Bill George has a point: he says in his book that leadership is not simply role or style, but that what is primarily important is authenticity.
This has five elements:
- Understanding the target
- Living consistent values
- Leading with heart
- establish relationships
- show self-discipline
Alright, that’s pretty generic for now, and the rest of the book didn’t push me that much for this topic. It does, however, have some good insights on a few other business management topics (if you’re interested: seven deadly sins of being in the marketplace) and it gets a little too esoteric for me personally. Bill George packs the proper insight that you can’t acquire this authenticity simply by reading into the methaphor of having to go through purgatory.
Leadership in the 21st century
Then the second book, True North, from 2008, reconciled me to the terms. It fleshes out the key points in a table:
|Characteristics||20th century leader||21st Century Leader|
|Motivation||Self-interest||The best for the organization|
|Experience||Perfect resume||Learning through challenges|
|Time horizon||Short term||Long-term|
|Approach||Hierarchical leadership||Distributed leadership|
|Greatest strength||IQ||EQ (emotional intelligence)|
|Personal standard||External evaluation||Intrinsic contribution|
The true North elements
It still has five elements, but I find the new wording much more catchy:
- sweet spot
- support team
- Integrated life
And then he has the concept of the sweet spot between motivation and skills. This, I think, is a perfect entry point into looking at what leadership should be in an agile environment.