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Table of Contents
CHAPTER ONE - Competence Matters BUILDING PURPOSE
CHAPTER TWO - Accountability Matters FOSTERING TRUST
CHAPTER THREE - Openness Matters GENERATING INTEGRITY
CHAPTER FOUR - Language Matters CONNECTING RELATIONSHIPS
CHAPTER FIVE - Values Matter FORGING COMMUNITY
CHAPTER SIX - Perspective Matters ESTABLISHING BALANCE
CHAPTER SEVEN - Power Matters MASTERING INFLUENCE
CHAPTER EIGHT - Humility Matters INSPIRING AUTHENTICITY
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“A pragmatic approach to solving the twenty-first-century leadership puzzle by identifying what is and what will be relevant for successful leadership in the new real world. A New Breed of Leader is a must-read for new and well-seasoned leaders.”
—Edward T. Hawthorne, Senior Vice President, Card Servicing and Operations Executive, Bank of America
“A New Breed of Leader should be mandatory reading in every graduate ‘biz school.’ Institutions of higher learning have neglected to influence the leadership requirements of accountability and responsibility that have contributed mightily to our current problems.”
—William Parker, CEO/President, Energyline
“Laser-clear understanding of twenty-first-century leadership . . . no-nonsense, practical, insightful, and inspirational. A must-read!”
—Maddy Dychtwald, cofounder of Age Wave
“Profound content is peppered with stories, quotes, examples, and action steps that make this book a must read for every leader at any level.”
—Dr. Tony Alessandra, author of The New Art of Managing People and Charisma
“An important book on twenty-first-century leadership. The chapter on humility particularly moved me . . . because it reinforced some of the principles I have long held, but more important, it taught me new lessons.”
—Terry Gibson, CFA, Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager, BMO Nesbitt Burns
“If you want to lead, this book you must read.”
—Jeffrey J. Fox, bestselling author, How to Become CEO
“Powerful, succinct, and absolutely on target . . . America wouldn’t be where it finds itself today if business and spiritual leaders embraced the truth found in this book.”
—Chet R. Marshall, Business Missionary, guest host for Tri-State Celebration, Daystar Television
“A New Breed of Leader gives you innumerable opportunities to grow and become a more effective leader in the twenty-first century.”
—Jim Cathcart, author of Relationship Selling and The Acorn Principle
“An inspirational guide to leadership . . . Dr. Sheila Murray Bethel has intricately and meticulously organized the new theory that is easy to read, adopt, and follow.”
—Suhas Mehta, President, International Business Network (2008-09), Santa Clara University
“Leadership never goes out of style, but what it takes to succeed as a leader changes with the times. Sheila Murray Bethel zeroes in on the qualities required of twenty-first-century leaders . . . Her chapter on humility should be required reading for every CEO in America.”
—Jeannine Drew, President, Drew Communications
“An inspiring read packed full of excellent illustrations of good leadership practices that are relevant to the private and public sector.”
—Trevor Summerson, Senior Programme Manager, National College for School Leadership, Nottingham, England
“If you wonder whether you are the kind of leader needed in the twenty-first century, you’re about to find out. Dr. Bethel identifies the attributes essential for today’s leaders and illustrates them using real-life examples gathered directly from the people who set them.”
—Jeffrey Riley, Executive Director, Structured Finance, GATX Corporation
“Sheila Murray Bethel has defined in a clear-minded analysis an obviousness rarely used in Real Life.”
—Vilma Mansutti, Assistant of Direction, French High Council on Integration, Paris, France
“Whether tomorrow’s leaders are born great, achieve greatness, or have it rudely thrust upon them, the golden rules championed in A New Breed of Leader will be part of their operating code.”
—John Elkington, cofounder of Sustain Ability, coauthor of The Power of Unreasonable People
“A New Breed of Leader redefines leadership concepts . . . Sheila Murray Bethel offers each of us the means for a formidable hope and the accomplishment for oneself.”
—Alex Bouhr, Engineer, Intertek, Paris, France
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Berkley trade paperback edition / March 2009
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Bethel, Sheila Murray.
A new breed of leader : 8 leadership qualities that matter most in the real world : what works, what doesn’t, and why / Sheila Murray Bethel.
eISBN : 978-1-101-01997-9
1. Leadership. 2. Leadership—Case studies. I. Title.
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To the one and only Goldie,
best friend, adopted sister,
soul mate, and a true servant leader.
I miss her every single day.
May she rest in peace.
