Leadership in a Time of Crisis: A Checklist for Ebola

Fearbola…  According to Richard E. Besser, chief health editor at ABC News:

Infectious disease often leads to irrational behavior. It’s a primal defense. We saw this during the early days of the AIDS pandemic, as infected children were barred from schools and some health professionals wouldn’t provide care. We are seeing it again now with Ebola.

RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, analyzes the situation:

Ebola is exposing a broader problem: the sober reality of our fragmented, uncoordinated private health-care system. We have enormous health-care resources in the United States. What we lack is a national, integrated system needed to respond effectively to a severe national threat such as Ebola.

 In many ways the U.S. Ebola crisis is a crisis of leadership. So, what does a leader do in a time of crisis?

In addition to the CDC provided Ebola information for hospitals and providers, here is a CRISIS LEADERSHIP CHECKLIST from the Physician Leadership Institute. Based on our physician leadership model, we’ve developed 5 key areas that must be addressed based on the physician leadership model:

» Leading with Purpose:

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – John F. Kennedy

In times of crisis, leaders anchor their teams in both the purpose of the organization and their individual purpose.

- Have we clearly articulated our organizational purpose of serving others?

- Are we connecting with individual’s burning ambition versus burning platforms?

- Have we clearly articulated our organization core values such as compassion, care, and service to others?

- Have we clearly articulated our goals and capabilities for the crisis at hand?

- Have we shared these goals with all our internal stakeholders (employees, staff, physicians, patients)?

- Have we communicated these goals with all our external stakeholders (citizens, local institutions, press, public agencies)?

- Are our actions timely?

- Are we trusted?

- Am I trusted as a leader?

- Do we have the right communications team in place?  Do they know what to do and when?

- Does everyone know who is in charge and responsible across the entire process?

» Leading Self: 

“It is said that one who knows himself and knows others will not be endangered” – Sun Tzu

- Have I communicated clearly my core principles and values such as courage, duty and service to others?

- Have my actions been consistent with my core values thus inspiring trust?

- Am I authentic in my actions and behaviors? Do I lead by example?

- Do I demonstrate the courage required by the situation?

- Am I forthcoming and timely with my communications?

» Leading People:

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” - Nelson Mandela

- Do we put our people first?

- Have we showed empathy towards our team’s concerns for safety and wellbeing?

- Are we actively listening to our teams and they feel heard?

- Are we providing our people with the best training required?

- Are we coaching our people on all critical tasks and priorities?

- Have we built the appropriate teams – at every level of the organization?

- Do we have a collaborative mindset?

- Are there any leaders whose crisis management leadership we are concerned about and for whom we need to provide special guidance?

- Are we present and visible? Are we leading by walking around ?

- Do our teams know standard protocols on when, and how to escalate potential concerns, issues?

- Do our teams know standard protocols should they be approached / questioned by the press outside of work?

- Is the communications team trained to be proactive?

- Do we have a FAQ document distributed to our employees?

 » Leading with Strategy:

“The effective strategist (leader) only seeks engagement after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to loose first fights and afterward looks for victory.” – Sun Tzu

It is useful to reflect on Sun Tzu’s advice to “learn and do the orthodox, but win with the unorthodox.”

- Have we assessed the impact of the crisis on the organization?  The community?

- Have we planned for how can this situation escalate?

- Is my “river of information” sufficient to provide me swift access to critical information/ breaking news internally and externally from which to make appropriate decisions?

- Have we benchmarked and learned from other best practices?

- How do we manage fear and panic?

-  Are we executing our strategy effectively with a plan–do–check process?

- What will be our own unorthodox best in class strategy and actions? What innovative actions, processes can we develop to manage the crisis?

» Leading for Results:

“The pinnacle of excellence is not marked by number of the victories, fame for wisdom or courageous achievement, it is about flawless execution.” – Sun Tzu

- What are our measures of success? And do our teams know them?

- Are we focused on key activities?

- Are our processes tried and tested?

- What systems thinking models are required?

- Are our decisions based on evidence and best practices?

- Have we taken all possible safety precautions?

- Are we optimized for productivity and effectiveness?

- Have we published a regular communications frequency and are we communicating to our teams per that schedule: our progress towards our goals, any concerns and responses, updated FAQs, reminder of linkage between purpose, actions and results, etc ?

