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Leadership and Influence June 12, 2009

Posted by Tim Rodgers in Management & leadership.
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This recent article by Joseph Grenny from Business Week was forwarded by someone I’m following on Twitter: http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/jun2009/ca2009065_772331.htm?campaign_id=rss_topStories

I strongly encourage folks to read this excellent article for themselves to get the full message. Mr. Grenny describes four “key insights … that help us understand why so few leaders either grasp or exert influence well,” derived from his research as co-founder of VitalSmarts and as a consultant to the Fortune 500.

1. Leaders act as if it’s not their job to address entrenched habits: “… the most influential leaders … spend as much as half their time thinking about and actively influencing the behaviors they know will lead to top performance.” 

2. Leaders lack a theory of influence: “Unless leaders become articulate about a repeatable and effective way of influencing profound, rapid, and sustainable behavior change — they’ll continue to rack up predictably high failure rates at leading change.”

3. Leaders confuse talking with influencing: “Leaders make the same mistake when they publish platitudes in the form of Mission and Values statements, give a few speeches on why these values are crucial, and then assume their job is done.”

4. Leaders believe in silver bullets: “The research shows that when leaders rely on just one simple source of influence to drive change, they almost always fail.”

I agree entirely with Mr. Grenny.

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