Since I believe that leadership is ever evolving, I want to acknowledge and thank all of the wonderful clients and extraordinary people I have worked with around the world. Each one has added to my personal view and worldview of what it means to be a leader and a follower in the twenty-first century.
During the writing of this book there were people who added their talents, skills, inspiration, and support through the stages from initial ideas to finished manuscript. Each in his own way made this book possible, for without these combined contributions, I would still have just an outline in some file on my computer.
To each I give my heartfelt thanks. In the beginning, Dale Fethering did a yeoman’s job helping me craft the book proposal and the first two chapters into a saleable book. My colleague Chris Widener referred me to the DSM Literary Agency and Doris Michaels and Delia Berrigan Fakis, whose enthusiastic representation and support were and are invaluable.
The team at Penguin Group saw the possibilities when others did not: Leslie Gelbman, publisher; Susan Allison, editorial director; my editors Denise Silvestro, Adrienne Avila, and the indispensable Meredith Giordan, who made the back-and-forth smooth and fun. I’m indebted to text designer Tiffany Estreicher; copy editor Joan Matthews; Craig Burke, vice president of publicity; Liz Hanslik, director of advertising and promotion; and Rick Pascocello, vice president of marketing, and his team of sales representatives, who have had so many creative ideas.
Michelle Durant in Albuquerque provided critical transcription services for the interviews and was always there when I needed her. The artistic approach to the graphics was brought to life by Erin Dangar. I would run an idea by Erin and she would make it come alive, often with a better approach than I first envisioned. Quite literally, I would not have enjoyed writing the book without her. My friend and colleague Wally Nieburt provided the two cartoons; his humorous approach to serious matters always adds a touch of lightness that any book on leadership needs.
I am not an early morning person, so I could not have gone to print with this book without thanking the family of people at KDFC classical radio station here in San Francisco: Hoyt Smith, Betsy O’Conner, Dianne Nicolini, Rick Malone, John Evans, and program director Bill Lueth. Thanks for helping me to get into gear each morning and taking me through the day. I take them with me when I travel by listening online. The music was inspirational and their good humor gave me the smiles and the occasional laugh when I needed a break from the intensity of the writing.
Thanks to photographer Tom Tracy and web masters Barry Epstein and Pat Riley at Ovation Solutions, who gave my website a new look to match this new book, for all your patience and imagination. I have worked with Sean and Stacey Frame at Frame-by-Frame Productions for twenty years, and would like to thank them for their always super contributions.
I have gained immeasurable knowledge from the interviews with all the leaders you will meet in the chapters of this book. Their insights on leadership often took my thoughts and concepts to higher levels than I expected. I owe a debt of gratitude to each of them.
My greatest support came from my family and friends, who had faith that I could say something new on leadership. They helped me through the tough days of my husband Bill’s heart attack and recovery. Stacy Evans’s weekly calls were filled with love and prayers. Tom, David, and Pearl Bethel were constant lifelines, always full of encouragement. My new friend from Calgary, Sandy Gibson, was nearly a daily e-mail cheerleader, and Tony Alessandra always has wonderful ideas to share. Thanks to you both.
Ultimately the highest praise and deepest appreciation goes to my 24/7 partner, my best friend, a great researcher, editor, and critic: my husband, Bill Bethel. No one has made a bigger contribution to or difference in the outcome of this book. His nurturing and love smoothed the rough edges and soothed my sometimes frayed nerves from balancing a lecture schedule and a writing schedule. A New Breed of Leader is his book also.
A New Breed of Leader—Where to Begin?
It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
WOULD YOU LIKE to be one of the new breed of leaders who inspires followers to look for creative and unique answers to our twenty-first-century challenges? If you could update your leadership qualities to build community, connectedness, and a shared sense of purpose, would you? If you had practical, real-world leadership concepts and actions that show you what works, what doesn’t, and why, would you use them?
I’m sure the answer to these questions is yes! Together we’ll explore what being A New Breed Leader means—at home, in your work, and in your community.
The Emergence of New Breed Leaders
Malcolm Gladwell wrote about The Tipping Point, where “ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.” In fact, there is a point where they hit a critical mass, and that is the tipping point. We are at just that point in the realm of leadership. It is no longer about hierarchy. Leadership lives and exists throughout organizations; it is distributed and shared leadership, especially in team-based entities. In Chapter Seven, “Power Matters,” you’ll read about the success of two very interesting women at Xerox: Anne Mulcahy, Chair, and Ursula Burns, CEO. They made a conscious and very purposeful decision to share leadership responsibilities based on their greatest personal leadership strengths.
