Jack Welch Management Institute
Dr. David Lipsky
April 26, 2015
How leaders come to be has been attributed to genetics and personal discipline. Either of these theories can be defended with examples or analysis. Regardless of the origin, specific qualities are required to maintain and develop leadership. Using examples from my professional experiences, this paper will describe the essential rules and principles of leadership and the strengths and weaknesses that must be developed to become a great leader.
Leadership experience and/or aspirations and goals
I must first admit that I was not born with strategic judgment and executive talent, the two qualities a CEO must have as stated by David Aaker. In contrast the definition of a leader as defined by Dr. Paul Hersey, is “working with and through others to achieve objectives.” I do have a strong desire to develop others and implement improvements. Most of my career is comprised of driving projects to closure as a project manager. Although managing is complimentary to leadership, they are not the same. John P. Kotter, author of “What Leaders Really Do” elaborates on the distinction of leaders and managers. Managers can be successful at accomplishing tasks without being leaders. The motivation behind accomplishing the task makes all the difference. A leader motivates people to get things done, whereas a manger ensures that things are done. I recall managing a project to validate software for a simulations program used to analyze the risk associated with maintaining the safe operation of a nuclear power plant. My team was comprised of two nuclear engineers, an onsite contractor, an offsite programmer and an IT manager. As the project progressed I assigned plant operators to perform user acceptance tests. Everyone on this team was vested in the success of the project. I did not need to motivate them as a leader does. When
References: Welch, J (2005). Winning, New York, NY: Harper Collins Kotter, J. “What Leaders Really Do” (PDF) Goldsmith, M. (2008). Great Leaders Are Made, Not Born. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2008/01great-leaders-are-made-not-bor Aaker, D. (2011). Great CEOs are Born, Not Made. Retrieved from https://bbr.org/2011/07/what-makes-a-great-ceo Goleman, “Leadership That Get Results” (PDF) Goleman, “What Makes a Leader?” (PDF)