+1(978)310-4246 credencewriters@gmail.com


Answer these question in the reflection paper

What have Heifetz and Linsky gotten right? What have they forgotten?

Based on your leadership experiences and learning from this course, prepare your own survival guide. What does it contain?

Craft a provocative discussion-generating question related to the readings.

I will upload the book

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Business Leadership
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Joan V. Gallos
Foreword by Ronald A. Heifetz
Q Business
A Jossey-Bass Reader
(Second Edition)
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Copyright © 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Published by Jossey-Bass
A Wiley Imprint
989 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103-1741—www.josseybass.com
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in
any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act,
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Requests to the publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department,
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, 201-748-6011, fax 201-748-6008,
or online at www.wiley.com/go/permissions.
Readers should be aware that Internet Web sites offered as citations and/or sources for further
information may have changed or disappeared between the time this was written and when it
is read.
Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and author have used their best
efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the
accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or
extended by sales representatives or written sales materials. The advice and strategies contained
herein may not be suitable for your situation. You should consult with a professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.
Jossey-Bass books and products are available through most bookstores. To contact Jossey-Bass
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Jossey-Bass also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that
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Credits are on page 595
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
   Business leadership: a Jossey-Bass reader / Joan V. Gallos, editor.—2nd ed.
    p. cm.— (The Jossey-Bass business & management series)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
   ISBN 978-0-7879-8819-7 (pbk.)
    1. Leadership. 2. Management. I. Gallos, Joan V.
HD57.7.B875 2008
Printed in the United States of America
second edition
PB Printing 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
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The Jossey-Bass
Business & Management Series
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For Christopher John Gallos Bolman and Bradley
Garrison ­Bolman—Reach high, my sons, for stars lie
hidden in your souls
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Ronald A. Heifetz
Introduction and Acknowledgments
Joan V. Gallos
About the Editor
Part One: Framing the Issues: What Is Leadership?
Editor’s Interlude
1 What Leaders Really Do
John P. Kotter
2 Primal Leadership: The Hidden Power of
Emotional ­Intelligence
Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee
3 The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership
James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
4 Reframing Leadership
Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal
5 When Leadership Is an Organizational Trait
James O’Toole
Part Two: Becoming a Leader, Preparing
for the Opportunities
Editor’s Interlude
6 The Seven Ages of the Leader
Warren G. Bennis
7 The Traces of Talent
Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton
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8 Leadership Is Authenticity, Not Style
Bill George
9 Thinking Gray and Free
Steven B. Sample
10 Enhancing the Psycho-Spiritual Development of
Leaders: Lessons from Leadership Journeys in Asia
Philip H. Mirvis and Karen Ayas
11 Moments of Greatness: Entering the Fundamental
State of Leadership
Robert E. Quinn
Part Three: Understanding the Territory,
Anticipating the Challenges
Editor’s Interlude
Mapping the Terrain
12 Making Sense of Organizations: Leadership, Frames,
and Everyday Theories of the Situation
Joan V. Gallos
13 Leadership and the Power of Position: Understanding
­Structural Dynamics in Everyday Organizational Life
Michael J. Sales
Understanding Unique Features of the Challenge
14 The Boundaryless Organization: Rising to the
Challenges of Global Leadership
Ron Ashkenas, David Ulrich, Todd Jick, and Steve Kerr
15 Knowledge Management Involves Neither
Knowledge nor Management
Marc S. Effron
16 The Sustainability Sweet Spot: Where Profit
Meets the Common Good
Andrew W. Savitz and Karl Weber
17 Leading Geeks: Technology and Leadership
Paul Glen
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18 Leading in Black and White: Working Effectively
Across the Racial Divide
Ancella B. Livers and Keith A. Caver
19 Managing Middlescence
Robert Morison, Tamara J. Erickson, and Ken Dychtwald
Part Four: Making It Happen
Editor’s Interlude
Getting Things Started
20 The First Ninety Days of Leadership
Michael Watkins
21 What Is Our Mission?
Peter F. Drucker
22 The Power and Creativity of a Transforming Vision
James MacGregor Burns
23 Finding the Right Vision
Burt Nanus
24 Developing Strategy: The Serious Business of Play
Loizos Heracleous and Claus D. Jacobs
Staying on Track
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25 The Leader as Politician: Navigating the
Political Terrain
Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal
26 Want Collaboration? Accept—and Actively
Jeff Weiss and Jonathan Hughes
27 Creating and Managing a Learning Culture:
The Essence of Leadership
Edgar H. Schein
28 Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail
John P. Kotter
29 Leading at the Enterprise Level
Douglas A. Ready
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Avoiding the Pitfalls
30 The Leader as Toxin Handler: Organizational Hero
and Casualty
Peter J. Frost and Sandra Robinson
31 Bad Leadership—and Ways to Avoid It
Barbara Kellerman
32 Good or Not Bad: Standards and Ethics in
Managing Change
Kim S. Cameron
Part Five: Sustaining the Leader
Editor’s Interlude
33 A Survival Guide for Leaders
Ronald A. Heifetz and Marty Linsky
34 Preserving Integrity, Profitability, and Soul
David Batstone
35 Learning for Leadership: Failure as a Second Chance
David L. Dotlich, James L. Noel, and Norman Walker
36 Nourishing the Soul of the Leader: Inner
Growth Matters
Andre L. Delbecq
37 Choose Hope: On Creating a Hopeful Future
Andrew Razeghi
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Notes and References
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The demands of change have always challenged collective enterprise.
People have faced new pressures and opportunities from the beginning of time, and many of our current ways of doing business are
practices that have evolved in response to the adaptive challenges of
their day. With change a constant in today’s global business environment, adaptability remains critical for sustained success.
For nearly four million years our early ancestors lived in small
bands that foraged for food. They developed ever increasing sophistication in the design of tools and strategies for hunting and movement; and their physical capacities grew through evolutionary change.
About twelve thousand years ago people learned to domesticate plants
and animals, and new abilities to store food allowed and required sustained settlements. Large numbers of people living together brought
new needs for governing organizations and communities. These in
turn were met by drawing on the small-group authority relationships
that had worked so well before, now amended for greater complexity to
fit the differing contexts of military command, civil governance, and­
commercial organizations.1 Drawing on what anthropologists have
identified as a capacity to internalize the wisdom of elders, our ancestors went on to form cultures with self-sustaining norms that required
minimal reinforcement by authorities.2
This process of adaptation to new possibilities and challenges has
continued over the course of written history, with growth and variation in the scope, structure, governance, strategy, and coordination
of political and commercial enterprises. So has the evolution of our
understandings of leadership.
Leadership is the process of mobilizing progress—fostering people’s adaptive capacities to tackle tough problems and thrive.3 The
concept of thriving is drawn from evolutionary biology, in which a
successful adaptation accomplishes three tasks. It preserves the accumulated wisdom of essential DNA; discards DNA that no longer
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serves current needs; and innovates to develop the organism’s capacities to flourish in new ways and in more challenging environments.4
Successful adaptations enable a living system to take the best from its
history into the future. They are both conservative and progressive.
When we anchor the concept of leadership in the work of
­progress—in resolving contradictions within our cultural DNA or
between our cultural DNA and the demands of our environment—
we come to view authority and power as tools, rather than as ends in
themselves. Neither authority nor power defines leadership, although
both are central to its practice—and can, if misused, become significant constraints. Too many individuals in positions of power today do
not exercise much leadership, and we need to understand more deeply
how acquiring authority limits, not just enables, good leadership.
This volume reflects decades of work by multiple individuals to
identify common principles of success and the leadership that helps
to generate it. Looking through various lenses we have come to understand the workings of organizational adaptation in different ways, yet
all appreciate how businesses and communities can thrive in new and
challenging contexts. In my work across sectors and around the world,
for example, I find that the logic of biological adaptation drawn from
Darwin’s theory of evolution provides insights into organizational
and cultural adaptation. And I want to use six ideas as a suggestive set
of properties to frame this wonderful collection of chapters. Let me
begin with the links between leadership and change.
Leadership is about change, but not just any change. Many regressive and destructive actions generate change, but we would not consider them acts of leadership. Take, for example, the assassinations
of Lincoln, Kennedy, King, Sadat, and Rabin. Or look at the daily
murders and muggings that profoundly change lives in communities
around the world. These are society’s miscarriages. The change that
we intuitively associate with leadership is enabling. Changing environments and new dreams demand new strategies and capacities and
the leadership to mobilize them. As in evolution these new combinations and variations allow organizations to thrive under challenging
circumstances rather than perish, regress, or contract. Our concepts
of leadership, then, must wrestle with normative questions of value,
purpose, and process. What does thriving mean for businesses operating in any particular context?
In biology, thriving means propagating. But in business, mission,
objectives, and method are more complex. Thriving thus becomes
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a mix that includes short- and long-term shareholder value, quality
of service, employee morale, and social and environmental impact.
Adaptive success in a cultural rather than a Darwinian biological
sense therefore requires business leadership that can orchestrate conflicting priorities among legitimate stakeholders in order to clarify the
stakes. Moreover, priorities do not remain stable: they change as circumstances and contexts do. From this perspective, leadership operates within a dynamic tension where essential priorities and bottom
lines are less clear than many initially imagine them to be.
