Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Zen of Management Maintenance: Leadership Starts with Self-Discovery

According to Jagdish Parikh (HBS MBA '54), the gap between what everyone learns about leadership and what they actually experience exposes a fundamental flaw in leadership models today. The qualities that genuine leaders possess and what makes inspiring leaders so rare are not innate characteristics. Rather, he believes, they are skills that aspiring leaders can and should actually teach themselves, such as self-knowledge and self-mastery. Self-knowledge and self-mastery can be developed through conscientious practice.
It's interesting that after the barrage of the leadership styles, labels ,methods and cute observations , the orginal messages of leadership as an inner journey, are again to the forefront of discussion and advice. We have had the real message. First lead yourself...it's a great way to practice and you may be the most difficult "follower" you encounter.

The duality of being both differentiated and connected (Ron Short) creates the two complimentary sides of the positive leadership coin. Differentiated - clear personal knowledge, values and accountabilities - and connected - relationship focused, servant leader and talented listener. Now who wouldn't want to follow someone like that?


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