Sunday, December 2, 2007

Post # 51 - In Celebration of Quiet Leadership

Today I am quietly celebrating two events.

First, I am celebrating the first 50 posts to and I have to say that the exhilaration I get from learning, sharing, and building community around Quiet Leadership is stronger than ever. A most sincere thank you goes to the community of readers who continue to participant in this journey.

Secondly, I am celebrating the growing recognition of the Quiet Leadership style. In my inaugural post last May I stated my mission.
As I look around me, I see that the most challenging business problems are solved by teams led by one or more quiet, thoughtful leaders. I am not alone in this discovery. There is a growing body of work touting the notion of quiet leaders and heralding their work and achievement.
I am writing this blog to start conversation and sustain study about quiet leadership. I want the conversation to include a community of leaders who share the notion that being a leader is not about heroic speeches, “follow me” pep talks, or fist pumping tirades.

I am celebrating the growing recognition of Quiet Leadership as a leadership style that works and is celebrated. Here are a couple of my recent discoveries:

Yvonne Russell - Leadership Basics & the Quiet Leadership Style on the Small Biz Mentor Blog. - The Quiet Leader

Finally I'd like to draw a quotation from the book, A Life In Leadership: From D-Day to Ground Zero by John C. Whitehead. In the autobiography, Whitehead, whose leadership experience includes the military, finance (Chairman, Goldman Sachs), and government (Deputy Secretary of State) describes his leadership preference.

The classic image of an American leader is someone like Teddy Roosevelt, leading his men up San Juan Hill in a a hail of bullets. General Douglas MacArthur, Lee Iacocca, Bear Bryant, and Bobby Knight are all in the mold-brash, charismatic, compelling, and seemingly fearless. That has never been my style, though. I've always believed in the virtue of what I call quiet leadership. My models are people like President Dwight Eisenhower, General George Marshall, David Rockefeller, Kofi Annan, and Mother Teresa. They are not the swashbuckling heroes of the Hollywood variety. Instead, they are quiet, patient, thoughtful people who rarely let their passions rule them. Their inspiration is calmer, almost spiritual in nature, as they are guided by high ideals. They are not thundering orators, nor dashing figures, but they can be remarkably persuasive all of same by appealing to the better side of a person. I think society can use more people like that; such people usually accomplish more than the loud, flamboyant types.

Hear, hear. Beautifully stated.

Thanks for reading. Please lead quietly.

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