Second, leadership is only partly about change. Most successful
changes build on the past. They are rarely the result of a zero-based,
ahistorical, start-over stance, except perhaps as a deliberate exercise
in strategic rethinking. Most radical revolutions fail, and those that
do succeed have more rather than less in common with the heritage
that preceded them. The American Revolution, for example, created a
political system and culture with deep roots in British and European
cultures, systems, and thinking. In biological evolution most core
processes are conserved, and although the DNA that changes may
radically expand capacity, the actual amount of DNA that changes is
very small. More than 98 percent of our current DNA, for example,
is the same as that of a chimpanzee: it took less than a 2 percent DNA
change to give humans dramatically greater capacity. The challenge
for leadership, then, is to mobilize people to distinguish that which
is essential from that which is expendable in their heritage and to
innovate in ways that make efficient use of previous wisdom and
know-how. Successful adaptations are always more conservative than
progressive. Leadership consists of anchoring change in values, competencies, and strategic orientations that will endure.5
Third, innovation is an experimental activity, with more failure
than success along the way. Evolutionary adaptation and “learning”
accumulate and consolidate these successes over time. Sexual reproduction rapidly produces diversity, along with higher failure rates. As
many as one-third of all pregnancies spontaneously abort, usually
within the first weeks of conception, because the embryo’s genetic
variation is too radical to support life—too much critical DNA is
missing. Similarly in business, Pfizer, for example, knows it must be
willing to lose one billion dollars to find the next blockbuster cardiovascular drug. In such an environment, leadership needs an experimental mind-set to meet the adaptive pressures and opportunities of
the marketplace. It must learn quickly from its actions and respond
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accordingly, rather than rely heavily on traditional planning and topdown decision making. In nature the tension between efficiency and
creativity balances itself out. In the world of business those who lead
may never find a perfect balance. They must learn to operate comfortably within the dynamic tension between efficiency and creativity
and improvise as they go, buying time and resources along the way
for the next sets of experiments and lessons to be generated.
Fourth, evolution is about diversity. It operates like a fund manager,
diversifying nature’s risk. Each example of conception is a ­variant—an
experiment—with capacities somewhat different from the norm. By
diversifying the gene pool, nature markedly increases the odds that
some member of the population will have the capacity to survive in a
changing ecosystem. In contrast, cloning, the original mode of reproduction, is extraordinarily efficient in generating high rates of propagation. It has, however, limited degrees of variation and is therefore far
less likely to generate innovations for thriving in new environments.
As we can see, evolution does not operate by central planning.
Its secret is variation, which in organizational terms could be called
distributed intelligence.6 No one could have predicted, for example,
who would invent Post-it notes, but someone did. A key to effective leadership, then, is the know-how to shape a culture that values diverse views and rewards the practice of leadership with and
without authority. If organizations rely on the genius of the few at
the top, the odds of adaptive success go down. This is especially true
for global businesses operating in many local microenvironments.
All organizations need distributed leadership: people willing to initiate reflection and action, often against the grain and beyond their
job description and formal authority, in order to develop the next
­relevant ­experiment and opportunity for growth.
Fifth, evolutionary adaptation significantly displaces and rearranges DNA. Similarly, cultural adaptation generates loss. Learning is
often painful. One person’s innovation can cause another person to
feel incompetent, betrayed, or irrelevant. Not many people like to be
displaced or rearranged. As students of leadership and change have
long explored, adaptive pressures often generate a defensive reaction
among people as they try to ameliorate the disruptions associated
with their losses.7 Leadership requires the diagnostic abilities to recognize those losses and the predictable defensive patterns of response
that operate at the individual and systemic level. It also requires
knowing how to counteract them.
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Sixth, adaptive processes take time. Sometimes biological adaptations are quick, like bacterial resistance to penicillin. But generally,
adaptations that generate significantly expanded capacities take thousands, or millions, of years. Intuitively, we know that experiments take
time to show results. Although organizational and cultural adaptations seem lightning fast compared to most biological adaptive processes, they also need time in which people can consolidate new sets
of norms and operations. Leadership requires persistence—and those
who lead need to stay in the game, even while taking the heat along
the way. Consider, for example, the story of Moses.
At the outset Moses thought that the two hardest parts of his job
were persuading the Israelites to trust him and persuading Pharaoh
to let his people go. After completing those jobs, getting to the Promised Land seemed pretty straightforward. After all, trade routes across
the Sinai were well known and had been used for more than thirty
thousand years. Moses did indeed accomplish his two initial goals,
and within about eighteen months. But when he sent scouts to investigate the way ahead, they returned with reports not only of a fruitful
land but also of cities with soldiers that looked like “giants.” Hearing
these reports the Israelites demanded that they return to Egypt, where
they would be secure, even if that meant returning to slavery. Moses
responded by falling on his face in despair. Getting to the Promised
Land, he discovered, was an adaptive challenge beyond any expert
solution he or a divine power could provide. The problem lay in the
hearts, minds, and spirits of the people, as did the solution. Their cultural DNA had to change: they had to develop from a people enculturated to slavery into a self-governing society. Without that change,
no solution could be found. When the people are the problem, the
solution lies in them; and the reality is that people take time to learn
new ways. Moses spent another thirty-eight years on the job—and
even then, as we know, the job was not fully finished.8
My colleagues in this volume would all agree that leadership is essential for businesses of all kinds to tackle their tough challenges, innovate in
order to thrive, and replace current structures and processes that no longer suffice. Mobilizing people to meet these tasks is at the heart of leadership. These efforts, over time, build an organization’s adaptive capacity,
enabling it to meet the ongoing stream of adaptive challenges posed by a
world ever ready to offer new realities, opportunities, and pressures.
The authors in this volume draw on their study, teaching, and practice of leadership to identify common principles and c­ ontingencies
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that can guide practitioners toward leadership success. Our efforts
here join a discussion on organizing and leading that goes back to
the beginnings of written history—and oral traditions long before
that. We stand on countless shoulders in undertaking this work to
better understand adaptability and the leadership that generates it,
and there is yet more work to be done in pushing the boundaries of
our knowledge. I hope you enjoy this excellent volume and see it as
an invitation to join us in exploring the frontiers of the leadership
November 2007
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Ronald A. Heifetz
Cambridge, Massachusetts
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Introduction and
The call for leadership is strong: everyone seems to want more. A quick
look at the front page of the daily newspaper confirms our collective
yearning for leadership across sectors, institutions, and ­borders—more
leaders, better leaders—to resolve the dilemmas and complexities of
modern life. The assumption is that good leaders make a difference
and that we are better off because of them. Test that yourself. Ask
those around you: do we need more leadership around here? Absolutely
is the likely reply.
Ask the same people What is leadership? and listen to their halting responses. I have asked this question of many would-be leaders.
They are often surprised by their own inability to answer easily or
­confidently—and neither age, experience, nor career stage makes
answering easier. Some are amused by the irony that they are investing their time, energy, and resources to learn how to do something
that they cannot even define.
For some, leadership is synonymous with very good management. For others, it centers on persuasive abilities. Some see leadership as fostering a world of future possibilities, others as generating
current business processes and decisions. Some understand leadership as a social phenomenon, whereas others are quick to equate
it with a single heroic figure. Leadership is complex. All that we
know confirms that. But if we do not understand at a basic level
what leadership is (and is not), how can we prepare ourselves to
lead well? And equally important, how will we know if we are leading effectively?
This volume explores the fundamentals of business leadership:
what it is, how to do it, and what maximizes its success. Leadership is
a social process, rooted in the values, behaviors, skills, knowledge, and
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ways of thinking of both leaders and followers. It is multidimensional
in skill and orientation, and successful leaders need to understand
people and organizations, tasks and processes, current context and
past history, self and others. They need to attend to current realities while envisioning future possibilities. To do all this well, leaders
need confidence and strategies for working competently across a wide
range of diverse issues—from fostering the organizational clarity that
comes from sound structures and policies to unleashing energy and
creativity through bold visions, from creating learning organizations
where workers mature and develop as everyday leaders to managing the conflict inevitable in a world of enduring differences. Leaders
use mind, heart, and spirit in their work and require a helpful map
to guide and direct their shuttling among multiple levels, processes,
issues, and domains.
This volume was designed to help leaders develop and deepen their
own map. It is intended to be a resource for both experienced
business leaders and those aspiring to the role. Newcomers can
read cover to cover and explore leadership’s scope, purpose, methods, and possibilities. They will find everything they need to get
started and grow in their leadership. Organizations need leadership at every level, and these chapters offer support for those with
or without formal leadership positions at work. Experienced leaders will appreciate chapters that capture the best thinking on a
range of topics—the complex nature of the work, essential skills
and ways to enhance them, models for understanding the organizational terrain, ways to anticipate challenges and avoid pitfalls,
and strategies to sustain oneself as a leader.
