Leadership is a missing element in today’s world

I wrote about Lee Iacocca’s new book on leadership. (See my last blog.)

Serendipity how some things come together. Just after writing that blog post, I was asked to read John Gardner’s book, On Leadership. He wrote the book in 1990 with a paperback edition in 1993. I recommend this book very highly – especially the paperback version with his new preface.

Iacocca created his list of 9 C’s.  Gardner’s list consists of the following:

1.  Physical vitality and stamina
2.  Intelligence and judgment-in-action
3.  Eagerness to accept responsibilities
4.  Competence
5.  Understanding of followers’ and their needs
6.  Skill in dealing with people
7.  Need to achieve
8.  Capacity to motivate
9.  Courage, resolution, steadiness
10. Capacity to win and hold trust
11. Capacity to manage, decide, set priorities
12. Confidence
14. Flexibility of approach

Gardner suggests that not all leaders have all these qualities. But, the better leaders will have many of them. Another point he makes that resonated well for me is that "leaders" is not defined solely as our politicians, but rather "ordinary folks placed in extraordianry circumstances."

Another aspect of his writing concerned "power."  We all have it … dependent on the circumstances. And how we use that power is a significant element of great leadership.

This is a classic work in the leadership field and I highly recommnd it to you.


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