiveness, according to
a study in the February 2007 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, published by the APA (American Psychological Association). It seems
that being underassertive or overassertive may be the most common weakness
among aspiring leaders.

A sense of humor is vital to relieve tension and boredom, as well as to defuse


hostility. Effective leaders know how to use humor to energize followers. Humor is a
form of power that provides some control over the work environment. And simply
put, humor fosters good camaraderie.
Intrinsic traits such as intelligence, good looks, height and so on are not necessary
to become a leader. Anyone can cultivate the proper leadership traits.

What is the Role of Leadership?


You may have the following questions about your peer leaders.
• What do long-term school reform leaders view as their essential
professional competencies?
• What do they see as their role in sustaining reform?
• How do they engage teachers, families, and communities in
partnerships that build programs to help children meet challenging
standards?
• How do such leaders know when they are doing a good job?

Dimensions of Sustaining Leadership


• Partnership and voice
• Vision and values
• Knowledge and daring
• Savvy and persistence
• Personal qualities (passion, humor, and empathy strength of character,
general maturity, patience, wisdom, common sense, trustworthiness,
reliability, creativity, sensitivity)

Indispensable Qualities of a Leader


1. Character
Be a piece of the Rock

 Adversity pushes a leader to make a choice. Your choices are based on your
values.

 You need to walk your talk. Do your actions match your words?

 Character is a choice. We choose the manner and attitude we have when


faced with a challenge.

 Weak character symptoms are arrogance, aloneness, recklessness, and


fornication.

 A person with character does not compromise.


 Face the music and apologize sincerely to those whom you have wronged.

 Rebuild your character after facing up to your past actions.

2. Commitment
 Commitment is what separates the doers from the dreamers. The only real
measure of commitment is action. Commitment opens doors to achievement
that otherwise would have remained closed.

 When it comes to commitment there are people without any goals and who
do not commit. The ones who are afraid to commit. The ones who start
toward a goal but quit when the going gets tough. The all-outs are the
people who set goals, commit to them, and pay the price to reach
them.

 Measure your commitment by spending a few hours figuring out where your
money, time, and energy go everyday.

 Another way to get committed to your goals is to make your plans public and
then you will be more compelled to follow through with them.

3. Communication
 Communication is key to good leadership. Good communicators can take a
complex message and simplify it for everyone to understand. People need to
connect to you, and along with charisma, communication is the most
powerful weapon a leader can have.

 Simplify your message. Study your audience. Let yourself be fired up with
conviction and seek a response.

 Examine a memo or letter you have written recently. Were you clear as a
bell?

 Were you direct and simple or did you use all kinds of superfluous words? If
you can say it all in one line, do so.

 Refocus your attention to the people you need to communicate to. Meet them
where they are, and think about how it is to be in their shoes.

4. Competence
 To cultivate quality, the first thing you need to do is become more
responsible.

 This means showing up when you’re expected, and regardless of how you
feel that day.

 Devote yourself to continuous improvement. The person who knows how will
always have a job, but the person who knows why will always be the boss.
 Choose to perform at a consistently high level of excellence.

 Go the extra mile.

 Inspire others to do more and take the organization to new levels of


excellence.

 Never be satisfied with good enough.

 Don’t just make things happen, make things happen when they really count.

 Focus. Focus. Focus.

 Redefine the standards and demand more of yourself.

 Find 3 things you can do to improve your professional skills and dedicate the
time and money to follow through.

5. Courage
 Courage is doing what you are afraid to do.

 Courage is standing for what you feel is right, even when all around you are
opposed.

 Courage is contagious.

 Courage in leadership compels people to do the right thing.

 Your life expands in proportion to your courage. Fear limits a leader.

 Get out of your comfort zone and take risks.

6. Initiative
 Good leaders know what they want. They don’t wait for others to act.

 Good leaders push themselves to act and find their own motivation.

 Good leaders take more risks. They know the biggest risk of all is inaction.

 Good leaders make more mistakes. They fail forward.

 To cultivate your initiative, change your mind-set.

