Leadership in Action

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1532-1088
Publications
Article
Mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances are supposed to create new, stronger organizations, but history shows that such combinations often fall far short of expectations. Cross-border integrations, such as those between Western and Eastern companies, are particularly difficult to manage. Here the CEOs of two multinational firms that have been there talk about the factors that set winning corporate combinations apart from the rest.
 
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Board of directors chairmen have a wide range of responsibilities important for organizational success. But recent research has found that practices of chairmanship and board dynamics differ around the world. What are the implications for organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia?
 
Article
Balance isn't an issue of time but of choice. It's about living your values by aligning your behavior with what you believe is really important. Achieving such alignment is much like any other developmental experience: the basic process involves assessment, challenge, and support.
 
Article
A method of learning dating to the 1950s is founded on the conviction that people learn best from their experience, but only if they can reflect critically on that experience. Action learning is a way to learn while doing; it balances the action of work with shared reflection among participants about what they are learning, both as individuals and as a team or group. The U.S. Postal Service recently engaged in a pilot project for developing leadership through action learning, and learned some lessons along the way.
 
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Finding a common ground for idea and action is a challenge as difficult as it is necessary, as satisfying as it is painful. It is a challenge that characterizes the work of the Center, at its beginning in 1970 and today.
 
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The ability to listen effectively is an essential component of leadership. But many leaders, often unknowingly, fall short in this area. By learning the skills and behaviors of active listening—the willingness and ability to hear and understand—leaders can become more effective.
 
Article
More and more companies seeking a systematic approach to leadership development are creating corporate universities. At least one company has instituted as an integral element of its corporate university the practice of having most of the programs taught by the organization's own leaders. So far the benefits–for the leaders, the program participants, and the organization–have been impressive.
 
Article
In today's business world the complexity and pace of change can be daunting. In this environment of rapid change, leaders are coming to recognize that they need to develop adaptability to be effective. The process of developing adaptability begins with learning and practicing three types of flexibility—cognitive, emotional, and dispositional.
 
Article
Teams in the modern organizational world are awash in change and confronted by continually shifting opportunities and threats. Those that do not learn and adapt are bound to fail. There are four general practices teams can engage in to ensure they are learning as they work: establishing a climate for learning, continually assessing team members' work together, working with a team coach, and managing knowledge effectively. The team leader plays a central role in all of these efforts.
 
Article
In today's turbulent business environment, being able to respond in a timely way to emerging threats and opportunities is crucial to an organization's survival and prosperity. An organization's effectiveness can be improved by leader decisions that facilitate innovation and adaptation.
 
Article
When surveying what has happened in executive selection from the early 1960s to the present day, one finds an interesting irony — almost a contradiction. On the one hand, a lot has been learned about the selection process. On the other hand, the selection of senior executives has not noticeably improved; it may have even deteriorated. In what follows I would like to look at three areas in which this situation is most apparent — executive search, personnel selection, and practice — and then say a few words about how I think this might be resolved.
 
Article
Warren Bennis, one of America's leading organizational theorists, talks about his own triumphs and failings, describing leadership in terms of adventure and exploration.
 
Article
Times of adversity often give rise to unpredictability, fear, anxiety, and loss of confidence. Such circumstances call for inspirational leadership, which gives employees the motivation, commitment, and productivity to take advantage of the opportunities lying on the other side of what seems to be a dark curtain of misfortune.
 
Article
In today's increasingly volatile and complex organizational environment, it's as important as ever for leaders to understand themselves. But it's no longer enough for them to be aware of their capabilities, motivations, styles, and values. Leaders now must also gain knowledge of their social identities—their membership in certain social groups defined by categories such as gender, race, and religion and the implications of belonging to these groups.
 
Article
Many leaders have become successful because of their operational skills. But today's business environment requires strategic leadership that is systemic, focused on the future, and oriented toward change. Leaders who can foster greater strategic clarity, make stronger connections between strategy and tactics, and broaden their own and others' perspectives will contribute to the enduring success of their organizations.
 
Article
Challenging job assignments are perhaps the most potent form of leader development. But what makes a job assignment challenging, and what specific types of assignments fit the bill? Here's a look at the five main sources of challenge in job assignments that help people become better leaders.
 
Article
When the issue of organizational politics is raised it almost always arouses a negative connotation. In order to lead, however, you must learn how to influence others effectively and must put aside the notion that all political activity in organizations is unethical. In fact, a leader's ability to understand organizational politics and build political skill is essential to his or her advancement.
 
