It’s clear reading The Audacity of Hope that Barack Obama isn’t just a good speaker but he’s also a very good writer, exceptionally talented at conveying thoughts and ideas articulately, intelligently, and with flow. It’s a book that so obviously framed his whole presidential campaign, which as we all know now has thankfully turned the page on the redacted scribbles of the Bush-Cheney years. It’s a book about his background, experience, approach, beliefs, and aspirations.
Besides the obligatory pre-campaign introduction that most political personality books share, there are a couple things that really stand out about Obama in The Audacity of Hope.… more
Romeo Dallaire is a Canadian senator, humanitarian, author, and retired lieutenant-general. He is best known for the position he was assigned to in 1993: Force Commander of UNAMIR, the United Nations peacekeeping force in Rwanda. Responsible for the UN forces mandated to maintain order in the country yet left powerless by the UN itself, Dallaire witnessed firsthand the grisly bloodshed of the Rwanda genocide.
Dallaire wrote a book – Shake Hands with the Devil – about the experience, which has since spawned documentaries and a feature film. He continues to advocate strongly for human rights and for a more widespread understanding that all humans are human.… more
I love this exchange from this Dearlove & Crainer Management-Issues interview with business strategy professor, consultant and author Richard D’Aveni. Asked about how relevant his academic insight is to real business situations, he zeros in on exactly the thing that spanning leaders – that is, leaders who are able to span multiple industries, disciplines, or cultures – can do which makes them important and influential, and which ultimately makes them even better leaders…
Why should executives, beset with all this turbulence and change, listen to someone like you, an Ivy League Professor – Joe Bowtie, if you like? How do you understand their world?… more
Leaders as Generalists
We need generalist leaders. This is especially true in the context of company management.
Leaders are, ideally, generalists that can understand and handle many different parts of a company. Innovation is dependent on an organization’s ability to regularly access and sift through large volumes of available information, determine which is most important and pertinent and then to apply it to unique situations in new ways. This role – essentially one of direction and delegation – is the province of leaders.
The irony of this of course is that companies naturally specialize and the people working at modern day companies are trained to be specialists, managers.… more