Tuesday, 4 May 2021

some notes on Leadership



 some notes from the book "The Selfless Leader"

  • there is a difference between the hand (skill) and the head (knowledge) but within the context of the heart (doing what is right),
  • one of the key skills of a leader is in balancing the head and the heart in encouraging the hand,
  • one of the key challenges for leadership in the modern world is that there has been too much management and not enough leadership,
  • management is doing things right whereas leadership is doing the right things,
  • there are three types of Leaders, the Old World Leaders (OWLs), the New World Leaders (NWLs) and the Global World Leaders (GWLs), not necessarily global in the sense of global empires but, rather, global in the sense of a greater openness to learning,
  • courage is one of the earliest characteristics of our OWLs,
  • a practical problem in comparing OWLs and GWLs is the changing attitude to leadership, the dramatic shift from command and control to cooperation and joint effort,
  • Aristotle and Phronetic leadership / "intelligent leadership"
  • Aristotle distinguished the word phronesis from other forms of wisdom (such as episteme and techne) relating it more to practical wisdom rather than simply intellectual wisdom, but withing the context of ethics,
  • Practical wisdom (phronesis) is the intellectual virtue concerned with doing (Aristotle)
  • Some of the virtues identified by Aristotle include: 1. happiness as a public good, 2. excellence of character or moral virtue, 3. moral virtue as conscious choice, 4. self-mastery and 5. friendship and partnership,
  • Aristotle also considered the impediments to virtue, describing three things that humans should avoid: 1. evils or vices are the opposites of virtues, 2. incontinence is the opposite of self-restraint. They are weaknesses in which people passively follow an urge rather than a delicate choice and 3. being beast-like or brutish, which Aristotle describes as the opposite of something more than human, being heroic or God-like,
  • On 9 August 2003 there were 12,963 books on leadership, if we were able to read at the rate of one per day, this would equate to 35 years of reading, including weekends! By 28th Feb 2005, this had increased to 47 years and 17,138 books,
  • the origin of the words "leading" and "leadership" derive from the old German word "lidan" (to go) and an old English word "lithan" (to travel). So, leadership could be defined as "leading the way" through one's own action,
  • the best leaders ask the right questions and allow those with the knowledge to suggest the best answers,
  • I keep 6 honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); their names are What and Why and When, and How and Where and Who (Kipling, 1907)
  • Leaders exhibit two types of behaviours in the achievement of goals: people-oriented (consideration) and task oriented (initiating structure),
  • in 1939, Kurt Lewin (a psychologist) set out to identify different styles of leadership and identified 3 major styles: Authoritarian (autocratic), Participative (democratic) and Delegative (laissez-faire),
  • Participative leadership was seen to be the most effective, with an increase in creativity and motivation, but the participative leader still has the final say. Delegative leadership resulted in less cooperation and productivity; it could apply in situations where the group members are highly knowledgeable, but leads to poorly defined roles and a lack of motivation,
  • Leadership is meaningless without its connection to common purposes and collective needs,
  • Leaders recognize when the right situations occur in terms of tasks and relationships,
  • The question of "who leaders are" is much rooted in history and narratives supported by a range of different traits, whereas what leaders do is closely alligned to behaviours and leadership style.
  • Why do Leaders lead? Aims of inspiring, motivating or stimulating others to achieve a given end,
  • Transformational leadership occurs when "one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality", within a context of a "higher purpose"._  

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