Warren Bennis

Hope combines the determination to achieve one’s goals with the ability to generate the means to do so.

Warren Bennis

For executive leaders, character is framed by drive, competence, and integrity. Most senior executives have the drive and competence necessary to lead. But too often organizations elevate people who lack the moral compass. I call them “destructive achievers.” They are seldom evil people, but by using resources for no higher purpose than achievement of their own goals, they often diminish the enterprise. Such leaders seldom … [ Read more ]

Warren Bennis

The leader never lies to himself, especially about himself, knows his flaws as well as his assets, and deals with them directly. You are your own raw material. When you know what you consist of and what you want to make of it, then you can invent yourself.

B-School Reform: Better Late Than Never

Five years after rocking the B-school world with a call for reform, two professors reflect on the outcome and find stirrings of change.

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor

In Transparency, the authors – a powerhouse trio in the field of leadership – look at what conspires against “a culture of candor” in organizations to create disastrous results, and suggest ways that leaders can achieve healthy and honest openness. They explore the lightning-rod concept of “transparency” – which has fast become the buzzword not only in business and corporate settings but in government and … [ Read more ]

Warren Bennis

Know Thyself means separating who you are and who you want to be from what the world thinks you are and wants you to be.

Bringing Shakespeare to B-School

Two professors sound off on what’s missing from most MBA programs — from real-world relevance to the Bard’s wisdom.

Leading for a Lifetime: A Preliminary Conceptual Model

Many different factors influence the way individuals make sense of the world and translate that sense making into an orientation toward leadership. We’ve isolated two major categories of influence-era and individual factors-and a critical intervening set of events and relationships (or crucibles) that go a long way toward explaining how successful leaders extract wisdom from experience. This research note describes our preliminary conceptual model of … [ Read more ]

The Leadership Advantage

“Whether in a corporation, a Scout troop, a public agency, or an entire nation, constituents seek four things: meaning or direction, trust in and from the leader, a sense of hope and optimism, and results. To serve these constituent needs — and ultimately to unleash an organization’s intellectual capital — leaders can foster four supporting conditions, which in turn can create four respective outcomes.”

The Secrets of Great Groups

“Personal leadership is one of the most studied topics in American life. Indeed, I have devoted a big chunk of my professional life to better understanding its workings. Far less studied — and perhaps more important — is group leadership. The disparity of interest in those two realms of leadership is logical, given the strong individualist bent of American culture. But the more I look … [ Read more ]