Article
In today's rapidly changing and competitive business environment, organizations and their leaders must pay attention to an asset that is sometimes given short shrift—human capital, the skills and motivation of the organization's employees. Leaders at all levels can have a strong influence on human capital through a combination of relationsoriented behaviors and human resource management programs.
 
Article
Based on a Center study of executive learning, growth and change, this article looks at five assignment types that appear to be especially important in the development of successful managers. To be part of a forth-coming book co-authored by Morgan McCall and Ann Morrison of the Center.
 
Article
Despite efforts to increase diversity among companies' leaders, a phenomenon known as homophily—the tendency of individuals to like and associate with others who are similar to themselves—remains prevalent. Homophily can have serious implications for leaders and their organizations, jeopardizing morale and stifling innovation and strategic renewal.
 
Article
In an environment where organizations and their people are experiencing greater and faster change—often highly disruptive change—it's crucial that more emphasis be placed on identifying and developing executives who possess emotional intelligence skills in addition to the more traditional leadership competencies. Among other things, today's leaders need to manage the dynamic tension between a sense of urgency and realistic patience and between optimism and realism and openness.
 
Article
Women are increasingly becoming a part of management. What will it take for women to become executives? What factors will move them upward? What will keep them from succeeding? These were some of the questions the authors attempted to answer during a study of executive women. What follows is an excerpt from their forthcoming book.
 
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Bernard M. Bass, the distinguished professor emeritus of organizational behavior at the State University of New York at Binghamton, is a leading authority on the subject of transformational leadership, a term introduced in 1978 by leadership studies pioneer James McGregor Burns. Bass has researched and written extensively on transformational leadership and has worked closely with business, military, and educational organizations to incorporate transformational leadership principles into real-world settings.
 
Article
The modern business environment is wild, messy, and unpredictable. That's why the two operating frameworks that leaders have typically relied on—the caregiver and the analyst—are no longer enough. Two additional frameworks—the wizard and the warrior—can help leaders make sense of the political and symbolic predicaments that organizations face daily.
 
Article
In today's organizations, networking is essential to effective leadership. Leaders who are skilled networkers have access to the people, information, and resources needed to solve problems and create opportunities. Leaders who neglect their networks are missing out on a critical component of their role as leaders.
 
Article
A challenging, rewarding task for one person may be flooded with stress and anxiety for others. How one appraises self and situation makes all the difference. Aware of the link between stress and health and performance problems, managers are taking a closer look at that appraisal process.
 
Article
A challenging, rewarding task for one person may be flooded with stress and anxiety for others. How one appraises self and situation makes all the difference.
 
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The mantra that managers, to be effective, must be totally committed to work while disregarding their families and other aspects of their personal lives in order to be effective is coming into question. New research shows that attentiveness to family is tied to better performance at work.
 
Article
As leaders gain seniority, many of them view their days of being a mentee as behind them. They see mentoring as a developmental activity designed primarily to help new or emerging leaders. But mentoring can be a powerful tool for helping leaders at all levels grow and develop. Finding and working successfully with the right mentor requires commitment and following the correct steps.
 
Article
An increasing number of companies are embracing a business philosophy that pays attention not only to financial results but also to environmental and social issues. Such an agenda offers obvious benefits for the world but sizable challenges for leaders—although evidence suggests that their organizations will benefit as well. Here's a primer for leaders on how to approach sustainability.
 
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In addressing the many challenges of running a high-impact executive development program, organizations can now enlist the support of a powerful ally that has a vested interest in a strong executive cadre: the board of directors.
 
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More and more companies, especially in Europe, are shifting their myopic view of the financial bottom line to embrace an approach called corporate social responsibility, which proposes that companies' policies, practices, and decisions should take into account not only financial performance but also the social and environmental consequences of company activities. A recent study examined how boards of directors of companies around the world view CSR, which has gained such prominence that it is now firmly entrenched as a critical item on board agendas.
 
Top-cited authors
Charles J. Palus
  • Center for Creative Leadership
Patricia Ohlott
  • Alex'sLemonade Stand Foundation
Gary Yukl
  • University at Albany, The State University of New York
Joo-Seng Tan
  • Nanyang Technological University
John B. Mcguire
  • Center for Creative Leadership