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Theodore Turner
Theodore Turner

On Becoming A Leader

Bennis is more than just a figurehead in the field of leadership research. He is also known for his bestselling books. In 1985, he co-wrote Leaders, based on observations and interviews with 90 American leaders, from astronaut Neil Armstrong to McDonald's founder Ray Kroc. The conclusion in the book is that anyone can learn how to be a leader, and have much needed leadership skills than we think.

On Becoming a Leader

Leaders is a classic business book that analyzes the nature of leadership. Becoming a leader goes more deeply into the individual, helping you master your leadership skills while the world around you is changing. The second book is the product of an in-depth conversation with a younger group of people, 28 years old in all, including director Sydney Pollack, feminist author Betty Friedan, and Herb Alpert, musician and playwright. Founder of A&M Records.

A leader is someone who creates his own life. Because to be a good leader, you have to have a good vision and that usually stays with you for life. When someone thinks they can't lead, or don't want to lead, it's because they're afraid of their ability to manage and persuade. But leaders are as colorful and diverse as people, and the main difficulty lies not in whether you have to take responsibility or not, but how you get out of mediocrity and compulsion to truly master yourself.

Always be creative: create something new, sometimes you need to refresh yourself. Your abilities may be limited by genetics and environment, but leaders know how to work within that limit and create uniqueness.

What was the last thing Bennis wanted to say? He believes that business life at the end of the twentieth century is more about management than it is about leadership. People and organizations focus on small problems and short-term results. His message is: Do not be passive before circumstances, space and time.

Integrity, a relevant vision, the ability to take risks, and uncertainty are the definitions of leadership. Bennis cites TV show producer Norman Lear, who revolutionized American television with shows like All in the Family and Cagney and Lacey. For the first time, TV shows reflect real Americans, not cowboys, private detectives, or satirized families. Lear sees a world waiting to be revealed and revealed. Not only are his shows not cliché, but they are hugely successful year after year.

Bennis believes that we desperately need leaders. He wrote the book Becoming a Leader at a time when American economic leaders are facing extremely difficult challenges. We may have forgotten by now, but in the late 1980s, it seemed that Japan had surpassed the United States for a time in production, wealth, and invention.

We live in democratic leadership, where anyone can lead in one way or another. As more and more people understand leadership and are taught the need to develop their potential, it can be expected that competition will increase to a comical level. However, competition is the result of everyone trying to get the same thing, but everyone's vision is different. Being a leader is about affirming the strength and confidence that comes from being unique.

Leadership guru Warren Bennis's guide to honing your inner leader tends to read more like a self-help book than a business tutorial. Bennis's now classic take on the leadership conundrum calls the dearth of effective leaders a "societal disease" characterized by shortsighted thinking and a lack of self-awareness. The proposed solution? Pointers include honing your "inner voice," cultivating a passion for what you do, and building trust among followers.

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Lencioni, the master of the business fable, turns his attention to why teams often struggle to perform. His in-depth analysis of the five dysfunctions (absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, inattention to results) helps leaders avoid the pitfalls that teams face as they seek to grow together and prosper.

The Leadership Challenge is about how leaders mobilize others in an effort to get extraordinary things done inside companies and organizations. The authors present their Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, which when executed efficiently, allow leaders to bridge the chasm between just getting things done and actually making great things happen. Read it to stay current, relevant, and effective in the modern workplace.

Former Medtronic CEO Bill George presents a comprehensive program for leadership success and illustrates how to create your own personal leadership development plan. Based on personal interviews with 125 top leaders including Charles Schwab, Howard Schultz (Starbucks), Anne Mulcahy (Xerox), True North shows how anyone who follows their internal compass can become an authentic leader.

Willink and Babin, two U.S. Navy SEAL officers that led a highly-decorated special operations unit in Iraq, demonstrate how to apply tested leadership principles from the battlefield to business and life. The authors have taught the lessons from Extreme Ownership to countless leaders and hundreds of companies around the world in an effort to pass along their institutional knowledge about developing high-performance teams and ultimately, teaching individuals to lead and win.

Soundview subscribers get in-depth summaries of the key concepts in best-selling business books (like the books listed above) delivered to them every week! Take your career to new heights by staying up-to-date with the trends and ideas affecting business leaders around the globe. Sign up today and save 15%.

Leadership is important if you want to be successful. Leaders need to have three things: 1) They must stay with the times, 2) they should create a social architecture that will generate intellectual capital and 3) they must give their followers hope by giving them direction and trust. Trust is crucial for leaders because it determines whether or not people follow them in the future.

Mastering the context is about understanding your place in the world. You have to understand the state of the world around you in order to enact change within the world and within yourself. You have to know what kind of leader the world is lacking to know what kind of leader you must be. And you must be willing to take risks instead of going along with a broken system, or you will never be able to help fix it.

People are at the center of all leadership efforts. Leaders cannot lead unless they understand the people they are leading. One way to look at leadership is that the function of a leader is to lead and guide people who will follow with the same values. An effective leader thus must be able to build relationships and create communities. We can define leadership as inspiring people and planning for the future with the motivating factors of relationship building and community service. Relationships can happen between concepts, actions, and values. As for communities, one of the great advantages I have found working in higher education is leveraging the communities that exist for many different disciplines, interests, and practices. These communities provide, for anyone who wants to participate, opportunities to network and to become involved with others who share like values.

Commitment to the cause for the values of the group is also necessary for a good leader. Through commitment, we find more meaning in our work and service, and when we find more meaning in our work and service, we find value. As John W. Gardner said in his book On Leadership: "Leaders must not only have their own commitments, they must move the rest of us toward commitment."3

It is easy to lead for yourself. It is more difficult to lead for others. Honesty, integrity, and the ability to be supportive will create a more successful environment. We all want to know that our leaders are deserving of our trust. It's about having trust in their knowledge of who and what they are leading, trust in why they have chosen to lead, and trust in their ability to accomplish the vision and goals that have been set forward.

Another way leaders can grow themselves and the people around them is to identify where relationship building can be maintained and where it can be strengthened. Connecting with others is one of the most effective ways one can lead. In The Leadership Challenge, James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner say: "When leadership is a relationship founded on trust and confidence, people take risks, make changes, keep organizations and movements alive. Through that relationship, leaders turn their constituents into leaders themselves."4

In building relationships and creating communities, good leaders are better able to acclimate to changes and work with more diverse teams. But where do you find the opportunities to lead? In 2008 at the EDUCAUSE annual conference, Deborah Keyek-Franssen was sponsoring a gathering for attendees to talk about ways to advocate for women in higher education information technology. She and I had attended the Frye Leadership Institute (now the Leading Change Institute) that previous summer and had developed a friendship. I admired Deb for contacting EDUCAUSE and for having the initiative to request a meeting room for what would become the Women in IT Constituent group. As a result of our friendship and my interest in the topic, Deb asked if I would like to join her in leading this group. Together we have seen the group become very productive in promoting the advocacy of women in the areas of IT recruitment, retention, and advancement efforts in higher education. These efforts have succeeded because of the effective and responsive community. Through the continual development of the values of the community, we have been able to see the growth of individuals and watch them realize their potential.

Warren Bennis leads you to think about yourself as a human being and a leader, which helps you connect with him. He presents numerous examples of exceptional leaders and explores the reasons behind their success in detail. In This book, Warren Bennis highlights important traits and elements a leader must possess. 041b061a72


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