This book is intentionally inclusive in content—exploring the linkages among individual, organizational, and situational factors that
contribute to leadership success. It celebrates the expanded understanding of leadership and leadership development that has evolved
in response to the changing nature of organizations today, the global
business environment, and advances in management theory. Leadership is a central force in the creation of healthy and effective organizations in an increasingly competitive and complex world. Taken
together the chapters in this volume remind readers that leadership
is more than tools and techniques. It is a values-based process that
engages people in useful and significant ways to search for lasting
solutions to today’s—and tomorrow’s—challenges.
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Introduction and Acknowledgments
In deciding what to include in this volume, I have kept one question in mind: what are the tools and insights that will help business
leaders succeed as they set out to improve their organization’s health
and effectiveness? In everyday language, how can they make a real
difference through their daily work? All the classic leadership ideas
and strategies that help us answer that question are represented and
updated in this volume. But readers will also find new contributions,
created explicitly for this book, that expand our understandings in
key areas and that stretch the ways we think about leadership and
ourselves as leaders. There is little sense in producing a new book that
tells the same old story.
This volume is divided into five parts. Each part is introduced by
an Editor’s Interlude that frames the issues to be examined, describes
the rationale for the material included, and introduces each of the
chapters in the section. As a whole this book flows from theory to
practice: it begins with a set of ideas on how to understand the leadership process and moves to practical suggestions for ways to lead
effectively and to sustain the efforts.
More specifically, Part One, “Framing the Issues: What Is Leadership?” explores the fundamental nature and elements of leadership.
The chapters in this section offer opportunities to think systematically about leadership basics, applications, and competencies for success. The chapter authors distinguish leadership from other forms of
influence, like authority, power, and dominance; identify necessary
skills; and correct common myths about leading. The ability to lead
well is clearly linked to one’s capacity to decompose and demystify
the process.
Part Two, “Becoming a Leader, Preparing for the Opportunities,”
examines the ongoing nature of leadership development and provides
strategies and insights to prepare leaders for the opportunities ahead.
Learning to lead well involves persistence, humility, and personal clarity. The authors in this section offer fundamental ways to accelerate
the learning process.
The chapters in Part Three, “Understanding the Territory, Anticipating the Challenges,” address essential ways to understand organizations and the larger context for leadership. Leadership is always
contextual, and organizations in today’s fast-paced, global world
require leaders at all levels who understand the organizational lay of
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the land and how best to match their efforts and talents to the unique
demands of each situation.
Part Four, “Making It Happen,” contains the largest set of chapters in this volume. It begins with the basics of establishing credible
footing as a leader and tackling the fundamentals of mission, vision,
and strategy. It then provides sound advice for staying on track and
identifying predictable forces that can derail leaders and their initiatives. Effective leadership can never be reduced to a simple checklist,
but we can identify the basic tasks and issues that all leaders need to
address and resolve.
Part Five, “Sustaining the Leader,” explores ways for leaders to support themselves in order to sustain their leadership efforts. Strength of
character and resolve matter. But so do strategies for surviving the inevitable attacks of angry opponents; for nourishing the soul; for building
personal resilience; and for staying healthy, grounded, and hopeful.
There are multiple people to thank, and it is hard to know where to
begin. Many have contributed in different ways to this project. Let me
start by thanking all the authors whose work is represented in this volume. They are the best thinkers on leadership today, and we all benefit
from their wisdom and contributions. I trace the beginnings of my own
interests in leadership to the seminal ideas of Warren Bennis, James
MacGregor Burns, Edgar Schein, Lee Bolman, and Terrence Deal, and
I feel honored to share their work with the readers of this volume.
Strong thanks goes next to Ronald Heifetz. His Foreword to this
volume is a rich and provocative perspective on leadership and its
role in facilitating adaptive change: a special gift from someone whose
work reminds us that there are no easy answers to the question of
how to lead well. Ron and I go back to my graduate school days, and
I am pleased by this opportunity for us to work together again.
Special appreciation to Karen Ayas, Andre Delbecq, Loizos
­Heracleous, Claus Jacobs, Phil Mirvis, and Michael Sales who found
time in their busy lives to write original chapters for this volume—
some with short turnaround times—when I realized that their particular perspectives needed to be represented here.
The size of this volume should be some indication of all that it
took to get this work to press. Kathe Sweeney, senior editor in the
Business & Management and Public Administration Divisions at
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Introduction and Acknowledgments
Jossey-Bass, launched this project with her vision—the same creative
sense of contribution that she brought to establishing the Jossey-Bass
Reader series five years ago. She sustained it with her usual support,
trust, and good cheer. Kathe is my writing muse and best supporter—
and I appreciate that more than she knows. Jessie Mandle, my JosseyBass touchpoint, managed preproduction details with professionalism
and warmth. And the Jossey-Bass production team was great. I particularly thank production editor Susan Geraghty who handled details
with professionalism and class. And I again enjoyed working with
Sheri Gilbert, who secured permissions and worked with impressive
speed, accuracy, and grace.
Leadership is a lot easier to study than to provide, and I have special people to thank for that important lesson. University of ­MissouriKansas City (UMKC) chancellor emerita Eleanor Brantley Schwartz
and former vice chancellor for academic affairs Marvin Querry
enabled my return to university administration after a long hiatus;
and former interim chancellor and president of the University of
­Missouri system Gordon Lamb and former provost Marjorie Smelstor
provided other opportunities to serve, including appointments as
special assistant to Gordon at UMKC and then as dean of the School
of Education. Although filling many of these positions seemed akin
to drinking water from a fire hose, the learning was invaluable—and
I am a better person and professional because of it. I also appreciated
the trust, support, and leadership lessons from these consummate
professionals, whom I am honored today to call good friends.
On the local front I also have many people to thank. UMKC chancellor Guy Bailey does a strong job, keeping the ship afloat and sailing
toward safe harbors. His ready support and encouragement of faculty
are appreciated—and he even reads our books! Homer Erekson, dean
of the Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at UMKC, is a good colleague and a supportive dean; and I am
pleased to include associate deans Lanny Solomon and Karyl Leggio
on my list of valued colleagues and friends. Faculty members in the
Bloch School’s Department of Public Affairs—Robyne Turner, David
Renz, Bob Herman, Arif Ahmed, and Nick Peroff—are impressive in
their leadership to promote public service leadership and community
development. I am in awe of their contributions and proud to be
their colleague. They also graciously tolerated the ways in which this
project consumed my time and focus. Special thanks to Samantha
Silveira, administrative assistant in the Department of Public Affairs,
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for accepting the endless task of keeping me organized, informed, and
almost on time.
Faculty members in the old Bloch Women Who Lunch Club add
fun to a busy life. A tip of the hat to Doranne Hudson, Karyl ­Leggio,
Marilyn Taylor, Nancy Day, Sidne Ward, Nancy Weatherholt, Robyne
Turner, and Rita Cain for their collegiality. No one likes meetings,
but I actually look forward to the Bloch School ­Marketing Steering
Committee. I have learned about commitment and contribution from
great professionals like Danny Baker, ­Christina Cutcliffe, Doranne
Hudson, Maria ­Meyers, ­Victoria Prater, and Beverly Stewart. Every
day leadership abounds at the Bloch School.
A bevy of talented Bloch School graduate students assisted me
over the course of this project, and each deserves thanks. Erin Nelson,
Ben Nemenoff, Jennifer Storz, and Abby Symonds got their share of
opportunities to research databases and authors, carry library books,
reformat files, and log time in front of the copying machine. Rebecca
Williams tackled the complex task of tracking down authors, checking biographical facts, and confirming current addresses. We are in
good hands if these students are examples of the public sector leaders
of tomorrow.
Friends and close colleagues are wonderful, and I am blessed to
have some of the greatest. Bob Marx and Joan Weiner were wonderful supports during this project, and our conversations always enrich
me personally and professionally. Terry Deal deserves special mention for his inimitable magic and charm. TD is a character and a
joy to talk with, whether we are bemoaning some ache or pain or
chatting about a great new book. Three girl pals deserve special note.
Sandy Renz, Beth Smith, and Amy Sales are there at a moment’s
notice for support and good cheer. Sandy’s early morning delivery of
fresh muffins and good humor as this project was winding to a close
under trying circumstances was a real treat—and another example
of her ongoing thoughtfulness. Beth is a model of activism, learning,
love, and commitment. How I wish I could get her to write a book
on her amazing life of contribution so as to glean her formula for
leadership success! Amy welcomes me with open arms whenever I
land on her doorstep, and our annual foray to the Berkshires each
summer heals body and soul. And special thanks to Alan K. Duncan
of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine who reminded me of the
power in compassionate leadership and who contributed in special
ways to the spirit of this volume.
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Introduction and Acknowledgments
My family is the greatest, and the three boys on the home front
deserve thanks beyond what can be written here. My sons, Brad and
Chris Bolman, are talented young men who enrich my life. In addition, Brad lent his technology and file-organizing skills to the project,
and his music, juggling stand-up comedy routines, and all around
­cheerfulness sustained the editor. Chris Bolman, hard-working young
leader in the New York investment banking world and all-around
chilled-out entertainer, contributed with comments on potential
chapters as well as with his perspectives on what today’s young business leaders need and use in their work. And Lee Bolman, my husband and closest ­colleague, has earned all the credit and appreciation
offered here. He is cheerfully available 24/7 to his high-maintenance
spouse. During this project he read drafts; repaired and replaced
computers (again); cooked fabulous meals; and house-trained our
new gorgeous yet impish young cockapoo, Douglas McGregor. Thank
you, dear. As the years go by, I appreciate and love you more.
