On Becoming a Leader

Warren Bennis On Becomng a Leader Addison-Wesley 1989
A classic. With experience on both the academic and practical side, Bennis covers the how of becoming a leader. The key to full self-expression is understanding oneself and the world and the key to understanding is learning – from one’s own life experience. It is more important then, to set out to express oneself, one’s mission, rather than to prove that one is a leader. The latter will make one driven, the former will make one successful.
So far I think this is all good news. He says that leaders are made and not merely board, which is good news. Discovered that leaders are self-expressive people. This is also good news, in my mind. Once you are formed correctly, then you can deploy yourself, so good management is authentic and comfortable.
However, there is some further surprising news for organizations. It is NOT true that the people with the right stuff naturally rise to the top. In fact, those with more promise have a harder time, because organizations favor those who have a more docile character, and so when they rise to the top, they are often not ready to be leaders. Since Bennis’ book, there has been more on constraint theory. Since we also have some data on our vast under-supply of creative leadership, this is a real challenge to our society. How are we keeping leaders down?
Further, he said that it is not what you don’t know that hurts you, but what you know that isn’t so.
So here are Bennis’ questions that we might adopt for our own, to spark a discussion.
What do you believe are the primary qualities of leadership?
What role did failure play in your life?
How did you learn?
What can organizational do to stifle or encourage leadership?
My star thought: most people SUCCUMB to just going along, and the outside environment approves, but this is the opposite of leadership. Leadership is being and then inspiring people to do the right, helpful, courageous thing. So how can you do that?
<a href="http://On Becoming a Leader” target=”_blank”>Available at Amazon – tho I don’t get anything for telling you. Just trying to make things easier for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *