Monthly Archives: December 2009

Page 1 of 11

Leading by autobiography

John's reflections, Leadership in the news, Leading by autobiography, Storytelling, Uncategorized Leave a comment

  While leaders may have varying styles, traits and behaviors, one pattern that I discovered relates to a concept I have come to call ‘leading by autobiography’.  This term refers to the idea that inspirational leaders who sustain their effectiveness over time are people who influence others with their stories of identity.  They have a clear sense of who they are, and they reveal themselves to others by the personal stories they tell.   The more I observed the phenomenon of leading by autobiography, the more I came to see it everywhere I looked.   When Barack Obama talks of his desire to reform health care in America, he often … Continue reading

Sudden (?) interest in storytelling

John's reflections, Leadership training, Leading by autobiography, Storytelling Leave a comment

I must confess that I am discovering that one should not plan too much in advance when writing a blog.  Today, I would like to attempt to reconcile my plan to write some more about leadership training with my desire to discuss current happenings in my work life.   More specifically: my plan was to go into some depth about my views on leadership training.  The unanticipated happenings of the past week were several conversations about storytelling, generated by the publishing of the ‘Seven rules of storytelling’ (in French…soon to be in Spanish and English).   So…while I still intend to write more about leadership training (which remains one of … Continue reading

The inspirational leadership of Sir Edmund Hillary

John's reflections, Leadership in the news, Leadership training Leave a comment

  December 13:  Last week, I came across an article in the Business Education supplement of the Financial Times.  It was written by Frank Brown, dean of INSEAD, on the inspirational leadership of Sir Edmund Hillary, the legendary mountaineer and humanitarian who conquered Everest in 1953.   You can find the article here.    I was attracted to this article since I have great admiration for Sir Edmund Hillary, and because I have long seen ventures in the mountains as providing interesting lessons about leadership.  Brown’s article is instructive in the way it draws the parallels between mountain expeditions and business leadership.   Beyond my interest in mountaineering and leadership, though, there … Continue reading

The concept of “mastery”, and leadership training

John's reflections, Leadership training Leave a comment

  Last week, in response to a comment by John Antonios, I wrote about deliberate practice.  As I reflected on this concept during the past few days, it brought to mind an interesting book called Mastery, by George Leonard.  I read Leonard’s book years ago, I believe in the early 1990s, and back then it was an entry point for me to some valuable insights about talent and practice. Since then I have applied some of Leonard’s simple and straightforward concepts to my coaching.   In fact, I believe that it is in Leonard’s book that I came across the concept of ‘deliberate practice’, though I am not sure he … Continue reading

More on leadership training and deliberate practice

John's reflections, Leadership training Leave a comment

I was writing an entry to post this week, but instead of that entry I decided to respond to the comment of John Antonios, since I found it quite interesting.  John is a former student of mine in Grenoble, and the kind of student I appreciate very much, since he is constantly reflecting about himself, the world, and his place in it.  He was always good at making connections between his experience and the topics we discussed in class.   In fact, I remember discussing with John about natural talent and the great debate about leaders, ‘born or made’.  It is gratifying to see that his experience has changed his … Continue reading

Page 1 of 11