 Don’t wait for opportunity to knock, you have to go out and look for it.

 Take the next step and don’t stop until you’ve done everything you can to
make it happen.

 7.Develop Yourself

 Be Initiative
 Develop listening skills

 Be a problem solver

 Develop good relationships with everyone

 Have self-discipline

 Challenge your excuses

 Be teachable

 Pay the price for success

 Swallow your pride!

8. Passion
 Passion is the first step to achievement. A great desire brings great results.

 Passion increases your willpower. If you want something badly enough, you
will find the willpower to achieve it.

 Passion changes you. You become a more productive, dedicated person once
you’ve found your true passion.

 Passion makes the impossible possible. A leader with passion and skill will go
very far and achieve big things.

 How passionate are you about your life and work?

 Return to your first love. Maybe you’ve gone a bit off track and need to
refocus.

 What activity as a child did you find yourself so absorbed in, hour after hour?

 Associate with people of passion, it is contagious. Schedule time with them so


they can infect you with it.

9. Positive attitude
 It took Thomas Edison ten thousand tries to find the right materials for the
incandescent light bulb, but he didn’t see them as failures. Maintain a
positive attitude if you want to achieve great things.

 Your attitude is a choice.

 Your attitude determines your actions.

 Your people are a mirror of your attitude.

 Maintaining a good attitude is easier than regaining one.


 Feed on positive and motivational material. Read books and listen to
motivational tapes. Become a more positive thinker.

 Achieve a goal every day. Make small steps towards your big goal and this
will foster a positive attitude in you, naturally.

 Write it on your wall. Put it where you can see it everyday.