November 2007
flast.indd 23
Joan V. Gallos
Kansas City, Missouri
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Teaching resources and curriculum materials to support the use of
this volume in university classrooms and in executive education are
available online from the publisher at the Wiley Higher Education
site. They can be accessed directly via the following link:
Additional teaching supports are available at the editor’s Web site:
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About the Editor
Joan V. Gallos is professor of leadership at the Henry W. Bloch School
of Business and Public Administration at the University of ­MissouriKansas City, where she has also served as professor and dean of
education, coordinator of university accreditation, special assistant
to the chancellor for strategic planning, and director of the higher
education graduate programs. Gallos holds a bachelor’s degree cum
laude in English from Princeton University, and master’s and doctoral
degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has
served as a Salzburg Seminar Fellow; as president of the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society; as editor of the Journal of Management Education; as a member of numerous editorial boards, including
as a founding member of the Academy of Management Learning and
Education journal; and as a member of regional and national advisory boards for such groups as the Organizational Behavior Teaching
Society, the Forum for Early Childhood Organization and ­Leadership
Development, the Kauffman and D
­ anforth Foundations’ Missouri
Superintendents Leadership Forum, and the Mayor’s Kansas City
Collaborative for Academic Excellence. She has also served on the
national steering committee for the New Models of Management
Education project (a joint effort of the Graduate Management Admissions Council and the Association to Advance ­Collegiate Schools
of Business); on the W. K. ­Kellogg Foundation College Age Youth
Leadership Review Team; on the University of M
­ issouri President’s
Advisory Council on Academic Leadership; and on civic, foundation, and nonprofit boards in greater Kansas City. Gallos has taught
at the Radcliffe Seminars, the ­Harvard Graduate School of Education,
the University of M
­ assachusetts-Boston, and Babson College, as well
as in executive programs at H
­ arvard’s K
­ ennedy School of Government, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the University of
Missouri, Babson College, and the University of British ­Columbia. She
has published on professional effectiveness, gender, and leadership
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education and is editor of Organization Development: A Jossey-Bass
Reader (2006), coauthor of the books Teaching Diversity: Listening to
the Soul, Speaking from the Heart (with V. Jean Ramsey and associates,
Jossey-Bass, 1997) and Reframing Academic Leadership (with Lee G.
Bolman, Jossey-Bass, forthcoming), and creator of a wide variety of
published management education teaching materials. She received the
Fritz Roethlisberger Memorial Award for the best article on management education in 1990 and was finalist for the same prize in 1994.
In 1993, Gallos accepted the Radcliffe College Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2002 and 2003, she served as founding director of the
­Truman Center for the Healing Arts, based in Kansas City’s public
hospital, which received the 2004 Kansas City Business Committee
for the Arts Partnership Award as the best partnership between a large
organization and the arts.
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Framing the Issues:
What Is Leadership?
he chapters in Part One offer answers to the basic question,
What is leadership? They remind us that leadership is a complex social process, rooted in the values, skills, knowledge, and
ways of thinking of both leaders and followers. Leadership always
involves adaptive change, as Ronald Heifetz notes in the Foreword
to this volume, and we think too simply when we equate leadership
with the search for a simple answer to a current problem. Leaders help
us understand our current reality and forge a brighter future from it.
They see new opportunities, and manage a complex interactive process
that supports individual and collective growth. In the process of this
work, leaders face critical choices based on their reading of the circumstances, the individuals involved, and the possibilities that they see.
And although there is widespread agreement that leadership is important and that effective leadership is vital, there is less clarity about what
that really means or how that translates into effective action.
The word leadership has become an incantation, cautions John
Gardner (1993), and its meaning has risen above common workplace
usage. “There seems to be a feeling that if we invoke it often enough
with sufficient ardor we can ease our sense of having lost our way,
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our sense of things unaccomplished, of duties unfulfilled” (p. 1). This
kind of thinking clouds our perspectives toward everyday leaders and
leadership—and makes it hard to understand how ordinary people
can successfully wear the mantle. It also keeps us from looking below
the surface—beyond leadership’s aura—so that we fail to fully appreciate what leadership is and how it works.
The chapters in this section decompose leadership. They distinguish leadership from other forms of influence, like power, authority, and dominance; identify essential elements and skills; and correct
common myths about leading. Together they offer the basis for a
grounded framework and help us see that success requires
• A simple, not simplistic, definition of the leadership process
• Insight into one’s purpose for leading
• Understanding of the organizational context in which one leads
• Appreciation for the unique challenges and opportunities
­inherent in each situation
• Clarity about what one brings to the leadership table
Savvy leaders develop their own conceptual framework about all
this, a repertoire of skills to call upon, capacities for self-reflection
and learning from experience, and a healthy respect for the difficulties and risks. The authors in this section provide rich opportunities
to think more systematically about leadership basics, applications,
and competencies for success.
Part One begins with a classic article from the Harvard Business
Review by John P. Kotter, “What Leaders Really Do.” This chapter
explores the seminal distinction between leadership and management, identifying the two as complementary functions that
contribute significantly and in their own ways to organizational
effectiveness. Managers, says Kotter, bring order from chaos through
planning, organizing, and controlling. Leaders, in contrast, help
organizations cope with change and opportunity by focusing on
vision, network building, and the relationships needed for a strong
organizational future.
Good leadership is emotionally compelling. Effective leaders
inspire and motivate, and those who know how to bring out the
best in themselves and others help their organizations to thrive and
grow. In fact, say Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie
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Framing the Issues
McKee, the core of leadership lies in leaders’ abilities to manage
their own and others’ emotional responses to each situation. The
three authors explore the foundational role of emotional intelligence in leadership in Chapter Two, “Primal Leadership: The
­Hidden Power of Emotional Intelligence.”
Leadership is about the ongoing process of building and sustaining a relationship between those who aspire to lead and those
­willing to follow. In Chapter Three, “The Five Practices of Exemplary
Leadership,” an excerpt from their best-selling book The Leadership Challenge: How to Keep Getting Extraordinary Things Done in
Organizations, James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner explore common patterns of action at the core of effective leadership. Authenticity, initiative, courage, and inspiration, as well as the abilities to
frame engaging opportunities, foster collaboration, and empower
­others—qualities available to all no matter where they sit in the
­hierarchy—can enable groups of ordinary individuals to accomplish
extraordinary things.
Leadership is multidimensional in skill and orientation. Successful leaders need to understand people and organizations, tasks and
processes, self and others. They must attend to current realities while
envisioning future possibilities, and need confidence and strategies for
working competently across a wide range of diverse issues—from fostering the organizational clarity that comes from sound structures and
policies to unleashing energy and creativity through bold visions, from
creating learning organizations where workers mature and develop
as everyday leaders to managing the conflict inevitable in a world of
enduring differences. Leaders use mind, heart, and spirit in their work
and require a map to guide and direct their shuttling among multiple
organizational levels, processes, issues, and domains.
In Chapter Four, “Reframing Leadership,” Lee G. Bolman and
­Terrence E. Deal propose four sets of common organizational issues
or frames—structure, people, politics, and symbols—as a way to sort
the myriad activities and concerns that compete for a leader’s attention. Organizations are simultaneously sets of structural arrangements and practices, opportunities for human contribution, political
arenas for negotiating differences, and creative outlets for individual
passion and collective purpose. Successful leaders realize this, consciously balance their attention across all four sets of issues, and
reframe—discipline themselves to deliberately view a situation or
challenge from multiple perspectives.
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Leadership is a human invention and process, and it is tempting to equate successful business leadership with a powerful CEO or
charismatic senior executive. Although these individuals may indeed
bring leadership to their organizations, James O’Toole reminds us
in ­Chapter Five, “When Leadership Is an Organizational Trait,” that
overreliance on a single heroic figure distorts appreciation of leadership as an organizational function. High-performing companies,
O’Toole has found, institutionalize the central tasks and responsibilities of leadership by incorporating them into their organizational
cultures, systems, policies, and practices. In the process they avoid
overreliance on one individual, compensate for weakness and leadership gaps at the top, and build organizational systems and structures of shared accountability that withstand the test of time, shifting
­markets, and succession plans.
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What Leaders Really Do
John P. Kotter
eadership is different from management, but not for
the reasons most people think. Leadership isn’t mystical and mysterious. It has nothing to do with having “charisma” or other exotic personality traits. It is not the province of a chosen few. Nor is leadership
necessarily better than management or a replacement for it. Rather,
leadership and management are two distinctive and complementary
systems of action. Each has its own function and characteristic activities. Both are necessary for success in an increasingly complex and
volatile business environment.
Most U.S. corporations today are overmanaged and underled.
They need to develop their capacity to exercise leadership. Successful corporations don’t wait for leaders to come along. They actively
seek out people with leadership potential and expose them to career
experiences designed to develop that potential. Indeed, with careful
selection, nurturing, and encouragement, dozens of people can play
important leadership roles in a business organization.
