Introduction to the Revised Edition, 2003


Introduction to the Original Edition, 1989


Questions used when starting leadership dialogues for this book:



1 – Mastering the Context


Surrendering to the Context


2 – Understanding the Basics

Leadership Ingredients:


“The Greeks believed that excellence was based on a perfect balance of eros and logos, or feeling and thought, which together allow us to understand the world on all levels, from ‘the concrete contemplation of the complete facts.’ True understanding derives from engagement and from the full deployment of ourselves.”


Leaders, Not Managers



Once Born, Twice Born


3 – Knowing Yourself


4 Lessons of Self-Knowledge

  1. You are your own best teacher
  2. Accept responsibility. Blame no one
  3. You can learn anything you want to learn
  4. True understanding comes from reflecting on your experience


Lesson One: You Are Your Own Best Teacher


Lesson Two: Accept Responsibility. Blame No One.




Lesson Three: You Can Learn Anything You Want to Learn


Lesson Four: True Understanding Comes from Reflecting on Your Experience


The 8 Stages of Life (by Erik Erikson)

  1. Trust vs. Mistrust = hope or withdrawal
  2. Autonomy vs. Shame, Doubt = will or compulsion
  3. Initiative vs. Guilt = purpose or inhibition
  4. Industry vs. Inferiority = competence or inertia
  5. Identity vs. Identity Confusion = fidelity or repudiation
  6. Intimacy vs. Isolation = love or exclusivity
  7. Generativity vs. Stagnation = care or rejectivity
  8. Integrity vs. Despair = wisdom or disdain



4 – Knowing the World


Filling in the Gaps


Learning from Adversity


5 – Operating on Instinct


6 – Deploying Yourself: Strike Hard, Try Everything

Reflection and Resolution



Questions to give you an idea of someone’s leadership perspective:

  1. When you consider a new project, do think first of its cost or benefits?
  2. Do you rank profit or progress first?
  3. Would you rather be rich or famous?
  4. If offered a promotion that required you to move to another city, would you discuss it with your family before accepting it?
  5. Would you rather be a small fish in a big pond, a big fish in a small pond?



Tests and Measures


Self-Expression Tests:







Strategic Thinking



  1. Reflection leading to resolution.
  2. Resolution leading to perspective.
  3. Perspective leading to point of view.
  4. Point of view leading to tests and measures.
  5. Tests and measures leading to desire.
  6. Desire leading to mastery.
  7. Mastery leading to strategic thinking.
  8. Strategic thinking leading to full self-expression.
  9. The synthesis of full self-expression = leadership.


7 – Moving Through Chaos


8 – Getting People on Your Side


Four Ingredients to Generate and Sustain Trust:

  1. Constancy. Whatever surprises leaders themselves may face; they don’t create any for the group. Leaders are all of a piece; they stay the course.
  2. Congruity. Leaders walk their talk. In true leaders, there is no gap between the theories they espouse and the life they practice.
  3. Reliability. Leaders are there when it counts; they are ready to support their co-workers in the moments that matter.
  4. Integrity. Leaders honor their commitments and promises.



9 – Organizations Can Help – or Hinder


    1. Take advantage of every opportunity.
    2. Aggressively search for meaning.
    3. Know yourself.”


Opportunity = Empowerment

  1. “There are two kinds of people: those who are paralyzed by fear, and those who are afraid but go ahead anyway. Life isn’t about limitation, it’s about options.”  Brooke Knapp


Meaning = Engagement

  1. “Corporate vision operates on three levels: strategic, which is the organization’s overriding philosophy; tactical, which is that philosophy in action; and personal, which is that philosophy made manifest in the behavior of each employee.”


10 – Forging the Future

  1. “Rosabeth Moss Kanter described some of the attitudes mandated by the current chaotic environment in When Giants Learn to Dance: Mastering the Challenge of Strategy, Management, and Careers in the 1990s:
    • Think strategically and invest in the future – but keep the numbers up.
    • Be entrepreneurial and take risks – but don’t cost the business anything by failing.
    • Continue to do everything you’re currently doing ever better – and spend more time communicating with employees, serving on teams, and launching new projects.
    • Know every detail of your business – but delegate more responsibility to others.
    • Become passionately dedicated to ‘visions’ and fanatically committed to carrying them out – but be flexible, responsive, and able to change direction quickly.
    • Speak up, be a leader, set the direction – but be participative, listen well, cooperate.
    • Throw yourself wholeheartedly into the entrepreneurial game and the long hours it takes – and stay fit.
    • Succeed, succeed, succeed – and raise terrific children.”


Ten Factors for the Future

  1. Leaders manage the Dream
  2. Leaders embrace error
  3. Leaders encourage reflective backtalk
    • “Leaders tend to come in two sizes: those who hire reflectors, clones who will mirror the leader’s opinions and desires, and those who hire compensators, people who have complementary views of the organization and the society.”
  4. Leaders encourage dissent
  5. Leaders possess the Nobel Factor: optimism, faith and hope
  6. Leaders understand the Pygmalion effect in management
    1. “J. Sterling Livingston applied the Pygmalion effect to management thusly:
      • What managers expect of their subordinates and the way they treat them largely determines their performance and career progress.
      • A unique characteristic of superior managers is the ability to create high performance expectations that subordinates fulfill.
      • Less effective managers fail to develop similar expectations, and as a consequence, the productivity of their subordinates suffers.
      • Subordinates, more often than not, appear to do what they believe they are expected to do.”
  7. Leaders have what I think of as the Gretzky Factor; a certain touch
  8. Leaders see the long view
  9. Leaders understand stakeholder symmetry
  10. Leaders create strategic alliances and partnerships


The Next Generation of Leaders Will Have Certain Things in Common:


Epilogue to the Twentieth-Anniversary Edition