post # 388 — June 15, 2007 — a Managing post
I’m coming late to the party here, because Bill George’s book TRUE NORTH (written with Peter Sims) is already a best-seller. It’s a follow-up to George’s AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP book, and here’s his description of the five dimensions of authentic leadership:
1. Pursuing Purpose with Passion
2. Practicing Solid Values
3. Leading with the Heart
4. Establishing Connected Relationships
5. Demonstrating Self-Discipline
George is the former CEO of Medtronic and is now a professor at the Harvard Business School, as well as a board memeber of such firms as Goldman Sachs, Target and Novartis.
The TRUE NORTH book contains the stories of 125 prominent individuals judged by George to be authentic leaders. It makes for fascinating and inspirational reading.
George obviously intends us to believe that we can learn from these stories, but I walked away believing that, even though there were commonalities among the people profiled, each achieved what s/he did because of who they WERE. As Gorge stresses, these people were formed and forged through their early life experiences.
Which makes me worry and wonder? Can we ordinary folk really learn from these examples? Can the dimensions isted above (which are really personaliity characteristics and deeply-formed attitudes) really be affected by books, speeches, training programs, consultants?
Is leadership development an oxymoron?