Thursday, December 16, 2010

Talking About Leadership



I'm delivering a keynote address today to the graduates of a leadership academy in the Phoenix area.

When discussing leadership, there is so much to say and yet so little. As with swimming, there are the central concepts, but the main lessons occur in the actual practice. Moreover, the astute leader has to know when to adjust styles and that requires knowledge of organizations and people.

It is not unusual to meet executives or managers who label themselves as collegial or autocratic. [The collegials are an especially smug bunch. Many act as if the label is a symbol of superior worth.] All types need to be reminded that the only test is whether they are effective. It is doubtful if they will be effective over the long term if they use only one style.

Unless that style is a multitude of styles.

As it currently stands, I plan to allude to Konrad Adenauer, Charles de Gaulle, George Washington, and Regis Philbin.

In other words, it should be fun.

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