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What makes a Good Leader. Lessons, tips, Insights & more.
A crisp summary of the book "Strategies for Taking Charge" : Warren Bennis & Burt Nanus by D Shivakumar, Chairman & CEO - India Region, PepsiCo
The innovator’s method by Nathan Furr and Jeff dyer. Book Summary by D Shivakumar
Strategies for taking charge
Warren Bennis & Burt Nanus
Leadership is about character.
Character is a continuously
evolving thing. The process of
becoming a leader is much the
same as becoming an integrated
To keep organizations competitive,
leaders must be instrumental in
creating a social architecture
capable of generating intellectual
We cannot emphasize the
significance of a string
determination to achieve a goal or
realize a vision.
The first task of a leader is to
The capacity to generate and
sustain trust is the central
ingredient in leadership.
Mr Rabin, the Israeli leader had
the most important attribute in
leadership- authenticity. He put
on no airs, he had no masks, what
you saw was what you got.
True leaders enlist people to their
vision through their optimism and
Leaders have a bias towards
action that results in success.
The new leader is someone who
converts leaders into agents of
These days POWER is conspicuous
in its absence. Powerlessness in
the face of crisis, powerlessness in
the face o complexity. Leaders
who are power hungry and
doomed to fail.
Credibility is at a premium these
days because every word and
action of the leader is scrutinized.
The information age has hatched a
public awareness that makes a
managerial environment a petri
When a man or woman opts for
leadership and assumes
responsibility, he or she also
Look at the flow of books on
leadership over thirty years :
Theory Y, Up the organization,
New culture, Dissipative
structures, Thriving on Chaos, The
new realities, The age of paradox.
They show the challenge of being
a leader today.
Leadership is the most studied
and least understood topic of all
A business short on capital can
borrow money, one with a poor
location can move. But, a business
short on leadership has little
chance of survival.
Leaders see themselves as
different from managers, leaders
focus on perspective, vision,
culture. They don’t spend time on
how tos, but more on DOING THE
Leaders are the most results
oriented individuals, an results get
A huge but rare quality of very
good leaders ( very few have it) is
the ability NOT to waste the time
of subordinates and teams. This
comes from clarity and not
wanting to do too much. The
opposite of this is the checklist
leader who rarely inspires.
Most leaders have rich and deeply
textured, full of jargon agendas.
The key to being a good leader is
to communicate and communicate
in a simple manner devoid of
Leaders who communicate
meaning create a commonwealth
of learning. That is what effective
organizations are about.
Trust is the lubrication that makes
it possible for organizations to
work. Trust implies accountability,
predictability and reliability. Many
leaders shy away from
accountability and hence lose
trust of their people!!
Leaders are reliable and tirelessly
The management of self is critical,
without this leaders do more
harm than good. Poor
management of self leads to
Leaders need positive self regard,
they need to feel good about
themselves. Recognizing strengths
and weaknesses is the first step.
The second is to nurture skills with
Leaders always look for
improvement, they are always
asking : ‘how can we do this
Leaders have a capacity to
approach problems and
relationships from the present
rather than the past. They rarely
look back except to learn.
A leader’s job is to take risks, and
when he/she takes risks, not
everyone will be happy.
The most memorable quality of
leaders we studied is the way they
responded to failure.
For most people , failure is a
finality, for leaders it is a new
Most leaders spend a lot of time
interacting with people in the
company and outside it. Good
leaders are great ASKERS, they are
always asking for ways the
company can be better.
A collegial decision making style
shows a leader who is participative,
encourages a bottom up flow of ideas
and someone who looks for
In this model the team needs to look
for peer recognition and not power.
A personality type of leadership is
to ‘ walk tall’ both in words and
The formal style uses distance,
formal rules and procedures to
For trust to be generated , there
must be predictability in behavior.