What makes someone a leader anyway?Such a simple question, and yet it continues to vex some of the best thinkers in business. We've written several books on leadership, and yet it's a rare thing to actually pause to define leadership.Let’s start with what leadership is not…Leadership has nothing to do with seniority or one’s position in the hierarchy of a company. Too many talk about a company’s leadership referring to the senior most executives in the organization. They are just that, senior ex
If you want to be a leader whom people follow with absolute conviction, you have to be a likeable leader. Tyrants and curmudgeons with brilliant vision can command a reluctant following for a time, but it never lasts. They burn people out before they ever get to see what anyone is truly capable of.When I speak to smaller audiences, I often ask them to describe the best and worst leaders they have ever worked for. People inevitably ignore innate characteristics (intelligence, extraversion, attrac
I spoke with my friend Bill George, Senior Fellow and Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, about what it means to lead ethically. His responses struck me as especially salient in our current business landscape, so I’ve paraphrased them below. (You can read the entire conversation in The Executive Edge: An Insider’s Guide to Outstanding Leadership.) Trust can be fleeting - especially the trust we instill in leaders. A leader might spend 30 years building trust, and then wa
I expend a huge amount of my time and energy writing books and articles and working to keep my company innovative. I’ve developed an obsession with some of history’s most creative minds in the hope that I might learn some tricks to expand my own creative productivity.Some of the things I’ve learned are more useful than others, and some are simply too weird to try.Steve Jobs, for example, routinely sat on toilets, dangling his bare feet in the water while he came up with new ideas, and Yoshiro Na
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