About Leadership

About Leadership

Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all leaders. Each and everyone of us is being observed by someone else trying to learn something or get some insight into some particular situation. Some of us have greater leadership skill than others, but no matter where we stand on the scale of leadership skill, we can always improve on it. A true leader does not have to rely on position or force to lead.

A true leader is someone who can inspire hope. Why else would we chose to follow anyone if we did not have the feeling that the path proposed would lead to a better future? A true leader must inspire. He will compel his follower to greater efforts, to overlook temporary discomfort and to sacrifice immediate gratification in exchange for greater rewards down the line. Integrity is also essential to leadership. A leader is constantly tested, and if he wavers on his commitments or on the way that they are implemented, his ability to lead will be questioned and diminished. Leaders must also spearhead the procession. He cannot push from behind, he must pull from the front. The leader is the alpha.

The protector, the strongest one. He must demand more of himself than he will from any of his followers. Consistency is the hallmark of any good leader. Situations may arise when a change of course is necessary but the same objective must be respected. A true leader will not be dependent on approval. He must be secure enough to forfeit the need to be praised and strong enough to be able to take unpopular decisions. Some leaders are born. Others are self-made. However, leadership is a skill and one that can always be improved upon. And, one of the best way to learn leadership skill is to learn to be a good follower because, you simply cannot lead, if you cannot follow.

You have to be the student before you can become the master.

To quote the Tao Te Ching: The river carves out the valley by flowing beneath it. Thereby the river is the master of the valley. In order to master people One must speak as their servant; In order to lead people One must follow them. So when the sage rises above the people, They do not feel oppressed; And when the sage stands before the people, They do not feel hindered. So the popularity of the sage does not fail, He does not contend, and no one contends against him

Google Tech Talk September 11, 2009 ABSTRACT Presented by Jerry Porras. Jerry Porrass research interests are the characteristics of visionary companies in both the United States and Europe; the dynamics of planned organizational change process; organizational vision and its influence on the long-term behavior organizations; and leadership. Jerry I. Porras is the Lane Professor of Organizational Behavior, Emeritus. He received his BSEE from Texas Western College, his MBA from Cornell University, and his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. Among the honors he has received are the Brilliante Award from the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, the Silver Apple Award from the Stanford Business School Alumni Association, and the Kanter Medal from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1972. Professor Porras is author of Stream Analysis: A Powerful Way to Diagnose and Manage Organizational Change (Addison-Wesley, 1987); co-developer of the Stream Analysis Software Package (1999); and coauthor of Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Harper Business, 1994) and Building Your Companys Vision, Harvard Business Review (1996). He has served on several editorial boards including the Journal of Organizational Change Management, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Academy of Management Journal, and Academy of Management Review. About Perspectivas Speaker Series: Perspectivas is a speaker series aimed to empower and

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