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If you do not adapt, if you do not learn, you will wither, you will die.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Eight People on Leadership

As a fanatic reader of business books I read many books on leadership, all representing different beliefs and attitudes regarding leadership. These are books and authors who stimulate my thinking, help me reflect on my own leadership, and provide me with ingredients for coaching business leaders. Of the many available leadership authors, who are sometimes great leaders themselves, I have chosen thoughts of eight leadership authors to stimulate my readers reflect, rethink, and reengineer their leadership beliefs and practices. Because it’s not about the great lines, the quotes nor the wonderful success stories. It’s about how these thinkers and their books help you grow, adjust, persevere, and strengthen your own leadership effectiveness.

 Leadership development is a complex, interdependent process that involves a person’s natural abilities, talents, personality, and level of awareness, working together within the specific historical context and business situation in which people are embedded.”
Mark Bodnarczuk, author and the Executive Director of the Breckenridge Institute®, a research center for the study of organizational culture based in Boulder, Colorado.

“Leadership is not just about what you do, nor just about what you think, it is about what you do because of what you think.”
Barbara Kellerman in Leadership – Essential Selections on Power, Authority, and Influence, 2010

“Genuine leadership is not something that magically happens because we’ve been handed a certain position or role to play. It is a quality that we nurture in ourselves, regardless of job or station in life. It is a function not of title, academic degrees, or access to power, but of how we treat and connect with people around us.”

Betsy Myers in Take the Lead, 2010

"Whatever you do, do with Integrity.
Wherever you go, go as a Leader.
Whomever you serve, serve with caring.
Whenever you dream, dream your All.
And never, ever give up."

Marilyn Carlson Nelson in How We Lead Matters - chairman and former CEO of Carlson

Leadership: Living a life of success or a life of significance?
Leaders should be learners and learning requires feedback: How am I doing? But most leaders don’t ask this question, which can be called an essential leadership shortcoming. Great leaders know they can’t be perfect and they don’t strive to be. They welcome critics – people who care enough and know themselves safe when telling leaders the truth.  

James Kouzes & Barry Posner in A Leader’s Legacy, 2006

“The Leadership Diamond®” model of Koestenbaum focuses on the power of depth, which leads to emphasizing the power of free will, the ubiquitous presence of polarity and paradox, analyzing the structure of courage, and the critical importance of understanding systems and strategy. This leadership philosophy leverages the power of negative experiences for clues to breakthroughs. Koestenbaum’s model is a model of the leadership mind and a methodology for expanding leadership. The Diamond distinguishes four interdependent leadership imperatives, or "orientations": Ethics, Vision, Courage and Reality. These orientations are presented as your inner resources, always available to help you if you access them
Peter Koestenbaum, Ph.D., founder and Chairman of PiB and the Koestenbaum Institute.

Keys to leadership      Key # 3: Do the work

“Lead from the gut.
Know your pegs and shims.
Stay hugely humble.
Get mud on your boots.
Stay grounded.
And trust yourself.“

Bob Burg and John David Mann in It’s not about you – a little story about what matters most in business, 2011

And to conclude it all, some leadership thoughts by John Maxwell:

- Trust is the foundation of leadership. A strong, dependable respectful character is a leader and will be trusted.
- The true measure of leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.
- Successful leaders are learners, and the learning process is ongoing. A result of self-discipline and perseverance.  
- The first person you lead is you.

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