Business Leaders motivate, Business Leaders acknowledge failure as part of the process, Business Leaders delegate and listen.
In 1989 Abraham Zaleznik, wrote “Leaders are ‘twice-born’ individuals who endure major events that lead to a sense of separateness…from their environments,” he continued. “That sense of separateness may be a necessary condition for their ability to lead.” Abraham Zaleznik was a leading scholar and teacher in the field of organizational psychodynamics and the psychodynamics of leadership. He was a Professor Emeritus at the Harvard Business School where he taught for four decades. He was a practicing psychoanalyst and the author of 16 books.
Jim Collins the author of Built to Last and Good to Great wrote that Level 5 Business Leaders are those who has been through a time of transformation, launched by crisis, failure, religious encounter, an episode or season of suffering . . .
Zaleznik wrote in his HBR article entitled Managers and Leaders: Are They Different?
“Leaders tend to be twice-born personalities, people who feel separate from their environment. They may work in organizations, but they never belong to them. Their sense of who they are does not depend on memberships, work roles, or other social indicators of identity. And that perception of identity may form the theoretical basis for explaining why certain individuals seek opportunities for change. The methods to bring about change may be technological, political, or ideological, but the object is the same: to profoundly alter human, economic, and political relationships.”
Chris Lowney displays Machiavelli, Attila and Cesare Borgia as leaders. Special, frightening, scheming leaders; Machiavelli wrote,”You must be a great liar and hypocrite.”
Unlike Cesare, Attila and Niccolo successful leaders have some common habits.
Business Leaders motivate
Business Leaders take care of themselves
Business Leaders are truthful
Business Leaders are self-aware
Business Leaders acknowledge failure as part of the process
Business Leaders delegate and listen.
In a 2011 American independent drama film, Margin Call. Jeremy Irons as the CEO, says: “Speak to me as you might to a young child, or a golden retriever. I assure you it wasn’t brains that got me here.
Do you care to know why I am in this chair? The Leader?
I’m here for one reason and one reason only. I’m here to guess what will happen in a week, a month a year; it’s that and nothing more”
The story takes place over a 36-hour period at a large Wall Street investment bank and highlights the initial stages of the financial crisis of 2007
Successful leaders are born twice. Many if not all have had a significant crash and burn, disaster that has energized them.
At times this is an issue with second generation Family Businesses, the second generation has not had that seminal event. It’s these pivotal events that help leaders understand themselves; their strengths and weakness. It inspires them to engage others, develop others, in a positive caring attitude.
Finally these formative, flameouts, epoch-making events cause leaders to change, innovate and understand it is a changing world. It’s their role to play both Protagonist, antagonist to the organization and to look around corners and guess what the market is going to do in a week, a month or a year.