"Mastering Leadership-An Integrative Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results"
by Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams
This is a must read. Rarely do books on leadership provide a deep and wide framework for the challenge of "mastering leadership." The authors courageously admit that "most leaders are in over their heads, whether they know it or not." The authors posit a systematic paradigm for leaders to gain control over the acceleration of complexity.
The first paradigm is understanding "the promise of leadership." There are many expectations when one takes on the mantle of being a leader. The easiest expectations are explicit, such as strategic and business results. The more challenging are the implicit or unspoken expectations. These include fair treatment, competence, listening, and providing inspiration, meaning, and direction. Most leaders rarely acknowledge these expectations and therefore find managing them difficult.
Based on research and field experience, there are four universal promises of leadership. These include:
- Setting the right direction and creating meaningful work.
- Engaging all stakeholders and holding them accountable for performance.
- Ensuring that processes and systems facilitate focus and execution.
- Leading effectively by maintaining relationships of trust to achieve and sustain desired results.
Practice One: Discerning Purpose -
Requires purpose and discipline to pay attention and learn to trust moments of clarity when a sense of purpose emerges.
Practice Two: Distilling Vision -
The "self-authoring" of a vision for greatness for ourselves and our organization.
Practice Three: Knowing Your Doubts and Fears -
We pursue our longing until it distills into vision. The vision then challenges us to "step up" to overcome fears and doubts.
Practice Four: Engage in Authentic, Courageous Dialogue -
Speak and act in a way that embodies our vision of greatness. This courage fosters a change of culture that will lead to the greatness we envision.
Practice Five: Develop Intuition, Open to Inspiration
- Leaders must learn to "trust their gut" and increase overall emotional intelligence.
Practice Six: Think Systemically -
Only when leaders meet the demands of structural demands can structural changes that are meaningful be achieved.