In my continuing effort to build my knowledge about leadership, I read “Leaders” by Warren Bennis & Burt Nanus in mid-May. This is a business classic in the U.S. In 1985, he co-authored this book after interviewing more than 90 of America’s leaders.
One of the key concepts that struck me about this book is as follows:
Attention through Vision
“Management of attention through vision is the creating of focus. All ninety people interviewed had an agenda, an unparalleled concern with outcome. Leaders are the most results-oriented individuals in the world, and results get attention. Their visions or intentions are compelling and pull people toward them. Intensity coupled with commitment is magnetic. And these intense personalities do not have to coerce people to pay attention; they are so intense on what they are doing that, like a child completely absorbed with creating a sand castle in a sandbox, they draw others in.”
“The visions these various leaders conveyed seemed to bring about a confidence on the part of the employees, a confidence that instilled in them a belief that they were capable of performing the necessary acts. These leaders are challengers , not coddlers. ”
…”The first thing you naturally do is teach the person to feel that their undertaking is manifestly important and nearly impossible… That draws out the kind of drives that make people strong, that put you in pursuit intellectually. ”
How is your leadership compared to the above characteristics that Bennis and Nanus found in 90 distinguished leaders?