Paul B. Thornton

Leadership starts as an inside job. First, you need to:

  • Clarify your beliefs and values
  • Focus your message
  • Find your courage

Then it’s an outside job. Speak up. Take action. Influence and inspire others with your words and actions.

Paul B. Thornton

The best managers and leaders help people become more independent, more capable, and more confident.

Adam Bryant

The key differentiator of leaders for me is whether they are selfless or self-centered. Do they see the people who work for them simply as assets to help them achieve their own goals, or do they consider it their responsibility to help their team grow and develop? […] To be clear, I’m not suggesting business leaders are entirely selfless. They are not volunteers, and many … [ Read more ]

Robert K. Greenleaf

A fresh critical look is being taken at the issues of power and authority, and people are beginning to learn, however haltingly, to relate to one another in less coercive and more creatively supporting ways. A new moral principle is emerging which holds that the only authority deserving one’s allegiance is that which is freely and knowingly granted by the led to the leader in … [ Read more ]

Jeff Blum

You can be a leader without being a manager but you cannot be a manager with also being a leader.

Jeffrey Pfeffer

Authenticity and the idea of authenticity basically gives people an excuse to not change, to not adapt. So, instead of being true to yourself, you need to be true to what other people around you need from you. This idea that you need to be authentic is insane.

Robert Rosenberg

As CEO, you are the Communicator in Chief. The responsibility for aligning all the various constituencies in the organization behind company strategy falls primarily to the CEO, but it doesn’t stop there. Just when you think you have communicated clearly to all parties, go back over your message again and again. You cannot make your point too clearly or check back enough times to make … [ Read more ]

Eric Hoffer

Self-doubt is at the core of our being. We need people who by their attitude and words will convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are. Hence the vital role of judicious praise.

Eric Hoffer

It is better to be bossed by men of little faith, who set their hearts on toys, than by men animated by lofty ideals who are ready to sacrifice themselves and others for a cause.

Robert Chesnut

CEOs have to be particularly careful about setting ambitious targets and using powerful language to motivate employees. Audacious goals can create fear (what happens if I don’t deliver?), and they may be interpreted as giving implicit permission for bad behavior.

Massella Dukuly, Vanessa Tanicien

The best leaders ask questions they genuinely want to know the answers to. To do that, stop and check in with yourself: Why am I asking this question? Do I genuinely want to hear from this person or am I trying to make sure that I don’t look bad? Am I checking a box or am I trying to truly engage?

George Yip, Nelson Phillips

Effective leaders learn early to target only important issues — and ones they have a fair shot of winning. That requires two skills. The first is the ability to accurately estimate the level of conflict a particular course of action will elicit. (This is where EQ can support OQ.) The second is the maturity to not engage in unimportant issues. In many ways the second skill is … [ Read more ]

Annette Simmons

Some leaders tend to have a large circle of concern: They’re thinking about the effects of their decisions on a large group of people, now and into the future. Others think in a smaller circle: who they have to please and how to get it done. A leader’s ability to be strategic is a function of having bigger circles of moral concern. But that quality … [ Read more ]

Tyler Odean

When we look at what visionaries really succeed at, they give us a confident, consistent and coherent plan that makes us feel safe. We trust them not because their vision is perfect, but because they have it under control. They communicate clearly without giving us all the answers. What most people think of as vision is actually persuasion.

Bill Schaninger

Historically, we’ve been disproportionately focused on the value of the cascade, the leader, change leaders. They’re still all very important. But, increasingly, as we are a workforce comprised of a generation that has a lot of their actions that are digitally based, we’ve had to come to grips with the idea that influencers and opinion leaders and people in the social network, their role modeling … [ Read more ]

Adam Kahane

Leaders actually have little capacity to make anyone do anything, so instead they need to think about how to help people connect to the understanding, intention, and will that can inspire them to act of their own volition.

Charles Handy

I now know that there isn’t [a handbook of so-called management]. Any that you may come across, including one that I wrote myself, will turn out to be practical common sense dressed up with long words to make it seem professional. I would only urge you to remember the three different activities of organizing, leading, and managing, and to apply them appropriately, because I truly … [ Read more ]

Charles Handy

Think about this: Any organization whose key assets are talented or skilled people — universities, theaters, law firms, churches — don’t use the word manager to describe the people in charge. They call them deans, senior partners, bishops, directors, or team leaders. [In those organizations,] the title of manager is only used for those who are in charge of things, not people, that is, the … [ Read more ]

Marcus Buckingham

In [Marcus] Buckingham’s view, another quality which cannot be defined is leadership. He agrees that “followership” can be measured — by the overall success of your team, or people’s willingness to give you their attention — but not leadership, despite what he termed a $50 billion industry built around describing it.

“If we start measuring the traits of leaders, the first thing that strikes you is … [ Read more ]

Amy Edmondson

Psychological safety takes off the brakes that keep people from achieving what’s possible. But it’s not the fuel that powers the car. In any challenging industry setting, leaders have two vital tasks. One, they must build psychological safety to spur learning and avoid preventable failures; two, they must set high standards and inspire and enable people to reach them.