For more information on our crisis leadership program, contact us >>

Change Management: No Pun Intended

The literature on “change management” is clear: over 70% of change initiatives fail.  In 1995, John Kotter published research that revealed only 30 percent of change programs are successful. In 2008, a McKinsey & Company survey of business executives indicates that the percent of change programs that are a success today is… still 30%. The field of ‘change management’, it would seem, hasn’t changed a thing.

The IBM Institute of Business Value recently published a report titled: Making change work…while the work keeps changing: How Change Architects lead and manage organizational change.*

Similar to the Big Shift from Deloitte’s Center for the Edge, the report finds that companies no longer have the luxury of expecting day-to-day operations to fall into a static or predictable pattern interrupted only occasionally by short bursts of change. Instead, constant change has become the new normal.

The report also identifies the important aspects of successful change, which, not coincidentally, includes “soft factors” so often overlooked by organizational change initiatives:

Our Model of Physician Leadership includes these hard and soft factors and is centered around organizational purpose:

Organizational culture can and must be designed to meet the challenges ahead.  It would not be too much of a risk to say that culture is the reason why 70% of change initiatives fail.  This is reflected in the findings as well:

This sort of understanding is critical to gauge where your organization is on the transformation journey. At the Physician Leadership Institute, we formalize this process through a institutional framework for change and the embedded Physician Leadership Academies or Institutes that become the engine for transformation from within. As we stated earlier, we help organizations through the journey of transformation through continuous coaching over time.

Leadership Delivery Model

Organizations cannot address the increasing pace and magnitude of change today by reinventing activities and roles ad hoc or on a project-by-project basis.

In our work, we find that if an organization is already suffering from change fatigue, the cure is not easily administered. Rather, it begins with the fundamental rethinking of who you are  and who you want to be – at both a personal and organizational level. Your story is all-important (remember CVS Health?).

Learn more about how to use our change expertise and systematically build enterprise-wide change capabilities >>

* Making change work…while the work keeps changing: How Change Architects lead and manage organizational change, IBM Institute for Business Value, IBM Corporation, August 2014

A Framework for Change: What Works

If your organization follows specific steps change will happen. Wrong!

A very dangerous assumption in organizational change initiatives is assuming that cause and effect can be managed in a linear manner.  Change is never a static linear process.

What we observe at the Physician Leadership Institute (PLI) is that often leaders fail to make a clear assessment of the terrain.

All change initiatives must begin by understanding the various stakeholders – their perspective: needs, motivations, goals and incentives.

We teach leaders the importance of knowing “the terrain” by mapping the stakeholders and where they stand.

But the most critical part of change is the change agent.  We help organizations through the transformation journey by developing and certifying Physician Leadership Change Agents.  How  your organization selects, engages, and nurtures a coalition of change agents will make the difference between success and failure. Our change framework focuses on cultural and soft skills as they apply to physicians, a key issue often overlooked by organizational development specialists not familiar with the healthcare industry.

Physician Leadership Change Agents must have or develop the following qualities and skills:

- Face uncertainty with courage and adaptability.

- Intellectual curiosity

- Forward looking

- Communicate effectively with their peers

- Understand the change process and its dynamics

- Build coalitions – the sponsorship and stakeholder support necessary to effectively implement change

- Constructively challenge the status quo

- Facilitate and nurture innovative ideas that make a difference.

- Seek out and listen to input from others.

- Influence and motivate others even when not in a position of authority (garnering commitment and support for change)

We create action-learning programs that engage these change agents to work on impactful projects.  They are supported through leadership coaching and by applying their learning to their organizational change project or initiative. Without the right mindset, framework, and execution, change initiatives fail.  In fact, as we will see in the next blog post, 70% of change initiatives fail.

Rebranding CVS Health: Building the Corporate Narrative

As we mentioned earlierCVS Caremark Corp announced that it would stop selling tobacco products at its 7,600 stores by October, becoming the first U.S. drugstore chain to take cigarettes off the shelf.  Now we get the rest of the story.

CVS Health, as the new entity is called, halted sales of tobacco products almost a month ahead of schedule and started a smoking-cessation campaign all in a bid to to position itself as an advocate of better health for consumers. This is in line with the consumer engagement wave, one of the three waves disrupting the healthcare industry.

In my view, this repositioning is a sound strategy, made even stronger by the power of CVS’ corporate narrative. The new brand has a story to tell:

The change of our corporate name to CVS Health is an important milestone in the history of our company. It reflects our broader health care commitment and our expertise in driving the innovations needed to shape the future of health.

