Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ready to Lead? Alan Price

Have my hands on no less than 6 books now. All unfinished! Blame it on the temptation to read all books all at once. But picked up one more book - this one fortunately a quick-read - at the library and breezed through it in a few hours. Feel good about having finished at least one book the way it should be.

The book - Ready to lead? By Alan Price (Harvard Univ.) Alan passes on his knowledge of leadership through a story. Context and all. (KM way of passing on knowledge…eh?) What else one would expect someone from Harvard to do, eh? (Aside remark: Lots of such books coming up now though the Indian Epics got the message ages ago!) ;)

Here’s what I would like to remember. This is my rendering (and interpretation) of the information in the book and not a verbatim reproduction of what the book says except when explicitly indicated to be so.

If one wants to be a leader, one ought to do the following things:

1. Ask oneself if one is ready to lead

2. Then, take some time till one is able to satisfactorily define what leadership in her own thoughts and words

3. (Bring the above into action, of course). Mentor others on leadership – develop other leaders. The development of leadership in others would have to be a customized individual-based process designed so as to suit individual needs

4. When you are capable of deciding what you want to do, it reflects is a higher level of leadership. If it’s not a problem solving situation that is - In such a situation, it is more about doing everything to directly resolve the problem. In other (fresh) situations, you set your own vision and then a vision for others

Some other tidbits:

þ Ask for advice before you do anything you are unsure of

þ The CEO of the organization for whom the central character in the book works, asks him to write down what he’s learned from the leadership building endeavour and share it with others (now, isn’t that too about KM?) J

Some nice definitions of leadership defined by the characters in the book: Verbatim

ñ Leadership is unleashing of human passion toward a goal. Management is the organizing of skills and resources toward a goal.

ñ Leadership is to develop a community of purpose. Management is to develop a community capable of purpose.

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