Great Leadership Isn’t About You by John Michel at Harvard Business Review on 22 August 2014.

An article that highlights that leadership is not about the leader, but rather the follower.  Using the story of General George Washington at Valley Forge to set the stage, the author provides four pieces of advice in going from being a good leader to becoming a great leader:

  • Listen to other people’s ideas, no matter how different they may be from your own (‘two heads are better than one’)
  • Embrace and promote a spirit of selfless service (servant leadership)
  • Ask great questions (get others to think about the challenge at hand)
  • Don’t fall prey to your own publicity (can take away from your objectivity and focus)

For me, I really like the first point.  As a general rule, I tend to read and pass on at least two to three articles for each one that I decide to bring forward to you – they may be more of a sales pitch, they may be too narrowly focussed on business, they may not apply in a Canadian context, etc.  Since VOCL has published over 250 article reviews, that means that I’ve looked at nearly 1,000 articles thus far.  Even though I may not feature them, each article has helped me broaden my perspectives on leadership from both global and uniquely Canadian perspectives.  It is my goal to have VOCL offer various perspectives on leadership, helping you fill out your leadership ‘toolbox’.

My favourite quote:

“…leadership, be it as a general in the military, an executive in the boardroom, a pastor serving a congregation, or a parent providing for a family, isn’t about exercising power over people, but rather, it’s about finding effective ways to work with people.”

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