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On Becoming a Leader

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  • Posted November 13, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Warren Bennis cuts right to the heart of what it takes to become

    Warren Bennis cuts right to the heart of what it takes to become a leader. He interviewed top executives and leaders from around the world to learn from them. He packaged the information into mini case studies and stories to share what other leaders have been through and what they did to get to where they are. You can never go wrong with the insight, wisdom, and lessons in a Warren Bennis book. I strongly recommend this one. If you’re a leadership nut like me, Leadership 2.0, is another great one you should read. It offers strategies for becoming a great leader, and has an online assessment that measures the leadership qualities covered in the book.

    Here is what’s inside On Becoming a Leader:

    I. Mastering the Context

    -Great leaders and followers are always engaged in a creative collaboration.
    -Timeless leadership is always about character, and it is always about authenticity.
    -Listening to and trusting the inner voice is one of the most important lessons of leadership.

    Surrendering to the Context

    - Character is as vital in a leader as drive and competence.
    - Learn to learn from failure.
    - It is not enough for a leader to do things right; he must do the right thing.

    II. Understanding the Basics: Basic ingredients of leadership: guiding vision, passion, integrity, trust, curiosity and daring.

    Leaders, Not Managers: The difference between leaders and managers are enormous and crucial. An example is the manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.

    Once Born, Twice Born: Once-born leaders are invented by their circumstances. Twice-born leaders invent themselves.

    III. Knowing Yourself

    Lesson 1- You are your own best teacher.
    Lesson 2- Accept responsibility. Blame no one.
    Lesson 3- You can learn anything you want to learn.
    Lesson 4- True understanding comes from reflecting on your experience.

    IV. Knowing the World: A true leader must know the world as well as one’s self through experiences like continuing education, families, travel, rich private life, and key associations with mentors and groups.

    V. Operating on Instinct: In any corporation, managers serve as the left brain and the R & D staff serves as the right brain, but the CEO must combine both—the administrative and imaginative gifts.

    VI. Deploying Yourself: Strike Hard, Try Everything: The “means of expression” are the steps to leadership. They include reflection and resolution, perspective, tests and measures, desire, mastery, strategic thinking, and synthesis. Leadership is first being, then doing.

    VII. Moving Through Chaos: Learning to lead is learning to manage change. Leaders learn by leading, and they learn best by leading in the face of obstacles.

    VIII. Getting People on Your Side: There are four ingredients leaders have that generate and sustain trust—constancy, congruity, reliability, and integrity. Integrity is the basis of trust. Use your voice for change.

    IX. Organizations Can Help—or Hinder: There are three major forces working on the world today—technology, global interdependence, and demographics and values. Opportunity = Empowerment. Meaning = Engagement. Learning = Leading

    X. Forging the Future--The factors for the future:
    -Leaders manage the dream.
    -Leaders embrace error.
    -Leaders encourage reflective backtalk.
    -Leaders encourage dissent.
    -Leaders possess optimism, faith, and hope.
    -Leaders understand the Pygmalion effect in management.
    -Leaders have a certain “touch.”
    -Leaders se the long view.
    -Leaders understand stakeholder symmetry.
    -Leaders create strategic alliances.

    Epilogue to the Twentieth Anniversary Edition

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2012

    Recommended - Well worth reading

    This author spins his wisdom in a very friendly way leading the reader to view leadership as a process of adaptability and self-assessment.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    Academic information on Leadership

    Bennis continues to provide standard information on leadership. From an academic, the information is relevant, but the new paradigm of leadership seems to invite successful opinions from younger people in the real world. The dynamics of leadership seem to be slipping from the Ivory Tower to the .com participants.

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    Posted May 3, 2010

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    Posted December 18, 2009

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