But while improving their ability to lead, companies should
remember that strong leadership with weak management is no better,
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and is sometimes actually worse, than the reverse. The real challenge
is to combine strong leadership and strong management and use each
to balance the other.
Of course, not everyone can be good at both leading and managing. Some people have the capacity to become excellent managers but
not strong leaders. Others have great leadership potential but, for a
variety of reasons, have great difficulty becoming strong managers.
Smart companies value both kinds of people and work hard to make
them a part of the team.
But when it comes to preparing people for executive jobs, such
companies rightly ignore the recent literature that says people cannot manage and lead. They try to develop leader-managers. Once
­companies understand the fundamental difference between leadership and management, they can begin to groom their top people to
provide both.
Management is about coping with complexity. Its practices and procedures are largely a response to one of the most significant developments of the twentieth century: the emergence of large organizations.
Without good management, complex enterprises tend to become
chaotic in ways that threaten their very existence. Good management
brings a degree of order and consistency to key dimensions like the
quality and profitability of products.
Leadership, by contrast, is about coping with change. Part of the
reason it has become so important in recent years is that the business
world has become more competitive and more volatile. Faster technological change, greater international competition, the deregulation of
markets, overcapacity in capital-intensive industries, an unstable oil
cartel, raiders with junk bonds, and the changing demographics of the
work force are among the many factors that have contributed to this
shift. The net result is that doing what was done yesterday, or doing it
5% better, is no longer a formula for success. Major changes are more
and more necessary to survive and compete effectively in this new
environment. More change always demands more ­leadership.
Consider a simple military analogy: a peacetime army can usually
survive with good administration and management up and down the
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What Leaders Really Do
hierarchy, coupled with good leadership concentrated at the very top.
A wartime army, however, needs competent leadership at all levels.
No one yet has figured out how to manage people effectively into
battle; they must be led.
These different functions—coping with complexity and coping
with change—shape the characteristic activities of management
and leadership. Each system of action involves deciding what needs
to be done, creating networks of people and relationships that can
accomplish an agenda, and then trying to ensure that those people actually do the job. But each accomplishes these three tasks in
­different ways.
Companies manage complexity first by planning and budgeting—
setting targets or goals for the future (typically for the next month
or year), establishing detailed steps for achieving those targets, and
then allocating resources to accomplish those plans. By contrast,
leading an organization to constructive change begins by setting a
d­ irection—developing a vision of the future (often the distant future)
along with strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve
that vision.
Management develops the capacity to achieve its plan by organizing and staffing—creating an organizational structure and set of jobs
for accomplishing plan requirements, staffing the jobs with qualified individuals, communicating the plan to those people, ­delegating
responsibility for carrying out the plan, and devising systems to
monitor implementation. The equivalent leadership activity, however,
is aligning people. This means communicating the new direction to
those who can create coalitions that understand the vision and are
committed to its achievement.
Finally, management ensures plan accomplishment by controlling
and problem solving—monitoring results versus the plan in some
detail, both formally and informally, by means of reports, m
­ eetings,
and other tools; identifying deviations; and then planning and
organizing to solve the problems. But for leadership, achieving a
vision requires motivating and inspiring—keeping people moving in the right direction, despite major obstacles to change, by
­appealing to basic but often untapped human needs, values, and
A closer examination of each of these activities will help clarify the
skills leaders need.
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Setting a Direction vs. Planning and Budgeting
Since the function of leadership is to produce change, setting the
direction of that change is fundamental to leadership.
Setting direction is never the same as planning or even long-term
planning, although people often confuse the two. Planning is a management process, deductive in nature and designed to produce orderly
results, not change. Setting a direction is more inductive. Leaders
gather a broad range of data and look for patterns, relationships, and
linkages that help explain things. What’s more, the direction-setting
aspect of leadership does not produce plans; it creates vision and
strategies. These describe a business, technology, or corporate culture
in terms of what it should become over the long term and articulate
a feasible way of achieving this goal.
Most discussions of vision have a tendency to degenerate into the
mystical. The implication is that a vision is something mysterious
that mere mortals, even talented ones, could never hope to have. But
developing good business direction isn’t magic. It is a tough, sometimes exhausting process of gathering and analyzing information.
People who articulate such visions aren’t magicians but broad-based
strategic thinkers who are willing to take risks.
Nor do visions and strategies have to be brilliantly innovative;
in fact, some of the best are not. Effective business visions regularly
have an almost mundane quality, usually consisting of ideas that are
already well known. The particular combination or patterning of the
ideas may be new, but sometimes even that is not the case.
For example, when CEO Jan Carlzon articulated his vision to make
Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) the best airline in the world for
the frequent business traveler, he was not saying anything that everyone in the airline industry didn’t already know. Business travelers fly
more consistently than other market segments and are generally willing to pay higher fares. Thus focusing on business customers offers
an airline the possibility of high margins, steady business, and considerable growth. But in an industry known more for bureaucracy
than vision, no company had ever put these simple ideas together and
dedicated itself to implementing them. SAS did, and it worked.
What’s crucial about a vision is not its originality but how well it
serves the interests of important constituencies—customers, stockholders, employees—and how easily it can be translated into a realistic
competitive strategy. Bad visions tend to ignore the l­egitimate needs
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What Leaders Really Do
and rights of important constituencies—favoring, say, ­employees over
customers or stockholders. Or they are strategically unsound. When
a company that has never been better than a weak competitor in an
industry suddenly starts talking about becoming number one, that is
a pipe dream, not a vision.
One of the most frequent mistakes that overmanaged and underled
corporations make is to embrace “long-term planning” as a panacea
for their lack of direction and inability to adapt to an increasingly
competitive and dynamic business environment. But such an approach
misinterprets the nature of direction setting and can never work.
Long-term planning is always time consuming. Whenever something unexpected happens, plans have to be redone. In a dynamic
business environment, the unexpected often becomes the norm, and
long-term planning can become an extraordinarily burdensome
activity. This is why most successful corporations limit the time frame
of their planning activities. Indeed, some even consider “long-term
planning” a contradiction in terms.
In a company without direction, even short-term planning can
become a black hole capable of absorbing an infinite amount of
time and energy. With no vision and strategy to provide constraints
around the planning process or to guide it, every eventuality deserves
a plan. Under these circumstances, contingency planning can go on
forever, draining time and attention from far more essential activities,
yet without ever providing the clear sense of direction that a company
desperately needs. After awhile, managers inevitably become cynical
about all this, and the planning process can degenerate into a highly
politicized game.
Planning works best not as a substitute for direction setting but
as a complement to it. A competent planning process serves as a useful reality check on direction-setting activities. Likewise, a competent
direction-setting process provides a focus in which planning can then
be realistically carried out. It helps clarify what kind of planning is
essential and what kind is irrelevant.
Aligning People vs. Organizing and Staffing
A central feature of modern organizations is interdependence,
where no one has complete autonomy, where most employees are
tied to many others by their work, technology, management systems, and hierarchy. These linkages present a special challenge when
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­ rganizations attempt to change. Unless many individuals line up and
move together in the same direction, people will tend to fall all over
one another. To executives who are overeducated in management and
undereducated in leadership, the idea of getting people moving in the
same direction appears to be an organizational problem. What executives need to do, however, is not organize people but align them.
Managers “organize” to create human systems that can implement plans as precisely and efficiently as possible. Typically, this
requires a number of potentially complex decisions. A company
must choose a structure of jobs and reporting relationships, staff it
with individuals suited to the jobs, provide training for those who
need it, communicate plans to the work force, and decide how much
authority to delegate and to whom. Economic incentives also need
to be constructed to accomplish the plan, as well as systems to monitor its implementation. These organizational judgments are much
like architectural decisions. It’s a question of fit within a ­particular
Aligning is different. It is more of a communications challenge
than a design problem. First, aligning invariably involves talking to
many more individuals than organizing does. The target population
can involve not only a manager’s subordinates but also bosses, peers,
staff in other parts of the organization, as well as suppliers, governmental officials, or even customers. Anyone who can help implement the vision and strategies or who can block implementation is
Trying to get people to comprehend a vision of an alternative
future is also a communications challenge of a completely different magnitude from organizing them to fulfill a short-term plan. It’s
much like the difference between a football quarterback attempting
to describe to his team the next two or three plays versus his trying to
explain to them a totally new approach to the game to be used in the
second half of the season.
Whether delivered with many words or a few carefully chosen
symbols, such messages are not necessarily accepted just because
they are understood. Another big challenge in leadership efforts is
­c redibility—getting people to believe the message. Many things
­contribute to credibility: the track record of the person delivering the
message, the content of the message itself, the communicator’s reputation for integrity and trustworthiness, and the consistency between
words and deeds.
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What Leaders Really Do
Finally, aligning leads to empowerment in a way that organizing
rarely does. One of the reasons some organizations have difficulty
adjusting to rapid changes in markets or technology is that so many
people in those companies feel relatively powerless. They have learned
from experience that even if they correctly perceive important external changes and then initiate appropriate actions, they are vulnerable to someone higher up who does not like what they have done.
­Reprimands can take many different forms: “That’s against policy” or
“We can’t afford it” or “Shut up and do as you’re told.”
