Nancy J. Adler
Research has documented that outstanding leaders take time to reflect. Their success depends on the ability to access their unique perspective and bring it to their decisions and sense-making every day.
William Oncken, Jr. and Donald L. Wass
Why is it that managers are typically running out of time while their subordinates are typically running out of work? Here we shall explore the meaning of management time as it relates to the interaction between managers and their bosses, their peers, and their subordinates.
John P. Kotter
Businesses hoping to survive over the long term will have to remake themselves into better competitors at least once along the way. These efforts have gone under many banners: total quality management, reengineering, rightsizing, restructuring, cultural change, and turnarounds, to name a few. In almost every case, the goal has been to cope with a new, more challenging market by changing the way business is conducted. A few of these endeavors have been very successful. A few have been utter failures. Most fall somewhere in between, with a distinct tilt toward the lower end of the scale.
John P. Kotter
The old ways of setting and implementing strategy are failing us, writes the author of Leading Change, in part because we can no longer keep up with the pace of change. Organizational leaders are torn between trying to stay ahead of increasingly fierce competition and needing to deliver this year’s results. Although traditional hierarchies and managerial processes—the components of a company’s “operating system”—can meet the daily demands of running an enterprise, they are rarely equipped to identify important hazards quickly, formulate creative strategic initiatives nimbly, and implement them speedily. The solution Kotter offers is a second system—an agile, network like structure—that operates in concert with the first to create a dual operating system.
A leader’s singular job is to get results. But even with all the leadership training programs and “expert” advice available, effective leadership still eludes many people and organizations. One reason, says Daniel Goleman, is that such experts offer advice based on inference, experience, and instinct, not on quantitative data. Now, drawing on research of more than 3,000 executives, Goleman explores which precise leadership behaviors yield positive results. He outlines six distinct leadership styles, each one springing from different components of emotional intelligence. Each style has a distinct effect on the working atmosphere of a company, division, or team, and, in turn, on its financial performance. The styles, by name and brief description alone, will resonate with anyone who leads, is led, or, as is the case with most of us, does both.
Roger L. Martin
People make strategy much harder than it needs to be. For some, the problem is that they focus too much on the tools: environmental scans, SWOT analyses, customer analyses, competitor analyses, financial modeling, and so on. Other people get into trouble because they think it’s all about the broad, conceptual, future-oriented, big picture stuff — not to be confused with tactics. Still other times, people think that strategy is what happens when we think about changing directions.
When asked to define the ideal leader, many would emphasize traits such as intelligence, toughness, determination, and vision—the qualities traditionally associated with leadership. Such skills and smarts are necessary but insufficient qualities for the leader. Often left off the list are softer, more personal qualities—but they are also essential. Although a certain degree of analytical and technical skill is a minimum requirement for success, studies indicate that emotional intelligence may be the key attribute that distinguishes outstanding performers from those who are merely adequate.