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Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Leadership Code


In this book, The Leadership Code: Five Rules to Lead By (Harvard Press), authors Dave Ulrich, Norm Smallwood and Kate Sweetman pull together what you might call the DNA of leadership. By surveying previous models and thought leaders in the field, they have done what I’ve always thought of doing but never have: Distilling leadership studies down to common areas of agreement to get at the core or code of leadership. My only criticism of the book is that in the introductory chapter the authors should have listed all the thought leaders they interviewed. They do list some of them in the acknowledgments section, and they are the true leaders of leadership: Richard Boyatzis, Marshall Goldsmith, John Katzenbach, Gary Hammel, Kouzes & Posner, and others.

By the way, there many excellent instruments in this book, and it’s supplemented by an online component (with great short videos) that extends the value of this read (www.leadershipcodebook.com ). In a nutshell, the Leadership Code is based on Time, Focus and Self. In particular the Code breaks into Five Rules of Leadership: 1) Shape the Future; 2) Make Things Happen; 3) Engage Today’s Talent; 4) Build the Next Generation; 5) Invest in Yourself.

This week, I’ll discuss each of these 5 Rules.

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