Alignment helps overcome this problem by empowering people in
at least two ways. First, when a clear sense of direction has been communicated throughout an organization, lower level employees can
initiate actions without the same degree of vulnerability. As long as
their behavior is consistent with the vision, superiors will have more
difficulty reprimanding them. Second, because everyone is aiming at
the same target, the probability is less that one person’s initiative will
be stalled when it comes into conflict with someone else’s.
Motivating People vs. Controlling and
Problem Solving
Since change is the function of leadership, being able to generate
highly energized behavior is important for coping with the inevitable barriers to change. Just as direction setting identifies an appropriate path for movement and just as effective alignment gets people
moving down that path, successful motivation ensures that they will
have the energy to overcome obstacles.
According to the logic of management, control mechanisms compare system behavior with the plan and take action when a deviation is detected. In a well-managed factory, for example, this means
the planning process establishes sensible quality targets, the organizing process builds an organization that can achieve those t­ argets,
and a control process makes sure that quality lapses are spotted
­immediately, not in 30 or 60 days, and corrected.
For some of the same reasons that control is so central to management, highly motivated or inspired behavior is almost irrelevant.
Managerial processes must be as close as possible to fail-safe and
risk-free. That means they cannot be dependent on the unusual or
hard to obtain. The whole purpose of systems and structures is to
help normal people who behave in normal ways to complete routine
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jobs successfully, day after day. It’s not exciting or glamorous. But
that’s management.
Leadership is different. Achieving grand visions always requires
an occasional burst of energy. Motivation and inspiration energize
people, not by pushing them in the right direction as control mechanisms do but by satisfying basic human needs for achievement, a
sense of belonging, recognition, self-esteem, a feeling of control over
one’s life, and the ability to live up to one’s ideals. Such feelings touch
us deeply and elicit a powerful response.
Good leaders motivate people in a variety of ways. First, they
always articulate the organization’s vision in a manner that stresses
the values of the audience they are addressing. This makes the work
important to those individuals. Leaders also regularly involve people in deciding how to achieve the organization’s vision (or the part
most relevant to a particular individual). This gives people a sense
of control. Another important motivational technique is to support
employee efforts to realize the vision by providing coaching, feedback, and role modeling, thereby helping people grow professionally
and enhancing their self-esteem. Finally, good leaders recognize and
reward success, which not only gives people a sense of accomplishment but also makes them feel like they belong to an organization
that cares about them. When all this is done, the work itself becomes
intrinsically motivating.
The more that change characterizes the business environment,
the more leaders must motivate people to provide leadership as
well. When this works, it tends to reproduce leadership across the
entire organization, with people occupying multiple leadership roles
throughout the hierarchy. This is highly valuable, because coping with
change in any complex business demands initiatives from a multitude
of people. Nothing less will work.
Of course, leadership from many sources does not necessarily
converge. To the contrary, it can easily conflict. For multiple leadership roles to work together, people’s actions must be carefully coordinated by mechanisms that differ from those coordinating traditional
­management roles.
Strong networks of informal relationships—the kind found
in companies with healthy cultures—help coordinate leadership
activities in much the same way that formal structure coordinates
managerial activities. The key difference is that informal networks
can deal with the greater demands for coordination associated with
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What Leaders Really Do
nonroutine activities and change. The multitude of communication channels and the trust among the individuals connected by
those channels allow for an ongoing process of accommodation and
adaptation. When conflicts rise among roles, those same relationships help resolve the conflicts. Perhaps most important, this process of dialogue and accommodation can produce visions that are
linked and compatible instead of remote and competitive. All this
requires a great deal more communication than is needed to coordinate managerial roles, but unlike formal structure, strong informal
networks can handle it.
Of course, informal relations of some sort exist in all corporations.
But too often these networks are either very weak—some people are
well connected but most are not—or they are highly fragmented—a
strong network exists inside the marketing group and inside R&D but
not across the two departments. Such networks do not support multiple leadership initiatives well. In fact, extensive informal networks
are so important that if they do not exist, creating them has to be the
focus of activity early in a major leadership initiative.
Despite the increasing importance of leadership to business success,
the on-the-job experiences of most people actually seem to undermine the development of attributes needed for leadership. Nevertheless, some companies have consistently demonstrated an ability to
develop people into outstanding leader-managers. Recruiting people
with leadership potential is only the first step. Equally important is
managing their career patterns. Individuals who are effective in large
leadership roles often share a number of career experiences.
Perhaps the most typical and most important is significant challenge early in a career. Leaders almost always have had opportunities
during their twenties and thirties to actually try to lead, to take a risk,
and to learn from both triumphs and failures. Such learning seems
essential in developing a wide range of leadership skills and perspectives. It also teaches people something about both the difficulty of
leadership and its potential for producing change.
Later in their careers, something equally important happens that
has to do with broadening. People who provide effective leadership in
important jobs always have a chance, before they get into those jobs,
to grow beyond the narrow base that characterizes most managerial
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careers. This is usually the result of lateral career moves or of early
promotions to unusually broad job assignments. Sometimes other
vehicles help, like special task-force assignments or a lengthy general
management course. Whatever the path, the breadth of knowledge
developed is helpful in all aspects of leadership. So is the network of
relationships that is often acquired both inside and outside the company. When enough people get opportunities like this, the relationships that are built also create the strong informal networks needed
to support multiple leadership initiatives.
Corporations that do a better-than-average job of developing
leaders put an emphasis on creating challenging opportunities for
relatively young employees. In many businesses, decentralization is
the key. By definition, it pushes responsibility lower in an organization and in the process creates more challenging jobs at lower levels. Johnson & Johnson, 3M, Hewlett-Packard, General Electric, and
many other well-known companies have used that approach quite
successfully. Some of those same companies also create as many small
units as possible so there are a lot of challenging lower level general
management jobs available.
Sometimes these businesses develop additional challenging
opportunities by stressing growth through new products or services.
Over the years, 3M has had a policy that at least 25% of its revenue
should come from products introduced within the last five years.
That encourages small new ventures, which in turn offer hundreds
of opportunities to test and stretch young people with leadership
Such practices can, almost by themselves, prepare people for
small- and medium-sized leadership jobs. But developing people
for important leadership positions requires more work on the part
of senior executives, often over a long period of time. That work
begins with efforts to spot people with great leadership potential
early in their careers and to identify what will be needed to stretch
and develop them.
Again, there is nothing magic about this process. The methods
successful companies use are surprisingly straightforward. They go
out of their way to make young employees and people at lower levels
in their organizations visible to senior management. Senior managers
then judge for themselves who has potential and what the development needs of those people are. Executives also discuss their tentative
conclusions among themselves to draw more accurate judgments.
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What Leaders Really Do
Armed with a clear sense of who has considerable leadership
potential and what skills they need to develop, executives in these
companies then spend time planning for that development. Sometimes that is done as part of a formal succession planning or highpotential development process; often it is more informal. In either
case, the key ingredient appears to be an intelligent assessment of
what feasible development opportunities fit each candidate’s needs.
To encourage managers to participate in these activities, well-led
businesses tend to recognize and reward people who successfully
develop leaders. This is rarely done as part of a formal compensation
or bonus formula, simply because it is so difficult to measure such
achievements with precision. But it does become a factor in decisions about promotion, especially at the most senior levels, and that
seems to make a big difference. When told that future promotions
will depend to some degree on their ability to nurture leaders, even
people who say that leadership cannot be developed somehow find
ways to do it.
Such strategies help create a corporate culture where people
­value strong leadership and strive to create it. Just as we need more
people to provide leadership; in the complex organizations that dominate our world today, we also need more people to develop the cultures
that will create that leadership. Institutionalizing a ­leadership-­centered
culture is the ultimate act of leadership.
John P. Kotter is the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership
emeritus at Harvard Business School and the author of multiple,
best-selling books on organizational leadership and change.
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Primal Leadership
The Hidden Power of Emotional
Daniel Goleman
Richard Boyatzis
Annie McKee
reat leaders move us. They ignite our passion and
inspire the best in us. When we try to explain why they are so effective, we speak of strategy, vision, or powerful ideas. But the reality is
much more primal: Great leadership works through the emotions.
No matter what leaders set out to do—whether it’s creating strategy
or mobilizing teams to action—their success depends on how they do
it. Even if they get everything else just right, if leaders fail in this primal
task of driving emotions in the right direction, nothing they do will
work as well as it could or should.
Consider, for example, a pivotal moment in a news division at
the BBC, the British media giant. The division had been set up as an
experiment, and while its 200 or so journalists and editors felt they
had given their best, management had decided the division would
have to close.1
It didn’t help that the executive sent to deliver the decision to the
assembled staff started off with a glowing account of how well rival
operations were doing, and that he had just returned from a wonderful trip to Cannes. The news itself was bad enough, but the brusque,
even c­ ontentious manner of the executive incited something beyond the
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Primal Leadership
expected frustration. People became enraged—not just at the management decision, but also at the bearer of the news himself. The atmosphere became so threatening, in fact, that it looked as though the
executive might have to call security to usher him safely from the room.
