Archive for the ‘Bones’Category

The Cult of the Leader – Christopher Bones

The one-sentence summary

We need to reassess the concept of talent, change executive remuneration and performance management, and redefine what it means to be an effective leader.

WHAT THE BOOK SAYS CULT OF THE LEADER

  • Modern business is obsessed with leaders, but although everyone talks about leadership, its real meaning is becoming more and more obscure.
  • Today we define leaders more by how they seem, rather than the quality of their judgement or what they are able to do.
  • The net result has been a failure of leadership precisely when we need all the good leaders we can find – in business and life generally.
  • We urgently need to rethink the role of leadership to rebuild trust and confidence. That means redefining the talent and revaluing the experience and remuneration associated with the roles.
  • The L’Oreal generation are obsessed with rewarding themselves ‘because they’re worth it’, and that includes leaders who feel they are owed a significant living and the lifestyle to go with it.
  • The modern leader is egoistic, blind to their own faults, surrounded by people created in their own image, and committed to actions that enhance their self-image.

WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT

  • The leadership advice industry is worth over $10bn in the USA alone.
  • Leadership and management are not the same thing, but they are usually confused – most of what’s involved in managing companies is nothing to do with leadership.
  • There is a damning list of what leaders do wrong: abuse of power, inflicting damage on others, over-exercise of control to satisfy personal needs, rule breaking, and more. Types of failure include:
  • Leaders not fitting (their values do not correspond to the organisation)
  • Companies changing (the challenge is too big)
  • Companies failing entirely (accepted norms of behaviour undermine the creation of value)
  • Moral authority comes from being authentic, demonstrating integrity, having self-belief, showing self-awareness, and demonstrating deep understanding of the business.
  • The author believes we need to reassess the concept of talent to make it inclusive; change executive remuneration and performance management; and redefine what it means to be an effective leader to make it more collaborative.

WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH

  • The proposed changes would require changes to the law and the majority of ambitious leaders to stop being greedy. Is this ever possible?

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01 2012