Dr. Curtis R. Carlson, CEO and president of SRI International, supports Gladwell’s tipping point theory. Carlson writes, “When it comes to understanding leadership, we have moved from heroic leadership and leadership by authority and power, to modern ideas about the interactive nature of leadership, and leadership by consent.” Google recently took an interactive leadership role to solve some of our most urgent global issues. They sent out a worldwide public request for ideas about how to change the world and/or help others. They had 150,000 responses, from which they will choose the top 150 ideas and reward them with cash prizes.
To this new model of twenty-first-century leadership, add the ingredient that leadership expert Warren Bennis calls “crucibles,” those “utterly transforming events or tests that individuals must pass through and make meaning from in order to learn, grow, and lead. The trouble for youthful leaders is that crucibles are rare and cannot be artificially reproduced.” If you are a young leader or an aspiring leader, don’t be afraid of the term “crucible.” Events that you have overcome, such as a personal illness, or an extremely difficult event that you have experienced may indeed be life changing. You can gain strength as you work your way through it. Then, when you examine your actions and reactions, you will notice that you have gained valuable tools with which to build your leadership strengths.
Throughout this book, there are “crucible” stories and examples with which you can assess your own life and leadership. The important thing to know is that you will have, if you haven’t already, moments and events that test the mettle of your personal and professional life and your core values.
In Chapter One, “Competence Matters,” you will find an example of how a woman’s swift leadership instincts brought her through a crucible event, and what she did as a result. In Chapter Two, “Accountability Matters,” you will see how two crucible events—one personal, the other professional—shaped and defined two men and a global corporation.
Building a Better You
Learning you get from school. Education you get from life.
It is never too early or too late to become better educated, to consider a new type or style of leadership to help you be as effective as possible.
At age ninety-two, legendary Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes was ill and in the hospital. His friend President Roosevelt came to visit him. When Roosevelt entered the room, he saw Justice Holmes reading a Greek primer. “What are you doing, Mr. Justice?” asked the president. “Reading,” answered Holmes. “I can see that,” said the president. “But why a Greek primer?” Holmes answered, “Why, Mr. President, to improve my mind.”
Regardless of your experience, you will be better able to fulfill your position as leader with the eight qualities that matter most.
As a beginning leader, you’ll have a clear set of guideposts on which to base your growth.
If you are a supervisor or midlevel manager, you will be more adept at identifying your current strengths and weaknesses.
As an upper-level manager or executive, the benefit is the insight to reassess the leadership qualities that brought you to that position.
Now’s the Time for Change
We are a nation built on hope, purpose, and a belief in better times, better ways of doing things, and a better life for our children. We are hungry for inspired leaders who will show us the way. The United States has gone through a transformational presidential election. Race, age, and gender barriers have been demolished. The reality of leadership has taken a quantum leap forward in empowering everyone to aspire to the stewardship of his or her organization.
The winds of change are blowing across the globe. We need bold new leaders at every level of society to solve our most pressing issues. It is time to view the tried-and-true concepts of leadership through a new filter and then update them. By combining the best leadership qualities of the past with a set of new descriptors, measures, and actions, we will begin to change the huge disconnect that exists between our daily lives and our leaders in business, government, and other institutions.
“Letting Go of the past”
Handling and accepting change comes about when you are willing to let go of old ideas, concepts, and attitudes. Then there is room for new leadership dreams and actions.
William G. Dyer, author of Strategies for Managing Change, wrote: “The issue of change is surely the most important matter facing anyone who is responsible for a human organization—be it family, business, school, church, agency, club, or association.” In a world that is changing as fast as ours, all nations are looking for change-master leaders who will take the risks and make the intellectual and emotional leaps into new ideas to find new answers.
The Twenty-First-Century Leadership Puzzle
We’ve all tinkered with jigsaw puzzles. It is rewarding to watch the finished picture emerge as we fit the pieces together. In an actual puzzle, you start with the picture on the outside of the box to give you an idea of the direction and form you’re seeking. But when it comes to leadership excellence, there’s no box and no picture. Instead, the puzzle develops as you do.
Each of the eight qualities discussed in this book is a piece of the New Breed Leadership Puzzle. The value of each piece lies in the tools it gives you to shape your personal leadership strength and to reinforce your ability to serve others. You’ll be pleased to find that you already possess many of the leadership traits in the eight puzzle pieces. The possibility piece outside of the puzzle is one of the most exciting. It represents where you will grow and where you can maximize opportunities to expand on any of the eight qualities that you will need to be A New Breed Leader. Because leadership is a never-ending cycle of growth and change, possibilities are what will take you into the future. “Possibilities” are where you will need to go to remain effective, congruent, and relevant. As you read about and explore each puzzle piece, consider what potential you have to expand on them in your own leadership situations.
