28 September 2014

5 Minute Paper: Preliminary Observations on Leadership

In reading the wide variety of literature on leadership, and seeing the stories of seasoned and fledgling leaders, the thing I noticed most was how leaders and leadership is often paradoxical. Linda Hill of the Harvard Business school and her colleagues describe a leader as:

Similarly, Warren G. Bennis describes a leader as:

I also enjoyed reading about the softer side of leadership, something that I relate to more than some of the more "Type A" readings out there. Paul Sloane talks about "Lateral Leadership" which he attributes to innovation in organizations (something Linda Hill also focuses on when she provided the paradoxical attributes above).

Finally, I find comfort in reading from several sources that “leaders are more made than born”. It was inspiring to read about Seana O'Neill, the founder of Cottage Dreams, finding connections at the Banff Centre which has ultimately lead her to begin expanding Cottage Dreams into the Maritimes. Seana started Cottage Dreams in Haliburton County, and it provides an excellent service for those who have been through cancer treatment. 

**Afterwit: Thoughts thought after the 5 minutes... so they don't really count.**

Along the lines of "leaders are more made than born" ... Leader Values has this at the end of their self assessment tool (which was interesting to try out):

Remember, there are three stages in the Leadership journey:

1. skill development - know what to do
2. behaviour development - walk the talk
3. authenticity - be comfortable with your role

Another theme that came up in almost every single resource was that leadership was changing - the nature of, the approach to, etc.  

Finally, in the "what the..!?" file: Leaders Values had a video talking about Genghis Khan and a values approach to leadership (um...) While an admirable cherry picking and reduction of his reign as leader of Mongolia, it may have been a little bit of a stretch. But given the above thought that leadership is changing, could this be an illustration of plus ça change plus c'est la même chose? To quote John Cleese as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart "Take it away, Genghis."

1 comment:

Erin said...

Something interesting - I can't remember which resource mentioned that leaders need to be able to make decisions without all the information. Anyway, today was an illustration of that. Trying to plan ahead in advance of a municipal election, a new budget that will likely be effected by OPP billing model changes, etc. etc. etc. Anyway, thought about that on my drive home after work today.