Tag Archives: Skills

How to Become a Good Leader – Should You Learn Acting First?

It takes Warren Bennis 480 pages to describe leadership, compare it to acting, and tie together the three pathways to becoming a great leader.  Bennis, a UCLA management professor, has many stories to tell.

He points out that leaders have the ability to draw together a fragmented public, be it on the radio, television or in person.

Bennis quotes Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as he says, “Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” He cautions the reader not to assume these three paths get equal traffic.

Most leaders, he says, achieve greatness when a role requiring it is thrust upon them.  Bennis compares leadership with show business again when he says actors and directors may feel a role is too big for them. It is a feeling many leaders are familiar with. But the leader’s leap into the unknown and accepting the risk of failure, is the first step in becoming great.

Like great actors, great leaders create and sell an alternative vision of the world, a better one in which we are an essential part.  He says leadership may be “the greatest performing art of all, the only one that creates institutions of lasting value that can endure long after the stars who envisioned them have left the theater.”

The Essential Bennis by Warren Bennis and Patricia Ware Biederman, Jossey-Bass, 480 pages, April 2009.

Improve Your Communication Skills While Travelling and Meeting New People

Warning for Tourists

Warning for Tourists

I have been traveling quite a bit lately. I embrace these opportunities as there is always so much to  learn from people who live in different parts of the world – frugality and resourcefulness from citizens of countries that have to get by with much less than people in the U.S,  relaxed and easygoing attitude from a young man who lives in Brazil, efficient time management from German professionals and eloquence from British gentlemen.

I have witnessed different approaches to marketing and politics as well – pre-election Germany had a different feel than pre-election Estonia.  Overall, it looked like Europeans had taken a low key approach,
people and governments are tightening their belts.

Just like people in different countries have different needs, so do small businesses. Product and service customization as well as getting to know your customer are both equally important, or you’ll miss the mark.  We have so much to learn from each encounter with potential and current customers.