So what are the eight qualities that matter most when you are trying to build your own leadership skills? How can you recognize what legitimate leadership looks like, sounds like, acts like, and believes in?
Whether you are a community leader, a business leader, a union leader, a member of the school board, a volunteer advocate, or a leader in a religious setting, here are the pieces of the puzzle . . . here is what matters most for you to be a successful New Breed Leader.
The puzzle pieces give you something solid upon which to base your leadership growth. First, you develop these skills in yourself. Then, as you extend them to your families, jobs, and communities, you increase your personal commitment to new and better leadership with a passion for uniting us in our new century. With these eight qualities, you will become wiser and smarter; you will be the authentic leader we need so much.
Vision Built on Competence
You may ask, “Is having a vision still an important trait to attract and retain followers? Is having a vision still vital for me to be relevant as a leader?” The answer to both of these questions is yes. Vision and purpose are still your internal driving force. What is new is the type of in-depth personal analysis and preparation you need to bring that vision into reality and how you deal with the results. The leadership puzzle will give you that depth.
For example, the puzzle piece in Chapter One, “Competence Matters,” identifies four critical parts—intellectual, emotional, strategic, and instinctive competence—that give your vision its strength.
The component parts of competence are the major factors in fulfilling your vision. In recent years we have seen that all the good intentions and leadership vision mean nothing without a high degree of know-how and expertise. Vision without competence can turn into a disaster. But when your vision is backed by deep competence, you can create miracles.
In each of the other seven chapters, the puzzle piece is divided similarly to the competence piece to help you look deeper into that quality and confirm and reinforce its core value. Each quality will have critical questions that give you better direction and give meaning to your journey as a highly effective leader.
Here are four sample competence-vision-building questions:
• What new skills and attitudes do I need to acquire to make my vision come alive?
• Can I identify the parts of my vision that will motivate and inspire followers?
• How can I use these insights to guide me in my learning process so that I can measure success or failure?
• When I identify the critical parts of my vision, do I take into consideration the unintended consequences that may occur?
Hope Lives in New Beginnings
Look with favor upon a bold beginning.
―VIRGIL, Roman philosopher
As I crisscross our country and the globe, speaking and training on leadership, I see the concern in people’s eyes and hear the longing in their words for reasons to be optimistic about our future. They are waiting for new leaders who have the competence, honesty, and communication skills to lead us out of our current quagmire. As individuals and as a country, we have the capacity and the intelligence to grow up and out of the hole into which we have dug ourselves.
Our strength grows out of our weakness.
―RALPH WALDO EMERSON
In past decades, we were bold and strong. We accepted great challenges and risks. And we can do it again.
As you assess your use of the qualities that matter most, you’ll become a stronger leader and an example of the New Breed Leader.
The Age of Questions
One good question can be more explosive than a thousand answers.
We’re living with the most complex issues since time began. There are no simple answers. It is critical to draw on well-thought-out questions to lay the groundwork for new solutions. Having all the answers is far less important to you than knowing what to ask. Both the questions and the answers will be invaluable guides for your new leadership effort and results.
Insightful questions open doors and throw light on unresolved problems. They give you an astute understanding of how to be a better leader. They free you from entrenched ideas and outdated procedures.
The person who knows how will always find a place in life. The person who knows why will inevitably be the leader.
A four-year-old child may drive a parent crazy asking questions. But if you take a clue from the little ones and apply that same kind of inquisitiveness in your leadership quest, you will be greatly expanding as A New Breed Leader.
Use the “Five W’s” we learned in school (who, what, when, where, and why) and add the question “how?” But of the six questions, “why” is most powerful. Many organizations and individuals have gone completely off course because they first asked how to do something instead of first asking why they should do it.
Truly successful leaders have the courage to pause and ask “why.” They understand that “why” comes first because it’s the foundation for making things happen.
Why competence—intellectual, emotional, strategic, and instinctive—tops the list of effective leadership, giving birth to powerful visions and purpose.
Why being accountable for your actions and all that happens on your watch is the key to building credibility and trust.
Why openness, being direct and truthful, is the finest way to build leadership integrity.
Why language can tear down a person or an organization or build bridges as strong as steel between people and groups.
Why values bind us together in our shared purpose and common ideals.
Why perspective, the ability to help people keep life and business in balance in times of great change, is a critical leadership skill for moving into the future.
Why the power inherent in the charter between the leader and the led must be protected against all of our basest human instincts.
