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Liberating Leadership – versions and sources Values-based Stephen Covey

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Liberating Leadership – versions and sources


Stephen Covey – Principle-Centered Leadership: Simon & Schuster, 1999

If you focus on principles, you empower everyone who understands those principles to act without constant monitoring, evaluating, correcting or controlling.

Charles Handy – Gods of Management: OUP, 1996

A company ought to be a community – a community that you belong to, like a village. Nobody owns a village – you are a member and you have rights.

Jim Collins – Level 5 Leadership: Harvard Business Review, January 2001

A Level 5 leader is an individual who blends extreme personal humility with intense professional will. When you have disciplined people, you don’t need hierarchy. When you have disciplined thought, you don’t need bureaucracy. When you have disciplined action, you don’t need excessive controls.

Duncan Fraser – Mindful leadership: The Way Ahead Group, 2010

Mindful leadership is about acting and reflecting from a deep held passionate commitment to your connection with others. Combating injustice, living with complexity and ambiguity, reflecting with right-mindedness, accepting your rich, messy, glorious human history to make a sustainable difference in the world, not just through your leadership of organisations but through personal leadership of your life.

Servant Leadership

Robert Greenleaf -- Servant Leadership: Paulist Press, 1977

A new moral principle is emerging, which holds that the only authority deserving one’s allegiance is that which is freely and knowingly granted by the led to the leader in direct response to, and in proportion to, the clearly evident stature of the leader.

Ken Blanchard – Leading at a Higher Level: FT Prentice Hall, 2007

For empowerment to succeed, leaders make a leap of faith…defining empowerment as “the manager giving power to the people” still regards the manager as controller and misses the essential point: namely, that people already possess a great deal of power – power that resides in their knowledge, experience and internal motivation.

Benjamin Zander – The Art of Possibility [with Rosamund Zander]: Penguin, 2000

The conductor’s power depends on his ability to make other people powerful. Never doubt the capacity of the people you lead to accomplish whatever you dream for them.

Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman –The New Leaders: Little, Brown 2002

The glue that holds people together in a team, and that commits people to an organisation, is the emotions they feel. How well leaders manage and direct those feelings to help a group meet its goals depends on their level of emotional intelligence. It has four domains : self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.


Mary Uhl-Bien & Russ Marion – Complexity Leadership: Information Age Publishing, 2008

Complexity theory examines the patterns of dynamic mechanisms that emerge from the adaptive interactions of many agents…. Leadership theory has largely focused on leaders – the actions of individuals. It has not examined the dynamic, complex systems and processes that comprise leadership.

Roger Lewin & Birute Regine – The Soul at Work: Orion Business Books, 1999

From a complexity- science perspective, managers are not managers but cultivators. Cultivators don’t manage people; in fact they rely heavily on people managing themselves. Cultivators work hard to bring out people’s strengths by giving them lots of responsibility and freedom and support, and then getting out of the way. In this manner, genuine teams can emerge, where people can learn and contribute.


Richard Barrett -- Liberating the Corporate Soul : Butterworth Heinemann,1998

Traditional managers must learn to reinvent themselves…. They must learn to be authentic. There must be no separation from who they are at home and who they are at work. They need to be able to bring their personal values to work if they are to become authentic individuals. Authenticity is a prerequisite for building trust.

Steve Radcliffe – Leadership Plain and Simple: FT Prentice Hall,2010

When you are up to something, you start with ideas about what you’d like to see in the future. Then you talk with others so they want to build it with you – you engage them. Then you encourage and support them to make it happen, to deliver. And if you are really being a leader rather than a doer, the other people you’ve engaged will make most of it happen.

Rob Brown & Margaret Brown, Empowered!: Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 1994

We can define the process of empowering as: the reorientation of all these forces, values and beliefs so that they support and liberate the individual, rather than diminish their range of thought and action.


Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones – Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?: Harvard Business School Press, 2006

The four elements followers want from leaders are authenticity, significance, excitement and community. Leaders who succeed in being their authentic selves do so with a significant caveat: paradoxically, they accept some degree of conformity. They are authentic and make use of their intrinsic differences, but they also conform enough to get things done within the constraints of the organisational culture.

Barbara Kellerman – Followership: Harvard Business Press, 2008

Followers are more important to leaders than leaders are to followers. I divide all followers into five different types: Isolate, Bystander, Participant, Activist, Diehard.


Stephen Denning – The Secret Language of Leadership: John Wiley & Sons, 2007

Of all the staff involved in knowledge sharing at the World Bank, many rose to the occasion. They chose the difficult road of committing themselves to the common goal of making knowledge sharing a reality. They focused less on what the organisation would do for them and more on what they could contribute to the mission. Rather than wait for leadership from above, they themselves became leaders. Lacking hierarchical authority, they created their own moral authority.

David Whyte – Crossing the Unknown Sea: Riverhead Books, 2001

The core act of leadership must be the act of making conversations real. The conversations of captaincy and leadership are the conversations that forge real relationships between the inside of a human being and their outer world, or between an organisation and the world it serves.

Andrew Forrest


  1. I have decided X –- get on with it

  1. I have decided X –- let me have your feedback

  1. I propose X, but you can fine-tune it

  1. I propose X, but am prepared to consider Y

  1. I propose X, but am prepared to consider other alternatives

  1. Here is the issue. I would like your views before I decide

  1. Here is the issue. What should we do? (Aiming towards consensus)

  1. Here is the issue: you decide

8 What is the issue, and how should it be dealt with?

Originated by Andrew Forrest, Cass CCE

Improved by Rosie Ferguson, London Youth

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