Leadership LO11336

Rol Fessenden (76234.3636@CompuServe.COM)
09 Dec 96 22:51:53 EST

Replying to LO11318 --

Michael has some very interesting points to make about the role of

First, I have use "to lead" as an active verb that has only to do with
self-expression and courage. .... I find it is a sad missing in the
above sense - formal leaders who lack courage and originality or even
apparent "being" in their formal position.

Leaders need..." To support the incredibly important ability of
indpendent, intelligent beings to use that intelligence to forward common
but remote ends where the appropriate action is not obvious. "

== end quotes ==

What Michael says makes a lot of sense to me as a practitioner. Good
leaders have the following capacities. First they have a view point, a
perspective, a mental model or image, of an imaginary world that does not
yet exist, could be achieved, and has some appealing characteristics to
the organization. Second, they can communicate that mental model in
imagery that appeals to and motivates others to achieve that imaginary
world. Third, once people begin to take action toward that world, the
leader provides gratification, recognition, reassurance (when things go
wrong), and other emotional support that makes people feel like integral
parts of the effort. "Belonging".

The critical task is to communicate the imaginary world in ways that
appeal to some innate sense of 'rightness' in us. Surpassing a billion
dollars will not do it. Achieving x ROE will not do it. 11% return on
sales will not do it. Certain kinds of customer service will do it. But
the key is not just to have a vision, but to communicate it to some common
denominator in most people. In a long-ago series, I referred to this
common denominator as a 'self-evident truth'. There obviously is
something like this, because some goals can resonate with people while
others can not. The best leaders can identify and communicate those


Rol Fessenden
LL Bean, Inc


Rol Fessenden <76234.3636@CompuServe.COM>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>