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Love this: 19 challenging thoughts about leadership

Stashed in: Interconnectedness!, Leadership!, Problem?, Awesome, Leadership, Give and Take, Leadership, Context, Leadership

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19 is too many thoughts. Which is the best?

I really love the number 6: Leadership is acknowledging the elephant in the room. Too many people try to avoid that and it causes such huge unnecessary problems in the long run.

So when there's a giant problem, point it out as soon as possible?

leadership is acknowledging the elephant in the room

Yes, because it can snowball. I think it also really shows the true character if people are not afraid to deal with difficult situations and do not run from them.

Makes you wonder why so many people run from them. 

Many times it is because the difficult situation truly reveal your character. It is so easy to be strong and nice if things are going smoothly.

Oh, and my second favourite is no.11!

"Leadership starts by giving. Not by asking favors."

leadership starts by giving not by asking favors

I forget, have you read Give and Take?

Absolutely, one of my favourite "business books". I actually plan to send some questions to Adam Grant - I have so many! I think there is so much more research to be done, he just scratched the surface. BTW, another good one that points a little bit more to moral questions and what we are "monetizing" and how far we plan to go is: What money can't buy. Have you read that one?

No, I haven't read that one. Is it about happiness?

Not explicitly but a great summary of the book is the ending: "The question of markets is really a question about how we want to live together. Do we want a society where everything is up for sale? Or are there certain moral and civic goods that markets do not honour and money cannot buy?"

Values create organizations that create products that determine how society lives.

Everything starts with values.

I like #7: In sameness we connect. In differences we grow. (Virginia Satir)

in sameness we connect in differences we grow

I also like #9: Context makes the leader.

The context makes the leader. 9 Thefutureleadershipinitiative

I'd argue first-followers make the leader, not context, otherwise they're just a nutter standing out there... barking and dancing alone:

So every would-be leader should focus on finding first followers?

I think that is wrong approach. If you are a leader, you do not need to focus on finding followers. It will happen naturally: Those who lead give sight to those who follow; Those who follow give life to those who lead.

Hi Martina, I think Adam and I were talking about people that don't yet have followers, who by definition are not leaders, but are "would-be", or "wanna-be" leaders.  These folks don't have any followers from which to receive life, or which to give sight.

If you're suggesting that already established leaders with followers should focus on giving sight, or a clear vision, then I heartily agree.  Sharing a clear vision makes it easy for all concerned to get somewhere.  And any place will do:  in addition to having followers show up all leaders also need to be going somewhere...

Dunno what any given, would-be leader should focus on first... maybe eating a breath mint?  

But I do know: no followers = no leadership.  

Hmmm, maybe it really is context related after all... it's impossible to lead in an empty room.

Hi Rob, but don't you think that actions of the leader and her/his behaviour will fill the room with followers? I think leadership is a "marathon" and behaviour that people need to show consistently and by doing so, will get followers.

I think we might agree there are a wide variety of leadership behaviors, both known and unknown.  I also think we might agree there are a wide variety of leaders.

However, I don't think that behaving in a prescriptive way guarantees you (or anyone else) will get followers and that you will successfully lead them somewhere; therefore, I simply don't believe that acting like a leader makes you a leader...that is until and unless you get followers.

Conversely, not acting like a leader but gaining followers still makes you a leader, e.g. Charles Manson was a leader, but not a leader with behaviors I'd like for any of us to emulate.  Still he was a leader nonetheless--he had followers.


Behavior does not a leader make--only followers make the leader, for whatever reason...

Now discerning good leaders from bad leaders, well that's a different story... and I think you're correct on your assumptions about how behaviors can differentiate them and reveal insights toward the positives.

Just as a person can have charisma without beauty, also a person can be a leader without good values.

Is the follower defined by the leader?   Cultists follow cult leaders, for instance.

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