Mobilizing people to confront tough, intractable problems, overcome differences, and move beyond the natural resistance to change requires uncommon courage and skill.
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.
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.
Leadership for a change is difficult, risky, and rare. Change involves discomfort and loss.
Leadership, thus, requires taking these into account.
Set goals that are "SMAART": Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Aggressive, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Your purpose must be clear.
ELEMENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP CULTURE
Take stock of your team:
Are visions and goals clearly articulated, aligned, and alive?
Is there a sense of shared accountability and responsibility?
Are whispered criticisms and “water cooler” talk brought into the open and discussed?
Is smart risk-taking rewarded?
Are diversity and voices of dissent honored?
Is individual growth (personal and professional) nurtured?
Arbinger Institute, Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box, Berrett-Koehler, 2010
Frank Barrett, Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz, Harvard Business Review Press, 2012
Ronald A. Heifetz, Leadership Without Easy Answers, Harvard University Press, 1994
Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, and Marty Linsky, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership, Harvard Business Press, 2009
Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, and Marty Linsky, “Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis,” Harvard Business Review, July-August 2009
Ronald A. Heifetz and Marty Linsky, Leadership on the Line, Harvard Business School Press, 2002
Ronald Heifetz and Donald L. Laurie, “The Work of Leadership,” Harvard Business Review, December 2001
Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, Immunity to Change, Harvard Business Press, 2009
Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, “The Real Reason People Won’t Change,” Harvard Business Review, November 2001
Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization, Harvard Business Review, 2016
Frederic Laloux, Reinventing Organizations, 2016
Ed O’Malley and Amanda Cebula, Your Leadership Edge, Kansas Leadership Center Press, 2015
Otto Scharmer, Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges, 2016
Kenwyn Smith and David Berg, Paradoxes of Group Life: Understanding Conflict, Paralysis, and Movement in Group Dynamics, Jossey-Bass, 1997.
“That people can be lifted into their better selves is the secret
of transforming leadership and the moral and practical theme of this work.”
- James MacGregor Burns
“A community is too heavy to carry alone.”
“Mobilizing people to confront tough problems, overcome differences, and move
beyond the natural resistance to change requires uncommon courage and skill.”
- Jay Kaufman, Founding President, Beacon Leadership Collaborative
“Leadership is purpose with courage, even in the light of uncertainty.”
- Petra Falcon
"Leadership requires motivating people to
undertake the adaptive work they’d rather avoid.”
- Hugh O'Doherty
“Leadership entails dispensing loss
to your people at a rate they can absorb.”
- Marty Linsky
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists.
When his life is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say 'we did it ourselves.'”
- Lao Tsu
“Management is doing things right.
Leadership is doing the right things.”
- Peter Drucker
“Leadership demands 'surfing the edge of chaos.'”
- Richard Pascale
“The only thing that is permanent is change.”
“I’m all for progress. It’s change I can’t stand.”
- Mark Twain
“The most important words ever written on the maps of
human knowledge are terra incognita — unknown territory.”
- Daniel J. Boorstin
“A ship in harbor is safe.
But that is not what ships are for.”
- John A. Shedd
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
- Albert Einstein
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”
- Yogi Berra
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
“An effective leader simply loves the people,
tells the truth, and knows when to go away.”
- Evaristo Matsuaire