As a follow up to my previous post, Warren Bennis, in On Becoming a Leader, asks, “Where have all the leaders gone?” in a book published in 1989. That’s been a common theme in our society more than in recent times. In fact, the political vitriol of today is nothing compared to, say, Lincoln or Washington’s day. Sometimes, we recognize leaders long after they have vanished from the scene. Bennis chose a theme that has occurred for generations.
Bennis states that leaders share at least some of the following:
- A guiding vision: “The leader has a clear idea of what he wants to do – professionally and personally – and the strength to persist in the face of setbacks, even failures.”
- Passion: “[T]he underlying passion for the promises of life, combined with a very particular passion for a vocation, a profession, a course of action.”
- Integrity: Integrity, according to Bennis, consists of self-knowledge, candor and maturity, which create trust.
- Curiosity and Daring: The leader wonders about everything, takes risks, doesn’t worry about failure, embraces errors, knowing he will learn from them.