The next day, another executive visited the same staff. He took a
very different approach. He spoke from his heart about the crucial
importance of journalism to the vibrancy of a society, and of the calling that had drawn them all to the field in the first place. He reminded
them that no one goes into journalism to get rich—as a profession
its finances have always been marginal, with job security ebbing and
flowing with larger economic tides. And he invoked the passion, even
the dedication, the journalists had for the service they offered. Finally,
he wished them all well in getting on with their careers. When this
leader finished speaking, the staff cheered.
The difference between the leaders lay in the mood and tone with
which they delivered their messages: One drove the group toward
antagonism and hostility, the other toward optimism, even inspiration, in the face of difficulty. These two moments point to a hidden,
but crucial, dimension in leadership—the emotional impact of what
a leader says and does.
While most people recognize that a leader’s mood—and how he or
she impacts the mood of others—plays a significant role in any organization, emotions are often seen as too personal or unquantifiable to
talk about in a meaningful way. But research in the field of emotion
has yielded keen insights into not only how to measure the impact of
a leader’s emotions but also how the best leaders have found effective
ways to understand and improve the way they handle their own and
other people’s emotions. Understanding the powerful role of emotions in the workplace sets the best leaders apart from the rest—not
just in tangibles such as better business results and the retention
of talent, but also in the all-important intangibles, such as higher
morale, motivation, and commitment.
This emotional task of the leader is primal—that is, first—in
two senses: It is both the original and the most important act of
Leaders have always played a primordial emotional role. No
doubt humankind’s original leaders—whether tribal chieftains or
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­shamanesses—earned their place in large part because their leadership was emotionally compelling. Throughout history and in cultures everywhere, the leader in any human group has been the one to
whom others look for assurance and clarity when facing uncertainty
or threat, or when there’s a job to be done. The leader acts as the
group’s ­emotional guide.
In the modern organization, this primordial emotional task—
though by now largely invisible—remains foremost among the many
jobs of leadership: driving the collective emotions in a positive direction and clearing the smog created by toxic emotions. This task applies
to leadership everywhere, from the boardroom to the shop floor.
Quite simply, in any human group the leader has maximal
power to sway everyone’s emotions. If people’s emotions are pushed
toward the range of enthusiasm, performance can soar; if people are
driven toward rancor and anxiety, they will be thrown off stride. This
indicates another important aspect of primal leadership: Its effects
extend beyond ensuring that a job is well done. Followers also look
to a leader for supportive emotional connection—for empathy. All
leadership includes this primal dimension, for better or for worse.
When leaders drive emotions positively, as was the case with the second executive at the BBC, they bring out everyone’s best. We call this
effect resonance. When they drive emotions negatively, as with the first
executive, leaders spawn dissonance, undermining the ­emotional
foundations that let people shine. Whether an organization withers or
flourishes depends to a remarkable extent on the leaders’ e­ ffectiveness
in this primal emotional dimension.
The key, of course, to making primal leadership work to everyone’s
advantage lies in the leadership competencies of emotional intelligence: how leaders handle themselves and their relationships. Leaders
who maximize the benefits of primal leadership drive the emotions
of those they lead in the right direction.
How does all of this work? Recent studies of the brain reveal the
neurological mechanisms of primal leadership and make clear just
why emotional intelligence abilities are so crucial.
The reason a leader’s manner—not just what he does, but how he
does it—matters so much lies in the design of the human brain: what
scientists have begun to call the open-loop nature of the limbic system,
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Primal Leadership
our emotional centers. A closed-loop system such as the circulatory
system is self-regulating; what’s happening in the circulatory system
of others around us does not impact our own system. An open-loop
system depends largely on external sources to manage itself.
In other words, we rely on connections with other people for our
own emotional stability. The open-loop limbic system was a winning
design in evolution, no doubt, because it allows people to come to
one another’s emotional rescue—enabling, for example, a mother
to soothe her crying infant, or a lookout in a primate band to signal
an instant alarm when he perceives a threat.
Scientists describe the open loop as “interpersonal limbic regulation,” whereby one person transmits signals that can alter hormone levels, cardiovascular function, sleep rhythms, and even
immune function inside the body of another.2 That’s how couples
who are in love are able to trigger in one another’s brains surges of
oxytocin, which creates a pleasant, affectionate feeling. But in all
aspects of social life, not just love relationships, our physiologies
intermingle, our emotions automatically shifting into the register
of the person we’re with. The open-loop design of the limbic system means that other people can change our very physiology—and
so our emotions.
Even though the open loop is so much a part of our lives, we
usually don’t notice the process itself. Scientists have captured
this attunement of emotions in the laboratory by measuring the
­physiology—such as heart rate—of two people as they have a good
conversation. As the conversation begins, their bodies each operate at
different rhythms. But by the end of a simple fifteen-minute conversation, their physiological profiles look remarkably similar—a phenomenon called mirroring. This entrainment occurs strongly during
the downward spiral of a conflict, when anger and hurt reverberate,
but also goes on more subtly during pleasant interactions.3
In seventy work teams across diverse industries, for instance, members who sat in meetings together ended up sharing moods—either
good or bad—within two hours.4 Nurses, and even accountants,
who monitored their moods over weeks or every few hours as they
worked together showed emotions that tracked together—and the
group’s shared moods were largely independent of the hassles they
shared.5 Studies of professional sports teams reveal similar results:
Quite apart from the ups and downs of a team’s standing, its players
tend to ­synchronize their moods over a period of days and weeks.6
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The continual interplay of limbic open loops among members of a
group creates a kind of emotional soup, with everyone adding his or
her own flavor to the mix. But it is the leader who adds the strongest
seasoning. Why? Because of that enduring reality of business: Everyone watches the boss. People take their emotional cues from the top.
Even when the boss isn’t highly visible—for example, the CEO who
works behind closed doors on an upper floor—his attitude affects the
moods of his direct reports, and a domino effect ripples throughout
the company’s emotional climate.7
Careful observations of working groups in action revealed several ways the leader plays such a pivotal role in determining the
shared emotions.8 Leaders typically talked more than anyone else,
and what they said was listened to more carefully. Leaders were also
usually the first to speak out on a subject, and when others made
comments, their remarks most often referred to what the leader had
said than to anyone else’s comments. Because the leaders’ way of
seeing things has special weight, leaders “manage meaning” for a
group, offering a way to interpret, and so react emotionally to, a given
But the impact on emotions goes beyond what a leader says. In
these studies, even when leaders were not talking, they were watched
more carefully than anyone else in the group. When people raised a
question for the group as a whole, they would keep their eyes on the
leader to see his or her response. Indeed, group members generally
see the leader’s emotional reaction as the most valid response, and
so model their own on it—particularly in an ambiguous situation,
where various members react differently. In a sense, the leader sets the
emotional standard.
Still, not all “official” leaders in a group are necessarily the
­emotional leaders. When the designated leader lacks credibility for
some reason, people may turn for emotional guidance to someone
else whom they trust and respect. This de facto leader then becomes
the one who molds others’ emotional reactions. For instance, a ­wellknown jazz group that was named for its formal leader and founder
actually took its emotional cues from a different musician. The
founder continued to manage bookings and logistics, but when it
came time to decide what tune the group would play next or how
the sound system should be adjusted, all eyes turned to the dominant
member—the emotional leader.10
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Primal Leadership
Emotions are highly intense, fleeting, and sometimes disruptive to
work; moods tend to be less intense, longer-lasting feelings that typically don’t interfere with the job at hand. And an emotional episode
usually leaves a corresponding lingering mood: a low-key, continual
flow of feeling throughout the group.
Although emotions and moods may seem trivial from a business
point of view, they have real consequences for getting work done.
A leader’s mild anxiety can act as a signal that something needs
more attention and careful thought. In fact, a sober mood can help
immensely when considering a risky situation—and too much optimism can lead to ignoring dangers.11 A sudden flood of anger can
rivet a leader’s attention on an urgent problem—such as the revelation that a senior executive has engaged in sexual harassment—
­redirecting the leader’s energies from the normal round of concerns
toward finding a solution, such as improving the organization’s efforts
to eliminate harassment.12
While mild anxiety (such as over a looming deadline) can focus
attention and energy, prolonged distress can sabotage a leader’s relationships and can also hamper work performance by diminishing the
brain’s ability to process information and respond effectively. A good
laugh or an upbeat mood, on the other hand, more often enhances
the neural abilities crucial for doing good work.
Both good and bad moods tend to perpetuate themselves, in part
because they skew perceptions and memories: When people feel upbeat,
they see the positive light in a situation and recall the good things about
it, and when they feel bad, they focus on the downside.13 Beyond this
perceptual skew, the stew of stress hormones secreted when a person
is upset takes hours to become reabsorbed in the body and fade away.
That’s why a sour relationship with a boss can leave a person a captive
of that distress, with a mind preoccupied and a body unable to calm
itself: He got me so upset during that meeting I couldn’t go to sleep for
hours last night. As a result, we naturally prefer being with people who
are emotionally positive, in part because they make us feel good.
