30 November 2011
Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge
Leaders, by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus, was written after the two went through extensive studies, interviews, and observations to come to the conclusions found in this book. Knowing the average leader’s troubles with constant demands in everyday life, Bennis and Nanus came up with four strategies for leading organizations effectively in these complex times. The authors discuss these four strategies from two perspectives. Initially they consider the issue from the view of the leader as an individual, with certain attributes that make him an effective leader, and then from the point of view of implementing these strategies to build an effective organization. Burt Nanus and Warren Bennis are both known for their expertise in leadership training and management techniques. A popular speaker on leadership and change, Nanus helps organizations find new visions to position their strategies for the coming decade. Bennis has been an advisor to four presidents of the United States, written over twenty books on leadership, and is currently at the University of Southern California where he is has founded the University’s Leadership Institute in Los Angeles.
This book was written in 1985, a time described by the authors as one that was in desperate need for drastic change by all leaders of major corporations. One of the main points that were constantly being referenced was the concept of the new leader. “The new leader is one who commits people to action, converts followers into leaders, and who may convert leaders into agents of change. This is referred to as ‘transformational leadership.’” After observing and interviewing ninety outstanding leaders, the authors identified four areas of skill that seemed to incorporate this new and effective leadership behavior, which they call the four strategies.
The first strategy is entitled, “Attention through Vision.” The leaders the...