Warren Bennis on Leadership

Shrikant Patil writes about Bennis and leadership:

Warren Bennis argues that trust and openness are key to success. He believes that groups and organizations function effectively in an open atmosphere, where people are willing and able to trust each other. He studies people who became leaders and their emergence from the ordinary mass of employees and managers. From this he defined “leadership as the capacity to create a compelling vision, and to translate into action and sustain it”.

A successful leader needs to create a vision and communicate it down successfully to all employees. This in turn requires management of the self, an understanding of one’s own skills and abilities so as to be most effective in preaching the vision.

Final quality, a leader needs to generate and maintain trust, “the emotional glue that binds leaders and followers together”. To create trust, leaders must be consistent and believable. They should be publicly seen as accepting challenges and taking responsibility.

Great leaders have 3 common features: ambition, competence and integrity. All three are essential, else compromising on any will lead both, the leader and the organization into dangerous waters.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.