For our patients and customers, health is everything and CVS Health is changing the way health care is delivered. We’re committed to increasing access, lowering costs and improving the quality of care. Each year, CVS Health touches more than 100 million people by playing an active, supportive role in each person’s unique health experience and in the greater health care environment. 

 It may be one of our pharmacists counseling a grandmother on why it’s important for her to take her diabetes medication as prescribed by her doctor, or a nurse practitioner at one of our MinuteClinics being there on a Saturday afternoon to diagnose and treat an earache for a seven-year-old so an unnecessary trip to the emergency room can be avoided, or CVS/specialty addressing the needs of a newly diagnosed young mother with rheumatoid arthritis, to understand how to take the potent medications that will make a difference in her life.

Millions of times a day, close to home and across the country, we’re helping people on their path to better health.

As a further demonstration of our commitment, we’ve removed cigarettes and tobacco products from our  CVS/pharmacy stores. By eliminating the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products in our stores, we can make a difference in the health of all Americans.

We also launched a comprehensive and uniquely personalized smoking cessation campaign to help millions of Americans to quit smoking.

As CVS Health, we are tobacco-free, reinventing pharmacy and taking our place among leaders in the health care community.

Well said.

What is critical is the speed with which CVS Health has gone to market with the message.  CEO Larry Merlo leads the way with the “message”:

The smoking cessation program adds an active community initiative that aligns brand purpose with the good of the community.  The goal: establish a brand based on trust.

There is one other dimension that adds credibility to the new brand: a concerted effort at collecting and disseminating research data and insights – a consumer-centric shift that signifies more transparency.  By featuring the CVS Health Research Institute, they are positioning themselves as a “trusted” guide, a good neighbor in the community.

How is your healthcare organization positioned to meet the challenge from CVS Health?  Are you doing enough to disrupt yourself? What’s your organizational narrative?

How to Recognize a Culture of Leadership

I’m often asked this question in my discussions with healthcare executives: How do you recognize a workplace where leadership is practiced?

In other words, they are asking if it is possible to determine if leadership is visible in the workplace.  How do we know that our organization’s leadership is doing a good job?

To answer this query, I turn to the late Warren Bennis. In his book Why Leaders Can’t Lead, Bennis notes that leadership can indeed be felt throughout an organization.

We recognize a culture of leadership by its results.

According to Bennis, “empowerment is the collective effort of leadership.”

Also, “in organizations with effective leaders, empowerment is most evident in four themes:

1) People feel significant: Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization… where they are empowered, people feel what they do has meaning and significance.

2) Learning and competence matter: Leaders value learning and mastery, and so do people who work for leaders. Leaders make it clear that there is no failure, only mistakes that give us feedback and tell us what to do next.

3) People are part of a community: Where there is leadership, there is a team, a family, a unity. Even people who do not especially like each other feel the sense of community.

4) Work is exciting: Where there are leaders, work is stimulating, challenging, fascinating, and fun.  An essential ingredient in organizational leadership is pulling rather than pushing people towards a goal. A “pull” style of influence attracts and energizes people to enroll in an exciting vision of the future. It motivates through identification, rather than rewards and punishments. Leaders articulate and embody the ideals toward which the organization strives.”

Without these attributes in the workplace, we have the opposite, a culture of cynicism and alienation.

There is one simple question I ask staff, physicians, and executives: do you love going in to work?  Not like, not tolerate, but love

 

Physician Leadership: An Interview with The Iowa Clinic’s C. Edward Brown

The Iowa Clinic is a $120-million, fully integrated multispecialty clinic with more than 180 physicians and healthcare providers practicing in 32 specialties. The group has about 500,000 patient visits each year, 170,000 of whom are unique patients. The Iowa Clinic also enjoys national influence thanks to its involvement with the American Medical Group Association (AMGA). Its chief executive officer, C. Edward Brown, has served as a past chair of AMGA and has been a member of the board for 10 years.

You’ve been at The Iowa Clinic for a considerable time. As the leader of the organization, what are the biggest challenges you face?
The biggest challenge is that of adapting to the demands of the industry in order to remain relevant.  We are creating new delivery systems for healthcare services. Our culture also has to rapidly adapt to improve our services  and respond to the additional forces of consumerism.

We know that the old model of governance is no longer sufficient – we need more physician engagement in the decision-making process.  If our change initiatives are to succeed, we found out that we need physicians to not just participate, but lead. That’s the only way to see positive results out of the strategies being applied.

