I am a happy subscriber to a newsletter from Peter Koestenbaum, and in a recent message he had this to say about leadership that I thought was quite profound:
A good executive can precisely diagnose the needs of an organization. Whatever the diagnosis, the solution universally requires leadership. It demands that a critical mass of the organization think and act as leaders do. Leadership is the principal action tool for implementing organizational objectives.
One can ask a company, “What is your problem?” One gets many answers, many different diagnoses, many different problems. Everyone — individuals as well as organizations — has reasons: the need for more decentralization, for flatter organizations, for more product and service quality, for higher productivity, for greater speed and quality decision making. Other reasons: the shifting markets, international competition; the need for continuous innovation, for more creativity, for more personal responsibility, for individual autonomy, for more teamwork, for better strategy, and the wish to correct sluggish profits and planning errors and to temper excessive politics. The concerns are multiple, but the solution is always the same: release, among the members of your team, the power for leadership and creativity, for courage and character.
To teach leadership greatness is to help others learn how to think and act as leaders do. It means to challenge their will, to release people’s latent greatness and to empower teams for extraordinary accomplishments.
His website can be found by clicking here: Philosophy in Business.