Revisiting the Multiplier Leader

Revisiting the Multiplier LeaderThink for a moment about the best boss or mentor you ever had.  What traits made him or her so precious?  Chances are good that many of those esteemed traits would revolve around how well that boss or mentor helped you to grow as a leader in your own right, offering autonomy, encouragement, and support.  Acting as a coach and guide.  Giving opportunities to try out new skills, and making sure you succeeded in new ventures. Continue reading

The Most Important Cautionary Tales of Leadership

mareIn last week’s post, we offered a crash course in how to become a great leader.  Today, we’ll help you not to mess up your newfound reputation.  The list of things leaders do to torpedo their careers or their credibility is long, but there are some common themes.  No one intentionally sets a foot in the muck; more likely, eyes focused on something else, they don’t see the mess coming.  So today’s blog post cherry-picks (or rotten-apple picks, perhaps) from the long list of leadership gaffes to prompt you with the main things you’ll want to watch for, as discovered in the last three years of our blog posts.

The five main behaviors that cause problems for leaders are these: Continue reading

The Pinnacle of Leadership

Klettern zum Gipfel am steilen FelsForget the MBA – we’ve condensed all you need to know about being a great leader into a single blog post!  Think that’s oversimplifying?  Well, what we’ve done is look back over almost three years of research around the elements of great leaders, as shared with you in our blog posts over time.  The themes emerge readily.  And while there’s consistency in what it takes to be a good leader, there is downright inspiration in describing the people who are at the pinnacle of leadership. Continue reading

Great Leaders Lift All the Boats

“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” —Ralph Nader

If great leaders are great because they aspire to a purpose greater than themselves (see What Really Makes a Great Leader?), the greatest of leaders aspire to achieving that purpose by developing more leaders in the process.  They create the proverbial tides that lift all the boats.  These greatest of leaders make a habit of giving away their leadership assets: the knowledge, instincts, lessons, contacts and resources that helped them to succeed. Their conscious goal is to build a new generation of leaders who are, if anything, better than the leaders who preceded them – better, even, than those who are teaching them. Continue reading

What Really Makes a Great Leader?

Certain leaders stand out.  Magazines like Fortune and Time seek out the best each year.  Often, even as we glance at the pictures, we nod our heads in approval.  CNN locates ‘heroes’, and though they’re not known to us, we agree when we hear their stories that they are inspirational leaders.  What resonates so universally that we all can agree that there are great leaders among us?

Gary Burnison, CEO at Korn/Ferry International, recently wrote a blog post about the Fortune Top 50 leaders.  In it, he observed that the most respected leaders are defined by a mission larger than themselves.  “The point is,” he said, “that a mission, or purpose, actually humbles great leaders.” Continue reading