How do you find these leaders? How do you develop them?
We made a commitment to a five-year process for physician leadership development. After an extensive search,  we determined if we develop our leaders internally it would help build a stronger culture. We found Mo Kasti and the Physician Leadership Institute by circumstance – when we learned what they had done at the University of South Florida.  Two things stood out: 1) the embedded nature of onsite learning, and 2) the experiential learning process, where leaders developed their talents by working through self assessments to determine their leadership style,  working on meaningful corporate projects, then implementing these projects to provide a return on investment to the organization.  These projects included the formal reports to the board of directors and the shareholders prior to implementation. The Iowa Clinic was the first in Iowa to establish an internal physician-leadership institute. The entire program has had a significant change on the participants, and we have seen the positive cultural change we hoped to achieve.

How does your organization create alignment between strategy and execution?
The Physician Leadership process has  strengthened our culture, and improved our ability to adapt to change because we have “physicians leading physicians.” We have dramatically improved our internal capabilities. There are so many change imperatives and initiatives that our folks have had to embrace and through this process our phyisicans have learned that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” When physicians develop answers together, they build solutions even as they strengthen their own relationships amongst each other. They believe in the objective because they own it.  The ability to execute becomes exponentially greater when you have a strong bond of trust in a common culture, with a common way of approaching challenges and opportunities.

There is no gamesmanship.  Our physicians are extremely comfortable expressing their concerns. We focus not on blame, but on the outcome.    We have a familial and supportive culture that is, in many ways, the antithesis of the Fortune 500 model of competition.  We focus on the long term objective.  Our default mode is collaboration and that’s the most powerful type of alignment.

What business impact do you get from this investment in physician leadership?
Physician leadership has allowed us to make strategic moves that required extraordinary courage.  We have been bold enough to do things that otherwise might appear unattainable.  We have made these changes very rapidly, without the typical emotional stress that such changes cause. We have added many physicians to the organization, and the physician leadership institute is a mentor to them, helping them grow in our culture, nurturing the next generation of leadership. That is one of our cultural differentiators. Our physicians make the organization better for the future.

The result is that we have been successful in implementing lean process improvement through a holistic way of looking at healthcare – population health management.

Our job is to serve the entire population in such a way that we prevent complications before they occur.  We do the right thing by focusing on the patient.   To help keep the patient healthy, we implemented health coaches. We make sure our high risk patients are compliant with their medications and their follow-up visits.  With our healthcare coaches following up with their panel of patients routinely, we are making a difference in our patients lives and reducing the cost of care.

What advice do you have for other healthcare executives as they face the organizational challenges of the future?
A few points: 1) Embrace change with courage, and 2) develop leaders who take individual responsibility in a team atmosphere.  3) Administrators must work for the physicians and the patients.   4) Select your physicians and care givers carefully to make sure they will thrive in your collaborative culture, and finally, 5) Instill a heightened sense of stewardship and ownership of the process amongst the physicians and care givers.

The Physician Leader’s Tools for Transformation

Many physician leaders are learning that change initiatives exact a heavy toll— both human and economic. But what does a leader do?

Why is it so hard to get employees’ cooperation on change initiatives? And why is it that 70% of all change initiatives fail?

 In his classic article “The Tools of Cooperation and Change“ Professor Clayton Christensen and his colleagues too many leaders use the wrong change tools at the wrong time—wasting energy and risking their credibility.  Their suggestion?  Know how to use the right change tools at the right time. Here’s how: (1) Find out how strongly your employees agree on two dimensions  (a) where they want to go and (b) how to get there, and 2) Select tools based on the nature of employees’ agreement. The model below illustrates the degree to which employees agree on these two dimensions: what they want out of working at the company and cause and effect, or how to achieve what they want.

Depending on the degree of organizational consensus, four scenarios emerge, each with a specific choice of “tools” that leaders have at their disposal.

Scenario #1: If employees agree on goals but disagree on how to achieve them, use leadership tools: vision, charisma, salesmanship, and role modeling.

Scenario #2: If employees disagree on both goals and how to get there, use power tools: threats, hiring and promotion, control sys- tems, and coercion.

Scenario #3: If employees agree on both goals and how to get there, use culture tools to counter complacence. In particular, use “disaggregation” (separating the organization into entities that each have their own agreed-upon goals and plans for achieving them) to disrupt high-level agreement about goals and methods that could otherwise preserve the status quo.

