Friday, August 7, 2009

Session 6: David Gergen Eyewitness to Power

David Gergen
Book: Eyewitness to Power

  • Leadership is a journey, each one of us needs to take our own path… but people can help you along in your journey

  • A teacher of leadership cannot produce a leader, but you can make people aware of the principles of leadership and introduce them to role models

  • Can you create a culture within your organization to serve and lead each other?
    BH: How does a leader get better?

  • What are you doing to improve your leadership? We have to do it…

  • Reflective practice: Where you learn leadership is in the doing it and continually reading

  • Harry Truman only President that didn’t go to college but he worked to be self-educated…. Was one of the most educated Presidents in the 20th century

  • Not every reader is a leader, but every leader is a leader- Harry Truman

  • Leaders need to take time to reflect on what’s working , not working, digest, discuss

  • Leaders confuse motion with progress… doesn’t mean you’re leading well

  • Great leaders choose their big goals and go after them tenaciously…. And get feedback along the way…

  • What do you hope to accomplish in 6 weeks? After 6 weeks, reflect and evaluate how you did….

  • 1940 election, Roosevelt, rather than have meetings, he went fishing… It gave him time to think… Out of it he came up with Lend/Lease plan for World War 2…

  • Our best leaders have enough self confidence to take time away to think, reflect, and clear their heads…
    Most Admirable qualities of:

  • Richard Nixon- Best strategist, could look into the future 20-30 years… someone who can look farther back can look farther ahead… Understanding the past opens up the future
    Weakness: There were people that appealed to his bright and dark side…. Nixon had demons he could not control that eventually brought him down….

  • Gerald Ford- Most decent President, can you be too decent and not effective leader? Nice guys don’t finish last… We seem to prize people who are decent because they are so rare…. Ford looks better and better as we look back on history
    Weakness: A little naïve, sometimes people took advantage of him.

  • Ronald Reagan- Best leader in the White House since Roosevelt… very principled, contagious optimism on life…. If you’re around leaders like that…. “We can make it…” …. It’s exciting to be part of…
    Weakness: Detachment, sometimes let others put their hands on the wheel… if he had a good team all was well…. His second team wasn’t so strong… Don’t entrust to a mediocre team…

  • Bill Clinton- Quick mind, tactical…. Would pick up a NY Times crossword puzzle in the middle of conversations… Was resilient… Always willing to get back up… He’s back…
    Weakness: Cracks in his character… he should have come clean and asked for forgiveness … he should have been straight with the American people

  • “Sometimes the right hand does not know what the far right hand is doing”- Ronald Reagan

  • “Moses came down from the mountain with the 10 commandments, CNN now here with the top 3”

  • Great leaders with flaws…. Maturity is coming to grips with your flaws and being self-aware… We need to be realistic that your flaws can’t “derail” you…. Kept in check…. Expectations on leaders can unrealistic

  • Martin Luther King was a great moral leader but had a chaotic private life… How do we reconcile? However, he never claimed to be a saint… he was trying to be better….

  • We should be more forgiving about people…. Press should be tougher on people in their public lives but less invasive in people’s private lives…

  • Leadership does not need to be lonely. The days of the Lone Ranger are over… Great leaders should be engaged with a great team of other leaders… Leaders should be collaborating with other leaders outside their group… “We build things together”

  • If you want to go fast…go alone, if you want to go far…. Go together

  • Leadership is working with others to achieve shared goals…. It’s increasingly about trust and communication.

  • Symbols matter to people. “V” for victory – Churchill

  • Speakers... Who the speaker is speaks as loudly as anything they say... listeners are trying to figure out who matters and who they should be listening to... are they being straight with me?

  • Aristotle understood public speaking, 3 elements: ethos (personality, believability) logos (logic of what is being said) pathos (ability to appeal to emotion)

  • Great speeches should be 15-20 minutes... only about 25% of the audience is still paying attention after 30 minutes...

  • Should be a rhythm to a speech, appealing to emotion with a call to action

  • Personal habits of leaders: self discipline, regular habits, physically fit helps...leadership can be grueling, reflection time in your day, time in your day with people you cherish

  • People in loving relationships at age 50 tend to live longer

  • What DG hopes for from a church: Find inner peace/quiet, not about you but something Larger, wants to learn something from pastor or reading, and an anchor in life

  • Whether your a Christian, Jew, Muslim... spiritual make-up helps you find your moral compass in your leadership

Take time to reflect. It's about a building a team.

No comments: