Heroic Leadership

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IN THIS SUMMARY
Peter F. Drucker, the “father of modern management,” promoted heroic leadership throughout his career, noting “The Army trains and develops more leaders than do all other institutions together—and with a lower casualty rate.” In Heroic Leadership, William A. Cohen, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and former student of Drucker, reveals the fundamental principles of Heroic Leadership and what this characteristic entails—leading a group with absolute integrity while inspiring individual performance to a personal best and building a team spirit of sacrifice for the common good.

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Heroic Leadership

  1. 2. HEROIC LEADERSHIP Leading With Integrity & Honor AUTHOR: William A. Cohen PUBLISHER: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2010 246 pages
  2. 3. FEATURES OF THE BOOK Heroic Leadership is an inspirational but commanding overview of the principles and practices of Heroic Leadership through centuries of military history and modern business life. The author explains in detail how applying his Eight Universal Laws of Heroic Leadership ensures a person will develop the self-confidence to lead others through thick and thin.
  3. 4. THE BIG IDEA In Heroic Leadership , William A. Cohen examines the character traits that have proven successful throughout history in leading people during difficult times. He defines the universal laws, influence tools, and competencies necessary to achieve the vaunted status of Heroic Leadership.
  4. 5. INTRODUCTION Peter F. Drucker, the “father of modern management,” promoted Heroic Leadership throughout his career, noting “The Army trains and develops more leaders than do all other institutions together—and with a lower casualty rate.” In Heroic Leadership , William A. Cohen, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and former student of Drucker, reveals the fundamental principles of Heroic Leadership and what this characteristic entails—leading a group with absolute integrity while inspiring individual performance to a personal best and building a team spirit of sacrifice for the common good.
  5. 6. THE EIGHT UNIVERSAL LAWS OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Life is hard in combat, but battle leaders achieve amazing results by following eight principles. These principles work equally well in civilian life, whether a person is a CEO or coach of a children’s softball team. Law 1: Maintain Absolute Integrity For those who lead others under demanding circumstances, integrity is the most universally prized quality—that is, an adherence to a set of values that incorporate honesty. But integrity is more than honesty. It means doing the right thing regardless of circumstances or inconvenience to the leader or the organization.
  6. 7. THE EIGHT UNIVERSAL LAWS OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Law 2: Know Their Stuff People become leaders when those who follow recognize that their leader knows what to do after getting ahead, not how to get ahead. People do not follow leaders, because they are good at office politics; they follow them, because they are good at what they do. There is no substitute for a leader investing enough time into becoming an expert.
  7. 8. THE EIGHT UNIVERSAL LAWS OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Law 3: Declare Their Expectations A leader’s expectations fall into two categories: tactical and visionary. If a leader’s vision is vague, the organization will be unsuccessful in the long term no matter how well the shorter-term tasks, goals, and objectives are formulated and executed. Likewise, a clear, well-thought-out vision might never be reached if the short-term class of expectations is drawn up poorly or drawn well but neglected.
  8. 9. THE EIGHT UNIVERSAL LAWS OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Law 4: Show Uncommon Commitment Like successful battle commanders, the Heroic Leader breathes, eats, and sleeps the mission. This extraordinary commitment attracts others to work and fight to achieve the organization’s goal. The magic of uncommon commitment yields two results: It proves the goal is worthwhile : People do not exert themselves for small, unimportant goals. They will only work hard, take risks, and let nothing stop them for major goals. It proves the leader is not going to quit: People will not follow a leader if they think the leader might stop short of attaining the goal.
  9. 10. THE EIGHT UNIVERSAL LAWS OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Law 5: Expect Positive Results What leaders think, they will get, positive or negative. Heroic Leaders believe in thinking positively, and that makes them expect to win. They keep their eyes on the prize and not what they want to avoid. Considering the worst that can happen, accepting it, and planning what action to take if the worst does come to pass makes a leader less fearful and keeps him or her thinking positively. While expecting positive results might not always lead to success, failing to expect positive results will almost always lead to failure.
  10. 11. THE EIGHT UNIVERSAL LAWS OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Law 6: Take Care of Their People Leaders must go the distance for their people if they expect them to follow. This is especially true when times get difficult. People watch to see what their leaders will do – will the leader take care of them or is it all for show? Leaders give greater weight to the needs of those they lead than to their own personal needs. This approach must be balanced against the goal of the mission, which must always come first, and can lead to difficult judgment calls.
  11. 12. THE EIGHT UNIVERSAL LAWS OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP <ul><li>Law 7: Put Duty Before Self </li></ul><ul><li>The definition of duty captures the essence of this universal law of Heroic Leadership: </li></ul><ul><li>The actions required by one’s occupation or position. </li></ul><ul><li>A moral or legal obligation. </li></ul>
  12. 13. THE EIGHT UNIVERSAL LAWS OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Law 8: Get Out in Front There is no way to lead from the rear in combat or in corporate life. A Heroic Leader must be out front where the action is. That way the leader can see what is going right and what is not. The leader can make critical decisions fast without waiting for information to work its way up the chain of command. They can see their people—and their people can see them.
  13. 14. THE EIGHT BASIC INFLUENCE TOOLS People lead by influencing others. At times, this influence seems to just happen, but even experienced leaders can lead better by consciously applying the tactics of the eight tools of influence: Tool 1: Direction Issuing orders without any discussion is sometimes the best choice. To employ direction successfully, leaders must have more power in the situation that those they intend to lead.
  14. 15. THE EIGHT BASIC INFLUENCE TOOLS Tool 2: Indirection Indirection is often used when leaders have limited authority in a situation and those they want to lead might resist direction. Indirection can be used with great effectiveness when a leader has the authority to give direct orders and others know it. In other words, a leader’s influence is exerted without direct instructions to better attain a tactical goal.
  15. 16. THE EIGHT BASIC INFLUENCE TOOLS Tool 3: Redirection Leaders often uses redirection to avoid revealing the real reason for a desired action, which might have a negative impact on the people being led. For instance, if two departments with offices next to each other are bickering, the memo announcing the offices will be moved apart would state the reason as “efficiency” or “better space utilization.” Redirection is also used when firing senior managers. Instead of being formally fired, they are given a new assignment.
  16. 17. THE EIGHT BASIC INFLUENCE TOOLS Tool 4: Deflection By using deflection, leaders get someone to do something by disclaiming the ability or power to do it. For instance, an analyst might ask his supervisor for help with a problem. The supervisor says he would like to help but has not handled that type of problem in a long time, and he asks the analyst how he would approach it. The supervisor is using deflection to get the analyst to learn to do the job.
  17. 18. THE EIGHT BASIC INFLUENCE TOOLS Tool 5: Enlistment Asking for help is the basis of enlistment. Enlistment is especially effective when a leader does not have the power, or has the power but does not want to use it. Surprisingly, just asking works well in many situations, although success often depends on the words used rather than the logic of the request itself.
  18. 19. THE EIGHT BASIC INFLUENCE TOOLS Tool 6: Persuasion Persuasion differs from enlistment in one important way: the emphasis is not on asking. A leader must convince someone to do something, which requires providing them with reasons and rationale. Besides being a leader’s main option when the leader has no power, persuasion can also work well when leading others who have comparable power or more power in the situation than the leader. This is especially true when a leader has no way to reward or punish someone.
  19. 20. THE EIGHT BASIC INFLUENCE TOOLS Tool 7: Negotiation Although negotiation is usually not considered an element of influence in leadership, leaders can influence by conferring with others to arrive at a settlement that the leader (and others) find acceptable. The negotiation might involve compromise and usually entails trading something that the other side wants or an action that it wants done for what the leader wants done.
