ON BECOMING. A LEADER. By Warren Bennis. THE SUMMARY IN BRIEF. This summary examines the evolutionary process by which managers become lead-. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader . More praise for On Becoming a Leader “This is Warren Bennis's most important book. medical-site.info 12/2/08 PM Page i More praise for On Becoming a Leader “Warren Bennis—master practitioner, researcher, and .
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B R I E F I N G S on Becoming a Warren. Bennis Leader. BY KEVIN CASHMAN. IN R. E. V. IE. W. IN oUr WorK WiTH LEAdErS, no one has had a more profound. From: “On becoming a leader” Warren Bennis. Published by Random Century. ISBN Summarised by Andrew Gibbons. Downloaded free from. The manager administers; the leader innovates. • The manager is a copy; the leader is an original. • The manager maintains; the leader.
He dismisses the "leadership in a weekend" type course as the "microwave theory of leadership training: pop in Mr. Average and in 60 seconds out comes a leader.
Nor is it an autobiography of a leader's personal experience. Warren Bennis has been a teacher and student all his life. He has never run a company or a country. Bennis is not directly recounting his own experiences as a leader though in a pointed aside he remarks that the classroom is a potential site for the emergence of leadership.
Bennis' value is in his scholarship: his ability to distill from the experiences of successful leaders a set of lessons on how to achieve successful leadership. These lessons are punctuated by anecdotal stories and vignettes by the leaders who lived these lessons. This format creates a highly credible, compelling, and sometimes-dramatic presentation that is very readable and thought-provoking. Notably, Bennis describes in a very personal way the role of failure as a learning process.
He discusses a coaching failure in which he personally participated. This is the case of "Ed" in the Chapter 1 section named Surrendering to the Context.
This description of leadership failure and Bennis's own failure as a coach to mitigate it lends a certain honesty to the discussion, demonstrating that leadership ability can be elusive and that success is not guaranteed even with Mr. Bennis as your personal sidekick.
One of the lessons he distills from virtually all of his leaders is the necessity of making mistakes, which they hold " virtually synonymous with growth and progress. Those who are currently dealing with the challenges of leadership will benefit from the organization of ideas and themes that they may have already sensed to some degree. And those who are "followers" or "constituents" will gain a better understanding of how crucial is their own role in the dynamics of leadership, as well as a better understanding of what their own leaders are facing.
Perhaps most importantly, those who believe that leadership is the province of others more gifted or better trained than themselves may come to understand that virtually all of us are capable of leadership.
This is a book that you should read from cover to cover. It cannot easily be skimmed for chapters and sections pertinent to a current situation. It has a novel-like story line that should be enjoyed rather than condensed or shuffled. And, as your career evolves through the leadership experience, you may find yourself reading the book again and again , each time discovering entirely new insight into your own leadership experience.
Chapter Map This book should be read from cover to cover. We present here a more abbreviated chapter map than usual, as our intent is to generate more interest in reading the book as a whole rather than encourage skipping around. New introduction to the paperback edition, and Introduction In the two introductions - one written for the original publication and one a few years later for essentially the same book - Bennis states some of his basic premises and assumptions about leadership.
He introduces the 29 subjects of his study, and outlines the basic questions he explored in the dialogues he had with each person. As one would expect in an example of excellent scholarship, the introduction is a clear roadmap of what the author intends to accomplish.
I found it helpful to read the introduction again while midway through the book, in order to realign myself with the author's plan. It is a world changing at a furious pace - "the volatile, turbulent, ambiguous managerial surroundings that will suffocate us if we let them.
This is the context that must be mastered by those who would be leaders. Would you rather be rich or famous? If offered a promotion that required you to move to another city, would you discuss it with your family before accepting it? Would you rather be a small fish in a big pond, or a big fish in a small pond? In both cases, it has to be the result, not the cause.
You are rather old and stupid when you are young. The youngest men I ever met in my life were Luis Bunuel, who made his greatest films between the ages of 60 and 80, and Arthur Rubinstein, a man who became a genius at 80, being able to strike a note by raising his hand to heaven and making it fall exactly as Beethoven and Chopin demanded.
Pablo Picasso painted his most erotic and passionate works when in his 80s. These are men who earned their youth. It took them 80 years to become young. Second, you have to learn to lead, not contain. Fourth, you have to demonstrate through your behavior all the things you believe a leader and a follower should do.
Fifth, you need a great sense of freedom and scope so that you can free the people who work with you to live up to their potential. If you believe in the team approach, you must believe in people and their potential. And you must demand a great deal of them, but be consistent.
He loves to do what he does well, and having done it well, he loves to do it better. As weather shapes mountains, so problems make leaders. In this way, society as a whole is transformed. Not even my assistant, who is too smart. The only power I have is the power of persuasion, or inspiration.
Leaders are all of a piece; they stay the course. Leaders walk their talk. In true leaders, there is no gap between the theories they espouse and the life they practice.