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Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Why use wizards and warriors as models for leadership? Because, as Peter Drucker once said, everything you learned is wrong — at best, it is misleading and insufficient. You typically learn in school, workshops and seminars that if you can manage the work and serve the people, you have what it takes. It’s not true. Maybe you have enough stuff to be a pretty good manager, but it takes much more to be a good leader.
A combined dose of magic and strength can make all the difference.
This book gives leaders the insight and courage they need to take risks on behalf of values they cherish and the people they guide. Great leaders must act both as wizard, calling on imagination, creativity, meaning and magic, and as warrior, mobilizing strength, courage and willingness to fight as necessary to fulfill their mission.
Confronting the Wizard and Warrior Within
Managers are running on two cylinders — structure and people — when they need four. Two other frames — political and symbolic – are required to make sense of the rolling, moving targets that organizations serve up every day. They take us into a world dominated by power and passion. The bad news: That’s just where managers are usually weakest. We know this from research and across sectors. Inattention to these two ways of thinking and behaving is a debilitating Achilles’ heel.
Thinking on Your Feet
Wizard and warrior are roles that you can choose to play and learn to play better. Wizard and warrior images are metaphors to help you think on your feet. When, for example, you are in dangerous and highly charged political situations, what are your options? There are three kinds of warrior — toxic, relentless and principled — and four key attributes that warriors need to be successful — mind, heart, skill and weapons.
When the culture of your enterprise needs tweaking or transforming, what are your wisest moves? There are three wizardly roles — authentic, wannabe and harmful — and specific ways leaders can inspire, deflate or destroy a company. To be successful, wizards need to discover their own magic and spiritual core and then summon the collective. One must also consider conflicting forces, however.
There are four different roles in leadership:
- Analysts emphasize rationality, analysis, logic, facts and data.
- Caregivers emphasize the importance of people and relationships.
- Warriors believe that managers and leaders live in a world of conflict and scarce resources.
- Wizards bring imagination, insight, creativity, vision, meaning and magic to the work of leadership.
The Warrior Path
Regardless of the role they play, warriors succeed through a combination of four basic ingredients: heart, mind, skill and weapons. Heart gives warriors passion, courage and persistence — it is the "fire in the belly" — that propels them forward in the face of risk, confusion, danger and obstacles. Mind gives warriors the direction and guidance to make strategic moves on life’s ever-changing chessboard, avoiding snares, ambushes and blind alleys. Skill — developed through instruction and experience — determines how well leaders read and manage people and circumstances to move their cause forward. Weapons are the armory warrior leaders employ to champion their cause.
Wizard Roles: Authentic, Wannabe and Harmful
Throughout history, people have been fascinated by the magical power of wizards and wizardry. Wizards are part of an ensemble of players who devote themselves to the mystical, symbolic aspects of a tribe or organization. Other related roles include sorcerer, magician and shaman. What sets wizards apart is captured in the root meaning, "wise." In story and legend, we find numerous examples of three wizard archetypes, personified in the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Sauron, Gollum and Gandalf.
The Leader’s Journey: Fusing Warrior And Wizard
The wizard relies more heavily on magic and mystery, the warrior on strength and skill. These two distinct ways were personified in ancient Japan by the ninja, who relied on subtlety and artfulness, and the samurai, who emphasized power and physical prowess. But there was also strength in the ninja and some magic in the samurai. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries