Saturday, November 26, 2005

Leadership Is An Art


I pulled out former CEO Max De Pree's Leadership Is An Art this weekend. The former CEO was a thoughtful leader and his book rings as true now as it did in 1989 when he wrote it. De Pree writes :

"Leaders owe a covenant to the corporation or institution, which is, after all, a group of people. Leaders owe the organization a new reference point for what caring, purposeful, committed people can be in the institutional setting....Covenants bind people together and enable them to meet their corporate needs by meeting the needs of one another. We must do this in a way that is consonant with the world around us."

His call for a sense of community and responsibility to the organization would be great if it only were more common. With so many CEOs departing, downsizings and serial mergers and acquisitions, leaders are finding it hard to infuse the organization with the commitment De Pree talks about. It can be done however. If leaders communicate that a covenant exists and walk the talk as De Pree did, commitment will flourish and productivity will soar. Leadership does not have to be a lost art.

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