True North shows how anyone who follows their internal compass can become an authentic leader. This leadership tour de force is based on research and first-person interviews with 125 of today's top leaders-with some surprising results. In this important book, acclaimed former Medtronic CEO Bill George and coauthor Peter Sims share the wisdom of these outstanding leaders and describe how you can develop as an authentic leader. True North presents a concrete and comprehensive program for leadership success and shows how to create your own Personal Leadership Development Plan centered on five key areas: Knowing your authentic self Defining your values and leadership principles Understanding your motivations Building your support team Staying grounded by integrating all aspects of your life. True North offers an opportunity for anyone to transform their leadership path and become the authentic leader they were born to be. Personal, original, and illuminating stories from Warren Bennis, Sir Adrian Cadbury, George Shultz (former U.S. secretary of state), Charles Schwab, John Whitehead (Cochairman, Goldman Sachs), Anne Mulcahy (CEO, Xerox), Howard Schultz (CEO, Starbucks), Dan Vasella (CEO, Novartis), John Brennan (Chairman, Vanguard), Carol Tome (CFO, Home Depot), Donna Dubinsky (CEO/cofounder, Palm), Alan Horn (President, Warner Brothers), Ann Moore (CEO, Time, Inc.) and many others illustrate the transitions that shape the type of leaders who will thrive in the 21st century.
Also available in print @ Stanford
Bill George. Finding Your True North (40:23 min.)
Authors George and Sims interviewed 125 leaders from a variety of sectors to discover what makes someone an authentic leader. They had some surprising results from their research.
Warren G. Bennis, Robert J. Thomas. Crucibles of Leadership. Harvard Business Review, Sep2002, Vol. 80(9):39-45
What makes a great leader? Why do some people appear to know instinctively how to inspire employees-bringing out their confidence, loyalty, and dedication-while others flounder again and again? No simple formula can explain how great leaders come to be, but Bennis and Thomas believe it has something to do with the ways people handle adversity. The authors' recent research suggests that one of the most reliable indicators and predictors of true leadership is the ability to learn from even the most negative experiences. An extraordinary leader is a kind of phoenix rising from the ashes of adversity stronger and more committed than ever. In interviewing more than 40 leaders in business and the public sector over the past three years, the authors discovered that all of them-young and old alike-had endured intense, often traumatic, experiences that transformed them and became the source of their distinctive leadership abilities. Bennis and Thomas call these shaping experiences "crucibles;' after the vessels medieval alchemists used in their attempts to turn base metals into gold. For the interviewees, their crucibles were the points at which they were forced to question who they were and what was important to them. These experiences made them stronger and more confident and changed their sense of purpose in some fundamental way. Through a variety of examples, the authors explore the idea of the crucible in detail. They also reveal that great leaders possess four essential skills, the most critical of which is "adaptive capacity"--an almost magical ability to transcend adversity and emerge stronger than before.
Warren Bennis on Crucibles (2:39 min.)
Part of the interview series "Conversation on Leadership: Growing Leaders in a Changing World" at the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard University.
Warren G. Bennis, Robert J. Thomas. Crucibles. Leadership Excellence, July 2006, 23(7):15
Leaders often point to intense, often traumatic, unplanned experiences that transform them, hone their distinctive leadership abilities, and shape a new or an altered sense of identity. The experiences that shape leaders are called "crucibles." For leaders, the crucible experience is a trial and test, a point of deep self-reflection that forces them to question who they are and what matters to them. Great leaders possess four essential skills and these same skills allow them to find meaning in what could be a debilitating experience. The four essential leadership skills are: 1. ability to engage others in shared meaning, 2. distinctive and compelling voice, 3. sense of integrity or strong set of values, and 4. critical skill of adaptive capacity or applied creativity.
Michael Jordan "Failure" Nike Commercial (30 sec.)
“…I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed.”