Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Leadership:The Quiet Style

Is leadership all about charisma and inspiring people with great speeches and effective people’s skill?

Can you think of someone who can effectively play the role of a leader despite being quiet and low profile?

HBS professor Joseph L. Badaracco,In his book Leading Quietly: An Unorthodox Guide to Doing the Right Thing , describes what quiet leaders do and how they make their workplace, and their world, a better place. So who is a quiet leader?

They're not making high-stakes decisions. They're often not at the top of organizations. They don't have the spotlight and publicity on them. They think of themselves modestly; they often don't even think of themselves as leaders. But they are acting quietly, effectively, with political astuteness, to basically make things somewhat better, sometimes much better than they would otherwise be.

One really needs to think hard as we often confuse charisma with leader’s effectiveness. Robert Greenleaf’s concept of Servant leadership also says that the great leader is first experienced as a servant to others, and that this simple fact is central to the leader's greatness. True leadership emerges from those whose primary motivation is a deep desire to help others.

So being in spot light and control of situation does not always makes one a great leader. To some extent this is also what Jim Collins says about level 5 leadership : modest and willful, humble and fearless that’s what a leader is.

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