Scenario #4: If employees disagree on goals but agree on how work should be done, use management tools: measurement systems, standard operating procedures, and training.

In the previous blog post, we saw how Professor Christensen was advocating the use of power tools in healthcare organizations, because he does not believe doctors, hospitals and insurance executives will embrace necessary changes until those changes are imposed upon them.

In our work at the Physician Leadership Institute, we believe senior executives must move their organizational narratives from uncertainty to a shared purpose.  While “power tools” work to produce quick change, they are not sustainable.  In fact, the use of power tools actually hurts the process of building a resilient culture.

The job of the leader is to create the transformational narrative and cajole and convince the organization to follow.  In effect, the job is culture-building.  

How do you build a resilient culture?

Research shows that leadership almost always requires consideration of both analytical tasks and relationships, therefore we suspect that the greater ability a leader has to switch between these two modes of reasoning the more effective they will be as a leader.  That is why our Physician Leadership Institute helps organizations build this culture through continuous coaching over a period of time. It’s a matter of changing our minds – literally.  We coach at three separate levels:

Individual Leadership Coaching: This is an individual one-on-one coaching focused on helping the individual with their leadership strategy and development areas identified in the 360 and other assessment. The coach would help the physician with their own individual development plan and on a biweekly frequency works with him/her on tangible actions to change their leadership behaviors. One coach per participant This is the ultimate transformation and accountability as it is done one-on-one.

Project Coaching: Group coaching focused on helping the group solve the assigned problem and guiding them through project, team dynamic, and stakeholders buy-in. That happens ounce or twice a month as a group. One coach per project per team. This type of coaching drives accountability to deliver on the project commitments as well as teaches problem solving, project management and collaboration as a team.

Team Leadership Coaching: This is group coaching focused on helping the group with their leadership gaps identified in the 360 and other assessments. This happens ounce or twice a month but as as a group call and not individually. One coach per 6-9 people. This drives learning deeper and creates a shared experience as groups. Topics covered cover a wide range of leadership and team issues such as communication, collaboration, conflict, etc.

Leadership Delivery Model

 Learn more >>

Clayton Christensen: “US Healthcare Getting Sicker”

In a recent interview*, Clayton Christensen described the US  health care industry as “sick and getting sicker.”  Professor Christensen sees the Affordable Care Act as sound in helping move our country in the right direction, but he doubts its full potential can be achieved rapidly enough.

According to Christensen, here’s why:

1. Excessive  Administrative Overhead
“An increasing proportion of [health care] cost is spent on administrative and overhead activities that are not productive in any way. They exist because we assume every hospital should be able to do everything for everybody. But that’s not possible if we want quality and efficiency. Overhead creep is the result.” 
Christensen pointed to progress the British have made in improving outcomes while reducing the number of hospitalized patients: “…by focusing on a single thing, overhead costs can be very low.” In Christensen’s home-state of Massachusetts, the New England Baptist Medical Center does osteo-procedures for “about half the cost of everybody else.”

2. Perverse Payment Models 
Professor Christensen is critical of the current fee-for-service payment model. A patient is charged for every office visit, test or medical procedure. Thus insurance companies reward hospitals and doctors for quantity of services (regardless of whether the extra care adds any value). And what’s worse, in many medical situations, payers pay twice – first for an unnecessary procedure and second to treat any associated complications. Says Christensen: “Right now, the pricing process is disconnected and irrational. And if we don’t get it right, we can’t do anything else. We’re paralyzed.”  The result? When hospitals charge by the Band-Aid or aspirin, administrative and billing costs go through the ceiling. In fact, they may account for as much as 10 percent of the total health care expenditures. In the interview, Christensen thinks employers should stick it to the insurance companies. And insurance companies, in turn, need to demand more of doctors and hospitals. Employers should force insurance companies to move away from the fee-for-service payment model toward bundled payments or even full capitation – the latter involves insurers paying care providers a set amount for each enrolled person.

3. Employers Don’t Know How to Keep Employees Healthy
The challenge employers face in keeping or getting employees to embrace healthy lifestyles is solved by changing the approach. Today, employers assume their employees have skin in the game. “People don’t actually want to think about their own health and don’t take action until they are sick,” he said. “Yet employers are very motivated to get their employees healthy, since they bear most of the burden of their health care costs. In response, they spend thousands of dollars per employee each year trying to get them to be healthier with little to show for the investment. And as a result, many employers think they want to get totally out of the system of paying health care costs. That’s wrong too. We’re pushing the wrong levers.” His solution is for employers to create incentives for employees to exercise, manage their weight and get the preventive screening they need. In that way, they can reduce the burden of chronic illness and flatten the rate of health care inflation.

