Times change. Good leadership doesn’t.

Alex Pollock

Ever wished that change would take a holiday? You’re not alone. I once heard someone say, “If you’re not confused, you’re not engaged,” words of solace to those struggling to navigate the maelstrom of change that is life these days.

(As a member of the LP era, I must confess that I’ve found myself looking for the Dramamine on many an occasion…)

Despite the ways in which our world has transformed over the past few decades, there are some things that neither time, nor technology, nor culture has altered. Leadership, it turns out, is one of them.

In their latest book, “The Truth About Leadership,” researchers James Kouzes and Barry Posner propose that the context of leadership has changed dramatically since they began their research in the early 1980’s but the content of leadership has not changed much at all.

They reveal 10 leadership truths, fundamental to effective leadership:
-You make a difference
-Personal credibility is foundational
-Values drive commitment
-Focus on exciting future possibilities
-You can’t do it alone
-Trust rules
-Challenge is the crucible of greatness
-Lead by example
-Best leaders are best learners
-Leadership is an affair of the heart

At times we just need to stop inventing new stuff and dedicate ourselves to perfecting the basics. What do you think these fundamentals should include? What are some of the timeless qualities of a good leader?

About Alex Pollock

Alex Pollock has been studying leadership effectiveness for more than 30 years. A former leader in environment, health and safety, and public affairs at The Dow Chemical Co., he learned that we all have leadership roles to play. He enjoys discussing new ideas and sharing practical ways we can all become better leaders.

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  1. Martin Bugeja

    November 23, 2010

    “At times we just need to stop inventing new stuff and dedicate ourselves to perfecting the basics” wrote Alex Pollock with reference to the basic leadership skills. Music to my ears Alex and tahnks for reminding us all!

  2. George Hellert

    November 23, 2010

    Leadership must be built on a solid foundation.

    A leader rapped in self importance may follow each of these fundamental truths but in the long run will at best impede and at worst destroy true progress.

    Look to the underlying principles first. If they are sound for the organization, not an individual or small group of individuals… then applying these leadership tenets will lead to a flourishing organization.

    • Alex Pollock

      November 23, 2010

      Thanks Martin and George for taking the time to comment. Much appreciated. As Jim Collins has verified in his research personal humility is a key ingredient to sustainable success as a leader..see ‘Good to Great.” My next blog will help us probe our leadership motives..including “rapped in self importance”.

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