Negative emotions—especially chronic anger, anxiety, or a sense of
futility—powerfully disrupt work, hijacking attention from the task
at hand.14 For instance, in a Yale study of moods and their ­contagion,
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the performance of groups making executive decisions about how
best to allocate yearly bonuses was measurably boosted by positive feelings and was impaired by negative ones. Significantly, the
group members themselves did not realize the influence of their own
For instance, of all the interactions at an international hotel chain
that pitched employees into bad moods, the most frequent was talking to someone in management. Interactions with bosses led to bad
feelings—frustration, disappointment, anger, sadness, disgust, or
hurt—about nine out of ten times. These interactions were the cause
of distress more often than customers, work pressure, company policies, or personal problems.16 Not that leaders need to be overly “nice”;
the emotional art of leadership includes pressing the reality of work
demands without unduly upsetting people. One of the oldest laws in
psychology holds that beyond a moderate level, increases in anxiety
and worry erode mental ­abilities.
Distress not only erodes mental abilities, but also makes people
less emotionally intelligent. People who are upset have trouble reading emotions accurately in other people—decreasing the most basic
skill needed for empathy and, as a result, impairing their social skills.17
Another consideration is that the emotions people feel while
they work, according to new findings on job satisfaction, reflect
most directly the true quality of work life.18 The percentage of time
people feel positive emotions at work turns out to be one of the
strongest predictors of satisfaction, and therefore, for instance, of
how likely employees are to quit.19 In this sense, leaders who spread
bad moods are simply bad for business—and those who pass along
good moods help drive a business’s success.
When people feel good, they work at their best. Feeling good lubricates mental efficiency, making people better at understanding
information and using decision rules in complex judgments, as well
as more flexible in their thinking.20 Upbeat moods, research verifies, make people view others—or events—in a more positive light.
That in turn helps people feel more optimistic about their ability to
achieve a goal, enhances creativity and decision-making skills, and
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Primal Leadership
predisposes people to be helpful. 21 Insurance agents with a ­g lass-­
is-half-full outlook, for instance, are far more able than their more
pessimistic peers to persist despite rejections, and so they make
more sales.22 Moreover, research on humor at work reveals that a
well-timed joke or playful laugher can stimulate creativity, open
lines of communication, enhance a sense of connection and trust,
and, of course, make work more fun. 23 Playful joking increases
the likelihood of financial concessions during a negotiation. Small
wonder that playfulness holds a prominent place in the tool kit of
­emotionally intelligent leaders.
Good moods prove especially important when it comes to teams:
The ability of a leader to pitch a group into an enthusiastic, cooperative mood can determine its success. On the other hand, whenever
emotional conflicts in a group bleed attention and energy from their
shared tasks, a group’s performance will suffer.
Consider the results of a study of sixty-two CEOs and their top
management teams.24 The CEOs represented some of the Fortune
500, as well as leading U.S. service companies (such as consulting
and accounting firms), not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies. The CEOs and their management team members were
assessed on how upbeat—energetic, enthusiastic, ­determined—they
were. They were also asked how much conflict and tumult the top
team experienced, that is, personality clashes, anger and friction in
meetings, and emotional conflicts (in contrast to disagreement about
The study found that the more positive the overall moods of
people in the top management team, the more cooperatively they
worked together—and the better the company’s business results.
Put differently, the longer a company was run by a management
team that did not get along, the poorer that company’s market
The “group IQ,” then—the sum total of every person’s best talents
contributed at full force—depends on the group’s emotional intelligence, as shown in its harmony. A leader skilled in collaboration can
keep cooperation high and thus ensure that the group’s decisions will
be worth the effort of meeting. Such leaders know how to balance the
group’s focus on the task at hand with its attention to the quality of
members’ relationships. They naturally create a friendly but effective
climate that lifts everyone’s spirits.
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Common wisdom, of course, holds that employees who feel upbeat
will likely go the extra mile to please customers and therefore improve
the bottom line. But there’s actually a logarithm that predicts that
relationship: For every 1 percent improvement in the service climate,
there’s a 2 percent increase in revenue.25
Benjamin Schneider, a professor at the University of Maryland,
found in operations as diverse as bank branches, insurance company
regional offices, credit card call centers, and hospitals that employees’ ratings of service climate predicted customer satisfaction, which
drove business results. Likewise, poor morale among frontline customer service reps at a given point in time predicts high turnover—
and declining customer satisfaction—up to three years later. This low
customer satisfaction, in turn, drives declining revenues.26
So what’s the antidote? Besides the obvious relationships between
climate and working conditions or salary, resonant leaders play a key
role. In general, the more emotionally demanding the work, the more
empathic and supportive the leader needs to be. Leaders drive the
service climate and thus the predisposition of employees to satisfy
customers. At an insurance company, for instance, Schneider found
that effective leadership influenced service climate among agents
to account for a 3 to 4 percent difference in insurance renewals—a
seemingly small margin that made a big difference to the business.
Organizational consultants have long assumed a positive link of
some kind between a business unit’s human climate and its performance. But data connecting the two have been sparse—and so, in
practice, leaders could more easily ignore their personal style and its
effects on the people they led, focusing instead on “harder” business
objectives. But now we have results from a range of industries that
link leadership to climate and to business performance, making it
possible to quantify the hard difference for business performance
made by something as soft as the “feel” of a company.
For instance, at a global food and beverage company, positive climate readings predicted higher yearly earnings at major divisions. And
in a study of nineteen insurance companies, the climate created by the
CEOs among their direct reports predicted the business performance
of the entire organization: In 75 percent of cases, climate alone accurately sorted companies into high versus low profits and growth.27
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Primal Leadership
Climate in itself does not determine performance. The factors
deciding which companies prove most fit in any given quarter are
notoriously complex. But our analyses suggest that, overall, the
­climate—how people feel about working at a company—can account
for 20 to 30 percent of business performance. Getting the best out of
people pays off in hard results.
If climate drives business results, what drives climate? Roughly
50 to 70 percent of how employees perceive their organization’s
­climate can be traced to the actions of one person: the leader. More
than anyone else, the boss creates the conditions that directly determine
­people’s ability to work well.28
In short, leaders’ emotional states and actions do affect how the
people they lead will feel and therefore perform. How well leaders
manage their moods and affect everyone else’s moods, then, becomes
not just a private matter, but a factor in how well a ­business will do.29
And that gets us to how the brain drives primal leadership, for better or for worse.
Daniel Goleman is codirector of the Consortium for Research on
Emotional Intelligence in Organizations at Rutgers University and
the best-selling author of multiple books on emotional and social
­intelligence. See also www.danielgoleman.info/blog.
Richard Boyatzis is professor in the departments of organizational
behavior, psychology, and cognitive science at Case Western Reserve
University and in the department of human resources at ESADE.
His research includes adult development, leadership, and emotional
Annie McKee is founder of the Teleos Leadership Institute, an international consulting firm providing services to senior leaders in the
private sector and developing world. She teaches at the University
of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and the Wharton
School’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education.
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The Five Practices of
Exemplary Leadership
James M. Kouzes
Barry Z. Posner
hrough our studies of personal-best leadership
e­ xperiences, we’ve discovered that ordinary people who guide ­others
along pioneering journeys follow rather similar paths. Though each
case was unique in expression, each path was marked by common
patterns of action. Leadership is not about personality; it’s about
practice. We’ve forged these common practices into a model and offer
it here as guidance for leaders as they work to keep their own bearings
and guide others toward peak achievements.
When getting extraordinary things done in organizations, leaders
engage in these Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership:
• Model the Way.
• Inspire a Shared Vision.
• Challenge the Process.
• Enable Others to Act.
• Encourage the Heart.
These practices aren’t the private property of the people we s­ tudied
or of a few select shining stars. They’re available to anyone, in any
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The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership
organization or situation, who accepts the leadership challenge. And
they’re not the accident of a special moment in history. They’ve stood
the test of time, and our most recent research confirms that they’re
just as relevant today as they were when we first began our investigation over two decades ago—if not more so.
Model the Way
Titles are granted, but it’s your behavior that wins you respect. As
Gayle Hamilton, a director with Pacific Gas & Electric Company, told
us, “I would never ask anyone to do anything I was unwilling to do
first.” This sentiment was shared across all the cases that we collected.
Exemplary leaders know that if they want to gain commitment and
achieve the highest standards, they must be models of the behavior
they expect of others. Leaders model the way.
To effectively model the behavior they expect of others, leaders
must first be clear about their guiding principles. Lindsay Levin says,
“You have to open up your heart and let people know what you really
think and believe. This means talking about your values.” Alan Keith
adds that one of the most significant leadership lessons he would
pass along is, “You must lead from what you believe.” Leaders must
find their own voice, and then they must clearly and distinctively give
voice to their values. As the personal-best stories illustrate, leaders
are supposed to stand up for their beliefs, so they’d better have some
beliefs to stand up for.
Eloquent speeches about common values, however, aren’t nearly
enough. Leaders’ deeds are far more important than their words when
determining how serious they really are about what they say. Words
and deeds must be consistent. Exemplary leaders go first. They go
first by setting the example through daily actions that demonstrate
they are deeply committed to their beliefs. Toni-Ann Lueddecke, for
example, believes that there are no unimportant tasks in an organization’s efforts at excellence. She demonstrates this to her associates
in her eight Gymboree Play & Mu…
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