So what is to be done? What’s needed?

According to Professor Christensen, doctors, hospitals and insurance executives aren’t going to embrace necessary changes until those changes are imposed upon them. “That’s right, in these circumstances, democracy just doesn’t work.”

To get there, says Christensen, powerful leaders would need to consolidate volume in a small number of hospitals, which would result in other hospitals going out of existence. His solution demands that doctors and hospitals move from fee-for-service to being prepaid. And they need to take financial accountability when complications occur. It also requires employers to penalize employees who did not invest in their own health.

At the Physician Leadership Institute, we believe leaders must build consensus and a transformational narrative - the story of where the organization is going – and build a shared purpose that engages all stakeholders.  This is the only way forward. We’ll delve deeper into this for the next blog post.

Clayton Christensen: American Health Care Is Sick And Getting Sicker, Robert Pearl, M.D., Forbes

Warren Bennis: A Legacy of Leadership

The “father of leadership” Warren Bennis passed away last Thursday in Los Angeles at the age of 89.

He will be remembered as the leader of leaders. With nearly thirty books to his name, his influence and judgement guided some of the most successful leaders in the world today. He taught leadership as a liberal art at the University of Southern California for 35 years, promoting the idea that truly inspiring and powerful leadership lies in promoting openness and discussion, and allowing room for others to shine. He believed in valuing people, and his contributions to creating a more human and humane business world are the cornerstone of his legacy.

According to the New York Times, Professor Bennis believed in the adage that great leaders are not born but made, insisting that “the process of becoming a leader is similar, if not identical, to becoming a fully integrated human being,” he said in an interview in 2009.

A moving tribute from Dean James G. Ellis of the USC Marshall School of Business tells us about Bennis’ approach: “Warren once told me that he believed each person contained ‘many selves,’ and that the key to a successful life was to draw out our best selves and our best talents. Rather than focusing on our shortcomings, he focused on our capacities as individuals. This belief guided his work, his relationships and his life, and is one of the main reasons that he so deeply affected everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.”

Bennis himself observed that leadership cannot be taught, but it can be “caught.”  Bennis’ job was to spark the fire and watch as people all over the world caught the fire. We are all indebted to him in more ways than we can imagine.

Bennis’ influence spread far beyond the classroom.  Bill George discusses this in his tribute, as does Steve Denning in his.

For Bennis, all exemplary leaders have six competencies:

(1) They create a sense of mission
(2) They motivate others to join them on that mission
(3) They create an adaptive social architecture for their followers
(4) They generate trust and optimism
(5) They develop other leaders, and
(6) They get results.

Bennis also realized that the future of leadership is collaborativeThe study of leadership will be increasingly collaborative because it is precisely the kind of complex problem—like the genome—that can only be solved by many fine minds working together. (Leadership itself is likely to become increasingly collaborative. We already have a few examples in the corporate world of successful power sharing—the triumvirate at the top of the search engine Google is a good example. And other shared-power models will surely develop as the most creative organizations deal with the issue of leading groups in which the ostensible leader is neither more gifted nor less gifted than the led.) 

I’d like to close by going back to the New York Times:

In his influential book “On Becoming a Leader,” published in 1989, Professor Bennis wrote that a successful leader must first have a guiding vision of the task or mission to be accomplished and the strength to persist in the face of setbacks, even failure. Another requirement, he said, is “a very particular passion for a vocation, a profession, a course of action.”

“The leader who communicates passion gives hope and inspiration to other people,” he wrote.

Integrity, he said, is imperative: “The leader never lies to himself, especially about himself, knows his flaws as well as his assets, and deals with them directly.”

So, too, are curiosity and daring: “The leader wonders about everything, wants to learn as much as he can, is willing to take risks, experiment, try new things. He does not worry about failure but embraces errors, knowing he will learn from them.”

But Professor Bennis said he found such leadership largely missing in the late 20th century in all quarters of society — in business, politics, academia and the military. In “On Becoming a Leader,” he took aim at corporate leadership, finding it particularly ineffectual and tracing its failings in part to corporate corruption, extravagant executive compensation and an undue emphasis on quarterly earnings over long-term benefits, both for the business itself and society at large.

R.I.P. Warren Bennis.  You are missed already.

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