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« Where's Lisa and Thought for the Day | Main | Fireside Chat with Perry Devine »

March 23, 2007


We lead because we have a passion to do something that we cannot accomplish on our own.

I couldn't agree with you more. Management and leadership are two totally different things in the work place. Its great when they happen at the same time with the same person, but often they do not.

You don't have to be a manager or have a title to be a leader. I have found many times where a natural leader has stepped up and almost like magic people listen with interest to his or her suggestions and have an inclination to follow what the person is suggesting.

I also firmly believe that you have to know how to follow in order to lead. If you don't you have no idea of how to get people to follow you effectively. Great post.

Jason - I think you are right, great leaders are also often great followers. And sometimes they are most transformational when they follow.

I like your choice of the word "ownership." Many managers look to everything besides themselves when things don't go as expected.

And a lot of gurus are denial enablers; they craft good arguments telling leaders why the problems are all someone's else's fault. Even if someone else is a contributing factor it's a leader who takes ownership.

BTW charisma is vastly overrated IMHO, as a lot of bad leaders have it and use it as cover.

LH - I can see what you mean by the traditional definition of charisma. I can see charisma in the most introverted styles. Charisma is certainly not the only thing, but if sincere, it helps create a vehicle for communication and inspiration.

Exactly. I have witnessed that kind of charisma suddenly coming out of many introverted people. (Do you think people have it in them and they just need a nudge... just like the scarecrow, the tin woodsman, and the lion had brains, heart, and courage?)

I think we all have a spark - I think we all have a power - I think we all have a way to put the spark and power together to influence people. It just looks very different for us each.

I have had one-on-one conversations with people who I had previously thought were zeros and come away amazed and moved.

Safe travels Lisa! Great post. While I agree with you - and am inspired by your sense of leadership at every level, I have a question. How can we begin to reward the genuine leadership you allude to here, in a way that sustains the best talent?

Interesting question, Ellen. I think our focus ought to be on creating an intrinsically enriching work experience at all levels. This kind of leadership does not flourish because people have gotten a bonus - it flourishes because people feel connected to and care about the business.

That said, we ought to make sure the basics are firmly in place - that we play well and provide meaningful benefits.

What drives leadership are two things...the opportunity environment is at the "red hot and ready for change" stage and the individual has had personal pain from the environment that would not have happened had it change. Having those two things along with the right resources (material, financial, etc) will generate so much excitement that the potential leader gets giddy with involvement

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