Monday, August 20, 2007

Apples are Square - Changing the Way We Lead

My study of leadership recently brought into sight a 2007 book by Thomas and Susan Kuczmarski entitled, Apples Are Square: Thinking Differently About Leadership. The key highlight of the book is its exploration of the human side of leadership.

With a subtitle of "The 6 Critical Values That Are Changing the Way We Lead and Succeed, the Kuczmarski's identify six leadership qualities, that is, the six sides of a squared apple. These six qualities are:

  • Humility - Leaders should view themselves as insignificant
  • Compassion - Leaders understand others and are concerned with other's well being.
  • Transparency - A leader must be emotionally and mentally accessible to other. No hidden agendas.
  • Inclusiveness - A leader must accept and value people's differences.
  • Collaboration - A leader must leverage people's strength to form strong partnerships in pursuit of common goals.
  • Values-based Decisiveness - A leader must allow values to serve as the compass for decision-making.
The six qualities align nicely with the human side of quiet leadership.

The authors follow this list with a seven step approach for implementing change. The first step is to "Reach out to serve others" essentially, living as a servant. Call it servant leadership if you prefer.

The book provides nice insight on leadership and a framework for evaluating the human side of your organization. How does your organization fit?

Thanks for reading. Please lead quietly.

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