Why humility builds authenticity and why arrogance destroys it.
Asking why is one of the most significant contributions you can make to your organization.
The New Breed Leadership Pyramid
We’re just getting started. We’re just beginning to meet what will be the future . . .
―GRACE MURRAY HOOPER, mathematician and first female U.S. Navy Admiral
Many leaders who qualify as role models of the New Breed Leader already exist. They are in responsible positions in every sector of business; in local, state, and federal government; and in every enterprise and part of the country. Some are working in quiet, unnoticed ways and not yet getting the recognition they deserve.
Marc Benioff smiles with pride when he talks about the fact that 85 percent of his employees are now active in some sort of philanthropic activity. “People are here to do more than just make money,” he says. “They want to make the world a better place.”
Asking penetrating, well-thought-out questions is a leadership quality Benioff used in 1977 when he was an executive with Oracle Corporation and began the company’s first major philanthropic initiative. As successful as his work had been, he felt it could have made a much bigger impact. He began questioning what was done in the past, what the firm was currently doing, and what could be done better in the future.
As he found answers, he also began to develop his personal philosophy of what he calls “integrated philanthropy.” To be most effective, he says, a firm’s philanthropy must have the idea woven into its fabric from the very beginning, woven into the organization’s DNA.
After leaving Oracle in 1999, he launched Salesforce.com and put his idea into action. He committed 1 percent of the company’s stock, 1 percent of the company profits, and 1 percent of employee working hours to community service. He calls this his 1-1-1 model.
Building Salesforce.com and the Salesforce Foundation have been the most exciting and rewarding experiences of his life, Benioff says. And it all started when be began asking himself: How can we do better?
He is one of the New Breed Leaders who values the power of inquisitiveness to find bold, long-term solutions to help both the success of the company and the success of the community.
Others are the “new breed in training,” preparing for positions of leadership. Some are young idealists just entering universities and the workforce.
Then there is the old breed of leaders who, if they have not already crashed and burned, soon will. Among them will be those who, like the mythical phoenix, will rise out of the dust of failure, having gained invaluable lessons and wisdom with which to continue their leadership.
Who will be our New Breed Leaders of the twenty-first century? Who will take the world to better places than we have ever been? Who will be the new stewards of civilization?
We don’t know yet. Renaissance men and women are rare. But one thing is for sure: they are emerging.
We’ve always been blessed with rare people who have the gift of leading us in ways that solve our problems and change the world for the better. They fall into four categories:
The Enlighteners are the icons of humanity’s greatest progress. Their personal commitment to a cause, to a movement, or to righting a social wrong has always been their greatest strength, their vision, and their goal. Their personal power gives them the inner strength to overcome adversity that would crush most people. That is why they have always stood above the other three categories of leaders.
In the twentieth century, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, and Mother Teresa embodied the very essence of leadership that can move mountains. FDR and Churchill inspired and led the world through World War II. All of their examples remind us of our need to truly be “our brother’s keeper.”
The Creators are inspired geniuses. They are the men and women who create the new industries and organizations, cultures, theories, lifestyles, and ways of thinking and living. They’re the change masters who see opportunities others do not. They take action while others wait for a better or safer time.
Creators in science, medicine, and aeronautics gave us the visionaries who imagined what no one else could; Einstein, Hubble, and Edison moved accepted science into dramatic new dimensions. Doctors Denton Cooley and Michael DeBakey changed heart disease treatment forever with the first successful heart transplant. The Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, and Charles Lindbergh shaped a newer, smaller world and set the stage that launched our first astronauts, who helped us better understand our beautiful and fragile planet.
The writers who expanded our thinking and challenged our perceptions through literature comprise a huge list that includes Phillip Roth, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, J. K. Rowling, Tom Peters, Peter Drucker, Stephen Ambrose, and that powerful husband-and-wife team of historians, Will and Ariel Durant.
Classical music in the twentieth century gave us opera greats such as Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, and Placido Domingo, Maria Callas and Beverly Sills. The social-dance genius of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, John Travolta and Karen Gorney, and Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey kept us glued to the movie screen. The innovative style of Bob Fosse startled us and opened a door of creativity still being expanded upon today. Russian ballet geniuses Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov hypnotized us with their innovation and power. George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Steven Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Leonard Bernstein, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Louis Armstrong, Barbra Streisand, and Ella Fitzgerald made the twentieth century a veritable wellspring of musical creativity.
Spiritual and religious leaders came in the form of Pope John Paul II, Billy Graham, Rick Warren, and Deepak Chopra.