10. Do it!
 Now!!!

Chapter 6
Identifying a Leader
Ten Ways to Identify a Promising Person
The most gifted athletes rarely make good coaches. The best violinist will not
necessarily make the best conductor. Nor will the best teacher necessarily
make the best head of the department.
So it's critical to distinguish between the skill of performance and the skill of
leading the performance, two entirely different skills.
It's also important to determine whether a person is capable of learning
leadership. The natural leader will stand out. The trick is identifying those
who are capable of learning leadership over time.
Here are several traits to help identify whether someone is capable of
learning to lead.
• Leadership in the past. The best predictor of the future is the past.
When I was in business, I took note of any worker who told me he was
superintendent of a school or a deacon in his church or a Boy Scout
leader. If he showed leadership outside of the job, I wanted to find out
if he had some leadership potential on the job.
• The capacity to create or catch vision. When I talk to people about the
future, I want their eyes to light up. I want them to ask the right
questions about what I'm talking about.
• The founder of Jefferson Standard built a successful insurance
company from scratch. He assembled some of the greatest insurance
people by simply asking, "Why don't you come and help me build
something great?"
• A person who doesn't feel the thrill of challenge is not a potential
leader.
• A constructive spirit of discontent. Some people would call this
criticism, but there's a big difference in being constructively discontent
and being critical. If somebody says, "There's got to be a better way to
do this," I see if there's leadership potential by asking, "Have you ever
thought about what that better way might be?" If he says no, he is
being critical, not constructive. But if he says yes, he's challenged by a
constructive spirit of discontent. That's the unscratchable itch. It is
always in the leader.
• People locked in the status quo are not leaders. I ask of a potential
leader, Does this person believe there is always a better way to do
something?
• Practical ideas. Highly original people are often not good leaders
because they are unable to judge their output; they need somebody
else to say, "This will work" or "This won't."
• Brainstorming is not a particularly helpful practice in leadership,
because ideas need to stay practical. Not everybody with practical
ideas is a leader, of course, but leaders seem to be able to identify
which ideas are practical and which aren't.
• A willingness to take responsibility. One night at the end of the second
shift, I walked out of the plant and passed the porter. As head of
operations, I had started my day at the beginning of the first shift. The
porter said, "Mr. Smith, I sure wish I had your pay, but I don't want
your worry." He equated responsibility and worry. He wanted to be
able to drop his responsibility when he walked out the door and not
carry it home. That's understandable, but it's not a trait in potential
leaders. I thought about the porter's comment driving home. If the
vice-president and the porter were paid the same money, I'd still want
to be vice-president. Carrying responsibility doesn't intimidate me,
because the joy of accomplishment-the vicarious feeling of
contributing to other people-is what leadership is all about.
• A completion factor. I might test somebody's commitment by putting
him or her on a task force. I'd find a problem that needs solving and
assemble a group of people whose normal responsibilities don't include
tackling that problem. The person who grabs hold of the problem and
won't let go, like a dog with a bone, has leadership potential. This
quality is critical in leaders, for there will be times when nothing but
one's iron will says, "Keep going." Dale Carnegie used to say, "I know
men in the ranks who will not stay in the ranks. Why? Because they
have the ability to get things done." In the military, it is called
"completed staff work." With potential leaders, when the work comes
in, it's complete. The half-cooked meal isn't good enough.
• Mental toughness. No one can lead without being criticized or without
facing discouragement. A potential leader needs a mental toughness. I
don't want a mean leader; I want a tough-minded leader who sees
things as they are and will pay the price. Leadership creates a certain
separation from one's peers. The separation comes from carrying
responsibility that only you can carry. Years ago, I spoke to a group of
presidents in Columbus, Ohio, about loneliness in leadership. One
participant, president of an architectural firm, came up afterward and
said, "You've solved my problem." "What's your problem?" I asked. "My
organization's always confused," he said, "and I didn't know why. It's
because I don't like to be lonely; I've got to talk about my ideas to the
rest of the company. But they never know which ones will work, so
everybody who likes my idea jumps to work on it. Those who don't,
work against it. Employees are going backward and forward-when the
idea may not even come about at all." Fearing loneliness, this
president was not able to keep his ideas to himself until they were
better formulated. A leader must be able to keep his or her own
counsel until the proper time.
• Peer respect. Peer respect doesn't reveal ability, but it can show
character and personality. Trammell Crow, one of the world's most
successful real estate brokers, said that he looks for people whose
associates want them to succeed. He said, "It's tough enough to
succeed when everybody wants you to succeed. People who don't want
you to succeed are like weights in your running shoes." Maxey Jarmen
used to say, "It isn't important that people like you. It's important that
they respect you. They may like you but not follow you. If they respect
you, they'll follow you, even if perhaps they don't like you."
• Family respect. I also look at the family of a potential leader: Do they
respect him or her? Fifteen years ago, my daughter said, "Dad, one
thing I appreciate is that after you speak and I walk up, you are always
attentive to me. You seem proud of me." That meant a lot to me. If
respect isn't there, that's also visible. The family's feelings toward
someone reveal much about his or her potential to lead.
• A quality that makes people listen to them. Potential leaders have a
"holding court" quality about them. When they speak, people listen.
Other people may talk a great deal, but nobody listens to them.
They're making a speech; they're not giving leadership. I take notice of
people to whom others listen.
It's not enough for people to have leadership potential; they must have
character and the right setting in which to grow. Before I give someone
significant leadership responsibilities, I find it helpful to ask myself several
questions:
• What will this person do to be liked? It's nice to be liked, but as a
leader it cannot be the controlling factor. The cause must be the prime
motivator.
• Does this person have a destructive weakness? There are only two
things I need to know about myself: my constructive strength and any
destructive weakness. A destructive weakness may not show up on a
test; it's a character flaw. A destructive weakness may, for example, be
an obsession. An obsession controls us; we don't control it. It only
grows worse over time.
• Can I provide this person the environment to succeed? It is so
important, particularly in the early days of someone's leadership, that
he or she be put into a congenial environment. I wouldn't want, for
example, to put someone who requires mentoring with a leader who
pays no attention to people. An environment that threatens our sense
of security or well-being splits our concentration from the cause. Young
leaders need an environment in which they can concentrate on
leading.

References:
Books:
Fred Smith, LEADERSHIP JOURNAL; Fall 1996, Vol. XVII, No. 4, Page 30
Leadership, From Inside Out By Kevin Cashmsn
Websites:
WikiPedia.Org
Google.com