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Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge

Bennis, Warren and Burt Nanus. Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge. Second Edition. New York: HarperBusiness Essentials, 2003.

The main stem-winder, in all cases, is the leadership. The new leader … is one who commits people to action, who converts followers into leaders, and who may convert leaders into agents of change. We refer to this as “transformative leadership”….

Books on leadership are often as majestically useless as they are pretentious.

…all organizations depend on the existence of shared meanings and interpretations of reality, which facilitate coordinated action. The actions and symbols of leadership frame and mobilize meaning. Leaders articulate and define what has previously remained implicit or unsaid; then they invent images, metaphors, and models that provide a focus for new attention. By so doing, they consolidate or challenge prevailing wisdom.

The distinctive role of leadership is the quest for “know-why” ahead of “know-how.” …