“Leaders” by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus. Published by Harper and Row in 1986, 244 pages. ISBN 0-06-091336-3.

1.Leadership is the pivotal force behind successful organisations and that to create vital and viable organisations, leadership is necessary to help organisations develop a new vision of what they can be, then mobilize the organisation change toward the new vision”.
2.There really is a commitment gap. Leaders have failed to instil vision, meaning and trust in their followers. They have failed to empower
3.Credibility is at a premium these days. Leaders are being scrutinised as never before. Fifty years ago this was not the case
4.Historically leaders have controlled rather than organised, administered repression rather than expression, and held their followers in arrestment rather than in evolution”.
5.As we see it, effective leadership can move organisations from current to future states, create visions of potential opportunities for organisations, instil within employees commitment to change and instil new cultures and strategies in organisations that mobilize and focus energy and resources.
6.They emerge when organisations face new problems and complexities that cannot be solved by unguided evolution. They assume responsibilities for reshaping organisational practices to adapt to environmental changes. They direct organisational changes that build confidence and empower their employees to seek new ways of doing things. They overcome resistance to change by creating visions of the future that evoke confidence in, and mastery of new organisational practices.Vision is the commodity of leaders, and power is their currency
7.Leadership is like the abominable snowman, whose footprints are everywhere but who is nowhere to be seen
8.The problem with many organisations, is that they tend to be overmanaged and underled. They may excel in the ability to handle the daily routine, yet never question whether the routine should be done at all
9.Most leaders embodied these competencies/ human handling skills
10.Strategy 1: Attention through vision., Strategy 2: Meaning through communication. , Strategy 3: Trust through positioning., Strategy 4: The deployment of self through (1) positive self regard, and (2) the ‘Wallenda factor'” – named after Karl Wallenda, the tight-rope walker who would (could?) not consider the possibility of failure.
11.Leadership seems to be the marshalling of skills possessed by a majority but used by a minority.
12.Management of attention through vision is the creating of focus. with an unparalleled concern with outcome.
13.Their visions or intentions are compelling, and pull people towards them. Intensity coupled with commitment is magnetic. These intense personalities do not have to coerce people to pay attention, they are so intent on what they are doing that, like a child absorbed with creating a sand castle in a sandbox, they draw others in”.
14.Leadership is also a transaction between leaders and followers. Neither could exist without the other.
15.Leaders articulate and define what has previously remained implicit or unsaid. They communicate in toto
16.Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must be driven into practice with courageous patience
17.In order for an organisation to have integrity, it must have an identity – that is, a sense of who it is and what it is to do and also Why and When
18.Positive self regard. which consists of three major components: knowledge of one’s strengths, the capacity to nurture and develop those strengths, and the ability to discern the fit between one’s strengths and weaknesses and the organisation’s needs is a basic requirement for success
19.Our leaders seemed to retain characteristics like : enthusiasm for people; spontaneity; imagination, and an unlimited capacity to learn new behaviour”.
20.Leaders “simply don’t think about failure, don’t even use the word. For the successful leader, failure is a beginning, the springboard to hope
21.Criticism is a frequent by-product of significant actions. Receptivity to criticism is as necessary as it is loathsome. And, the more valid the criticism, the more difficult it is to receive”.
22.The essential thing in organisational leadership is that the leader’s style pulls rather than pushes people on
23.When they took charge of their organisation – leaders paid attention to what was going on; they determined what part of the events at hand would be important for the future of the organisation; they set a new direction, and they concentrated the attention of everyone in the organisation on it
24.The critical point is that a vision articulates a view of a realistic, credible, attractive future for the organisation, a condition that is better in some important ways than what now exists
25.With a vision, the leader provides the all-important bridge from the present to the future of the organisation, along with the mission and values or whatever
26.The manager by contrast, operates on the physical resources of the organisation, on its capital, human skills, raw materials, and technology”.
27.Great leaders often inspire their followers to high levels of achievement by showing them how their work contributes to worthwhile ends.
28.The leader must be a superb listener, particularly to those advocating new or different images of the emerging reality…they are great askers and they do pay attention
29.Vision of future success… are cretaed basically from three sources from which to seek guidance – the past, the present, and alternative images of future possibilities
30.Fail to honour people, they fail to honour you. But the sign of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, ‘this we did for ourselves
31.Trust is the emotional glue that binds followers and leaders together. The accumulation of trust is a measure of the legitimacy of leadership. It cannot be mandated or purchased; it must be earned
32.Strategies that leaders choose to position are .. /1. Reactive. With this approach, the organisation waits for the change and reacts – after the fact./ 2. Change the internal environment. Rather than waiting for change to happen to them, leaders can develop effective forecasting procedures to anticipate change and then ‘proact’ rather than react. / 3. Change the external environment. This approach requires that the organisation anticipating change upon the environment itself to make the change congenial to its needs. /4. Establish a new linkage between the external and internal environments. Using this mechanism, an organisation anticipating change will attempt to establish a new relationship between its internal environments and anticipated external environments.
33.Qualities needed to run an institution are only persistence and self-knowledge; willingness to take risks and accept losses; commitment, consistency, and challenge. But, above all, learning, continuously from reading and experience of oneself and others.
34.Very simply, those who do not learn do not long survive as leaders. Leaders have discovered not just how to learn but how to learn in an organisational context. Distinguish maintenance learning, at which many managers excel, as it is synonymous with stability and normality, and innovative learning which leaders need to move and develop their organisations beyond current, into future positions.
35.A learning organisation places a high value on these experiences because they supply a reality test and permit adjustments without which larger mistakes might be made in the future”.

The above summary has been provided to you compliments of Andrew Gibbons

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