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  • Jay Kaufman

Leadership Essentials

  • Mobilizing people to confront tough, intractable problems, overcome differences, and move beyond the natural resistance to change requires uncommon courage and skill.

  • The status quo is a powerful force.

  • Leadership for a change is difficult, risky, and rare. Change involves discomfort and loss, both personal and for the system.

  • It is important to distinguish leadership from authority and technical from adaptive challenges.

  • Leadership – mobilizing people to effect change – demands entering unknown territory. It, of necessity, requires experimentation and improvisation, and the will to risk dead ends and missteps.

  • Leadership is an activity, not a position. Anyone can lead, anytime, anywhere. And leadership is not about you. It is about your team, your community.

  • You’re part of the mess.

  • You will have to work at the edge of your competence and authority.

  • Leadership occurs not when those in authority offer answers, but when essential questions are kept on – and key people kept at – the table long enough for shared answers to emerge.

  • Take time to observe, interpret, explore alternative interpretations, and only then intervene experimentally and strategically.

  • Set goals that are "SMAART": Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Aggressive, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

  • Your purpose must be clear.

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