As leadership expert Warren Bennis once stated, “leadership” is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Great leaders possess dazzling social intelligence, a zest for change, and above all, a vision that allows them to set their sights on the things that truly merit attention. Not a bad skill set for the rest of us, either. It is the job of leaders to develop a vision—establish what matters and articulate why—set direction, and inspire others. Recent research on the skills leaders need establishes the increasing importance of inner resources of the psyche such as self-awareness and self-mastery. See more about this topic HERE.
How to be a great leader
What makes a great leader? These TED Talks offer surprising, nuanced approaches on how to inspire and empower others to do their very best. Posted here are just two of the talks that are worth watching.
Visit HERE to see all 12 talks on leadership directly from the TED website.
The Harvard Business Review features numerous articles, books, and slide decks that may help inform your leadership practice. To the right are two popular articles providing general information on the topic. To see all HBR materials realted to leadership visit HERE.
Crucibles of Leadership
By Warren Bennis and Robert J. Thomas from the September 2002 HBR Issue
As lifelong students of leadership, we are fascinated with the notion of what makes a leader. Why is it that certain people seem to naturally inspire confidence, loyalty, and hard work, while others (who may have just as much vision and smarts) stumble, again and again? It’s a timeless question, and there’s no simple answer. But we have come to believe it has something to do with the different ways that people deal with adversity. Indeed, our recent research has led us to conclude that one of the most reliable indicators and predictors of true leadership is an individual’s ability to find meaning in negative events and to learn from even the most trying circumstances. Put another way, the skills required to conquer adversity and emerge stronger and more committed than ever are the same ones that make for extraordinary leaders. Read the complete article HERE.
The Focused Leader
Grouping these modes of attention into three broad buckets—focusing on yourself, focusing on others, and focusing on the wider world—sheds new light on the practice of many essential leadership skills. Focusing inward and focusing constructively on others helps leaders cultivate the primary elements of emotional intelligence. A fuller understanding of how they focus on the wider world can improve their ability to devise strategy, innovate, and manage organizations.
Every leader needs to cultivate this triad of awareness, in abundance and in the proper balance, because a failure to focus inward leaves you rudderless, a failure to focus on others renders you clueless, and a failure to focus outward may leave you blindsided. Read the complete article HERE.
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t
By Simon Sinek
Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things.
In his work with organizations around the world, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives are offered, are doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?
The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general. “Officers eat last,” he said.