On Becoming a Leader
Chapter – 1
MASTERING THE CONTEXT
* In this chapter Bennis is talking about the important of leader by saying that one person can live on a desert island without a leader but if there are three or more someone has to take the lead, otherwise chaos erupts.
* Our quality of life depends upon the quality of our leaders.
* Why leader are important?
He gives three basic reasons:
i. They are responsible for the effectiveness of an organization (e-g football team cannot win without a leader)
ii. We need anchor in our lives and guidance leader fill that need.
iii. It is important for the integrity of our institutions learning from failure is one of the most important themes in this book.
* Two most important things essential for a good leader are:
Character is vital in leader without good character people do not but a leader in this regard he gives the example of self- made pea on ed. Who possesses all qualities good character and due to constraint, he did not become the president of factory.
A leader without a vision is not a leader. A leader must know where he has to take his organization. He gives the example / story of a successful T.V director and write Norman Lear.
There are four steps in the process behind Norman Lears success:
i. Becoming self- expressive
ii. Learning from the right mentor
iii. Listening to the inner voice
iv. Giving on self over a guiding vision.
understanding the basics
“Hopes are the dreams of the waking man without hopes we cannot survive.” Tolstoy
According to Bennis almost all leaders share the following ingredients:
1. GUIDING VISION
Having a clear idea of what he wants to do personally and professionally.
(who am I?)
(key to self-knowledge)Love for duty, enthusiasm leads to hope inspiration.
Different between leader & manager
· The manager administers the leader innovates.
· The manager is a copy the leader is an original.
· The manager maintains the leader develops.
· The manager focuses on system and structure the leader focuses on people.
· The manager relies on control the leader inspires trust.
· The manager has a short range view the leader has a long range perspective.
· The manager asks how and when the leader asks what and why.
· The manager has his eye always on the bottom line the leader has his eye on the horizon.
· The manager imitates the leader originates.
· The manager accepts the status quo the leader challenge it.
· The manager is the classic good soldier the leader is his own person.
· The manager does things right the leader does the right thing.
To reprise Wallace Stevens, manager wear square hats and learn through training. Leader wear sombreros and opt for education. Consider the differences between training and education.
* Know thyself means separating who you are and who you want to be from what the world thinks you are and wants you to be .
* Self knowledge and self invention is a life time process. The people who struggle to know themselves reflect on the experiences and test themselves.
* 4 lesson of self knowledge according to bennis are
1 One : you are your own best teacher.
2 Two : accept responsibility blame no one .
3 Three : you can learn anything you want to learn.
4 Four : true understanding comes from reflecting on your experience .
* Reflecting on experience leads to understanding this is what all the
leaders agreed upon.
* Leaders are self directed but learning and understanding are the keys to self direction and it is our relationships with others that we learn about ourselves.
Social interaction is very important for self knowledge . in this regard, he gives on equation:
Family + school + friends = you
Knowing the world
* To become a true, one must know the world as well as one knows ones self. Au leaders demonstrates that certain kinds of experience are especially significant for learning these experience include:
* Broad and continuing education.
* Idiosyncratic families.
* Extensive travel /exile.
* A rich private life.
* Key associations with mentors and groups.
* He quotes john Gardner,
The maturing of any complex talent requires a happy combination of motivation character and opportunity most talent remains undeveloped.
* Universities unfortunately are not always the best place to learn. they produce narrow-minded specialist. These specialist have been taught how to do, but they have not learned how to be instead of studying philosophy, literature and history. Which are the experiences of human beings. They study computer programming .
“Lettings the self emerge” is the essential task for the leaders. For this reflection is very important it is a way of making learning conscious.
As Roger Gould says,
Reflection permits us to process our feelings understand them, resolve our questions and get on with our work.
* We learn from our mistaken. It we think about them, well never repeat them.
*· Perspective is very important for the leader leadership without a perspective is not leadership and of cause a leader must have his own perspective and point of view.
TEST AND MEASURES
* The first test is knowing what you want, knowing your abilities and capital us.
* The second test is knowing what drives you knowing what gives. You satisfaction.
* The third test is knowing what your values and priorities are knowing what the values and priorities of your organization are and measuring the difference between the two.
The fourth test is – having measured the differences between what you want and what you are able to do.
MASTERY IS VERY IMPORTANT
When he asks Masty Kaplan to describe the qualities of leadership he said,
· Ability to articulate
· Level of human sensitivity.
Moving through chaos
In this chapter he defines leader, according to him,
“Leader is an innovator. He does things other people haven’t done or don’t do. He does things in advance. He makes things new having learned from the past, he lives in the present with one eye on the future.
§ Leaders learn by leading and they learn best by leading in the face of obstacles.
Leader’s curriculum is:
· Difficult bosses
· Circumstance beyond their control
· Their own mistakes
GETTING PEOPLE ON YOUR SIDE
He describes some technique how to get people on your side in the regard he quotes British Philosopher I Berlin according to Berlin:
· Leader have to establish and maintain positive relationship with their subordinates inside the organization and their peers outside the organization.
· They must possess the ability to understand the organizations dimensions and purposes, but to articulate their understanding and make it manifest.
· They have to be straight with people not clever or cute.
· Since leader deal with people not things leadership without values, commitment and conviction can only be inhumane and harmful.
Using your voice for change
· Leading through voice inspiring through trust and empathy does more than get people on your side.
“I think the first thing one has to do is get people on ones side and show them where you want to take the company. Trust is vital people trust you don’t play games with them . when you put everything on the table and speak honestly to them your intellectual honesty comes and people recognize that and respond positively.”
ORGANIZATION CAN HELP OR HINDER
In this chapter he is talking about the importance of change. Change is fruitful for the improvement of organization.
· Leader should take new tasks within their organizations these tasks include:
Ø Defining the organizations mission so as to frame its activities.
Ø Creating a flexible environment in which people are not only valued but encouraged to develop to their full potential and treated as equal rather than subordinates.
Ø Encouraging innovation experimentation and risk-taking.
Ø Anticipating the future by reading the present.
Ø Identifying and responding to new needs.
· Leader are not made by college course but by experience.
FORGING THE FUTURE
How does a leader learn to transmute chaos?
How does a leader learn not only to accept change and ambiguity, but to thrive on it? There are ten factors, ten personal and organizational characteristics for coping with change, forging a new future and creating learning organizations.
1. Leader manage the dream
2. Leader embrace error
3. Leaders encourage reflective backtalk
4. Leaders possess the nobel factor faith, hope
5. Leaders encourage dissent
6. Leaders understand the Pygmalion effect in management
7. Leaders see the long view
8. Leaders understand stakeholders symmetry
9. Leaders create strategic alliances and partnership.