… or your "True North." That’s the title of Harvard B-school professor and former Medtronic CEO Bill George’s newest book. I had an opportunity to participate in a teleseminar with Bill today, courtesy of the Leadership Coach Academy and Susan Britton Whitcomb/Nancy Branton.
Bill shared five key dimensions for achieving authentic leadership:
1) you need to be clear about the purpose of leadership
2) you need to practice values consistently
3) you must lead with your heart, not just your head
4) you must build long-term connected relationships
5) you must be able to lead with a sense of self-discipline
He says that the real challenge is how a leader stays true to their values and principles in the face of adversity or when there are great pressures from the outside world or when there are competing demands/seductions that pull a leader off course. "True North" explores staying on course with one’s own compass.
He advocates that leaders develop the following in themselves to help ensure success:
1) high level of self-awareness … using feedback from others to see one’s self as others see us
2) practice values under pressure … many hold back and think they can develop outside the arena
3) understanding motivations: extrinsic (money, fame, power, glory) and intrinsic (help others, develop, make difference in the world, develop self, take on causes)
*** If you are able to combine these motivations with your greatest capabilities, you’ll achieve your "sweet spot."
4) areas of development: how one builds long-term relationships … having strong support team around – leadership can be very lonely – we all need people to support us in difficult times … having mentors is key or a support group
5) leading an integrated life … can’t sacrifice personal life – integrate in all aspects of life, personal, family, work, active in community - balance
Bill stated that, without question, the hardest person one ever has to lead is yourself. If you can do all these things and be positioned to empower others around a sense of purpose and what you (team) want(s) to do, you are well on the road to effective leadership.
-- Jan Melnik, MRW, CCM, CPRW, President, Absolute Advantage