  20. 21. THE EIGHT BASIC INFLUENCE TOOLS Tool 8: Involvement If a leader can get others involved in what the leader wants done, they will adopt the leader’s goal as their own and become committed to its attainment. Involvement is a powerful influence tool, and can usually be combined easily with one or more of the other tactics already discussed.
  21. 22. THE EIGHT COMPETENCIES OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Competency 1: Attracting Followership No one follows anyone else without first being motivated to do so. Attracting followers begins by making others feel important. That sense of importance is frequently a more powerful motivator than money, promotion, working conditions, or anything else.
  22. 23. THE EIGHT COMPETENCIES OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Competency 2: Developing Self-Confidence Self-confidence is rooted in a leader knowing they can succeed. A leader begins to become self-confident by achieving a small success. As leaders advance in their careers, they increasingly believe that they can be successful and that belief bolsters the self-confidence they need to do the job.
  23. 24. THE EIGHT COMPETENCIES OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Competencies 3 and 4: Building a Heroic Team and Building High Morale and Esprit de Corps Leadership on the athletic field correlates with leadership in other parts of life, because successful teams share these characteristics: Cohesion : Members of successful teams stick together, putting the interests of the group over their own. A leader instills pride in membership by convincing the group that they are the best in some relevant way, assigning initial tasks that the leader knows the team can accomplish, and recognizing the individuals responsible for successful accomplishments.
  24. 25. THE EIGHT COMPETENCIES OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Teamwork : Members of successful teams work together to maximize their individual strengths and minimize their weaknesses. High Morale : The first step for leaders to building morale is to let workers in on the action, sharing ownership of any task. The difference for members is between feeling like they are important to the team’s success versus just being an organizational cog. Esprit de corps : To get a team to play “Give all you can” a leader must explain the game to members, show them the game, and then keep score, rewarding contributors and punishing those who are out for themselves.
  25. 26. THE EIGHT COMPETENCIES OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Competency 5: Motivating When Times Get Tough No one single factor motivates all people all the time. A big mistake that leaders make is failing to understand what motivates followers most of the time. The worst mistake is thinking those who follow are motivated primarily by one thing when they are motivated by something entirely different.
  26. 27. THE EIGHT COMPETENCIES OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Competency 6: Taking Charge in Crisis Situations The first step for a leader to take charge is to establish a clear objective and then communicate it. A leader in a crisis situation must be bold. A Heroic Leader is also decisive in a crunch. People do not like to follow leaders who cannot make up their minds or have trouble reaching a decision. Sometimes leaders believe they do not have all the facts to take action; nevertheless, they must weigh the gain in information against the negative impact of delay. Failing to make a decision is a decision—to leave everything to chance or the initiative of others.
  27. 28. THE EIGHT COMPETENCIES OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Competency 7: Developing Charisma Charisma is from the Greek word meaning “a divine gift.” To be perceived as charismatic, leaders must show commitment to those being led. Commitment cannot be faked. Looking the part is important to being charismatic, as well. For instance, General George S. Patton’s uniform consisted of a shiny helmet, pistols on both hips, and knotted tie, even in combat. Few of his soldiers could mistake him. For Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the look is black T-shirt and jeans.
  28. 29. THE EIGHT COMPETENCIES OF HEROIC LEADERSHIP Competency 8: Solving Problems and Making Decisions Heroic Leaders are problem-solvers and decision–makers. Leaders encounter two types of problems: Problems to delegate : If a leader becomes the organization’s primary problem-solver, the leader will be solving problems all the time and have no time for strategic planning and thinking. Problems to keep : Leaders should solve the problem in the following situations.
  29. 30. Business Book Summaries is a product of EBSCO Publishing. The website is updated weekly with 4 to 5 new summaries chosen from among the top business books printed in the United States. For more information or to sign up for the weekly newsletter, please visit http://www.bizsum.com. ABOUT BIZSUM.COM

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