At the start of the Millennium, our research was driven by this single, simple question. It had an impact. Audiences throughout the world paused for thought. Rooms fell silent as people pondered their right to lead. An article in the Harvard Business Review with the question as its title drew a flood of communication and launched us on a five-year journey.
Since then, we have talked to hundreds of leaders and their followers within the business world and beyond – from CEOs of multinational corporations to teachers and nurses. What we learned is that to be a leader, you need vision, purpose and energy. But, to be a great leader you need to understand your differences – your strengths and weaknesses – and, crucially, how to adapt these qualities to context.
This is a book whose genesis was driven by a question, but it is one whose fruition, we believe, provides real answers to the leadership dilemmas we face. If you are serious about leadership, don’t try to be someone else: Be yourself – more – with skill.
The Leadership Work-Out
Organizations want more leadership, more initiative. But leadership isn’t easy. It requires focus and practice. Why Should Anyone Be Led by YOU? provides managers at all levels with the opportunity to challenge themselves: to step up and to embrace the challenges of leading others to exceptional performance and delivering exceptional business results.
Leaders experience a real work-out — a demanding, intense session with a demanding coach — one that delivers results. They make progress on critical business challenges through a series of feedback, peer coaching, and group discussions. The outcome: An actionable plan that will make a difference to their success – and their organization’s.
Great Leadership Excites People to Exceptional Performance
Successful leaders modify their behavior to respond to the needs of their followers and the circumstances they encounter – while simultaneously remaining true to who they are. They produce results by being crystal clear on their unique differentiators and by addressing the four critical needs of their followers:
Community: Followers long for a sense of belonging, to feel part of something bigger. Leaders must help them connect to others (not just to the leaders themselves) as well as to the overarching purpose of the organization.
Authenticity: Followers choose to be led by humans not titles or credentials. Leaders must be able to identify and deploy their personal differences, foibles, and strengths to inspire employees to apply their energy and talents.
Significance: Followers want to believe their efforts matter. Leaders need to recognize contributions in a meaningful way, with highly personalized feedback.
Excitement: Followers need a spark to trigger their exceptional performance. Leaders who articulate their own passion, values, and vision provide the energy and enthusiasm employees hunger for.
In this marvelous book, Professors Goffee and Jones have demystified the magic of great leadership. – Richard Boyatzis, Author of Resonant Leadership.