Follow the Leader

I’m fascinated by movies where a bunch of people fall victim to some kind of natural disaster or freak accident, because the story inevitably revolves around a central question of leadership: “who are these people going to follow?”  It’s fun to watch as candidates emerge for the leadership role; debates and arguments ensue, people take sides, etc.  Usually the smartest,... read more

You Know, It’s Funny… Unless it Isn’t

It's funny... I'm not sure this column has anything to do with leadership, but I'll try my best to spin it in that direction.  The fact is, I've just about had it with the "it's funny" phrase.  I swear, everyone I come into contact with starts at least one observation or opinion with these words (heck, I... read more

How Transparent is Your Leadership?

Here’s an under-rated leadership skill – transparency. Transparency is the art of sharing information, or telling someone what you’re really thinking.  As a leader, your people are looking for you to be honest and forthright… in fact, they expect it.  How’s that for high standards?  From the very moment you assume a leadership position, you’re expected to be perfect in... read more

The 25 Most Important Leadership Behaviors

Recently, I reviewed a number of leadership competency lists in order to make a recommendation for a company that was interested in updating their competency mandate for leaders. There are a number of good lists out there, including Michael Lombardo and Robert Eichinger’s list of 67 competencies (The Leadership Machine, 2001).  Leadership may be a complex animal, but it certainly has... read more

In Praise of Warren Bennis

I've been meaning to write this piece for over a year... a look back at the writings and career of Warren Bennis, an early leadership guru who wrote about the topic for nearly 50 years.  Bennis was born in 1925 and grew up in a working-class family in New Jersey.  In 1943, he enlisted and served as one of the Army’s youngest... read more