Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The Powers to Lead

Twelve Take-Aways from  the book as given in the appendix;

  1. Good leadership matters. Good ¼ effective and ethical. Luck matters for success, but good leaders can help shape their luck.

2.      Almost anyone can become a leader. Leadership can be learned. It depends on nurture as well as on nature. Leadership can exist at any level, with or without formal authority. Most people are both leaders and followers. They ‘‘lead from the middle.’’

3.      Leaders help create and achieve group goals. Thus effectiveness requires both vision and interpersonal/organizational skills.

4.      Smart leaders need both soft and hard power skills: co-optive and command styles. Both transformational and transactional objectives and styles can be useful. One is not automatically better than the other.

5.      Leaders depend on and are partly shaped by followers. Some degree of soft power is necessary. Presence/magnetism is inherent in some personalities more than others, but ‘‘charisma’’ is largely bestowed by followers.

6.      Appropriate style depends on the context. There are ‘‘autocratic situations’’ and ‘‘democratic situations,’’ normal and crisis conditions, and routine and novel crises. Good diagnosis of the need for change (or not) is essential for contextual intelligence.

7.      A consultative style is more costly in terms of time, but it provides more information, creates buy-in, and empowers followers.

8.      Managers are not necessarily leaders, but effective leaders usually need both managerial and organizational skills. They create and maintain systems and institutions. Leaders are not mere deciders; they help a group decide how to decide.

9.      Leadership for crisis conditions requires advanced preparation, emotional maturity, and the ability to distinguish the roles of operational, analytical, and political work. The appropriate mix of styles and skills varies with the stage of the crisis. Experience creates tacit knowledge, but analysis also counts. A cat that sits on a hot stove will not sit there again, but it will not sit on a cold stove either.

10.  The information revolution and democratization are causing a long-term secular shift in the context of postmodern organizations–a shift along the continuum from command to co-optive style. Network organizations require a more consultative style. While sometimes stereotyped as a feminine style, both men and women face this change and need to adapt to it. Empowered followers empower leaders.

11.  Reality testing, constant information seeking, and adjusting to change are essential for good consequences, but emotional intelligence and practical knowledge are more important than pure IQ in judgment.

12.  Ethical leaders use their consciences, common moral rules, and professional standards, but conflicting values can create ‘‘dirty hands.’’ Three-dimensional ethical judgments require attention to goals, means, and consequences for those inside and outside the leader’s group. Creating identities in intergroup leadership is difficult but crucial

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