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I Want Your Resignations!

Have you ever been asked to resign from a position? Usually by the time an employee or worker is asked to tender a resignation it means that those in authority have given up on trying to maintain a beneficial working relationship with that person. Management has abandoned all hope in the relationship. When asked to resign, an individual’s typical response is either to submit an oral or written resignation, or ask to be fired. In either situation the atmosphere is usually unpleasant and is characterized by a feeling of inevitable loss. Read More >

J. Howard Baker Articles

Where Have All the Followers Gone?

One Leader’s Perspective

In last month’s article entitled “Where Have All the Leaders Gone”, I discussed whether we really have a modern scarcity of leadership. My conclusion is that we don’t. Thankfully, leadership is still with us today in a vast array of organizations and families. It is not as prominent or recognized as in the past for many reasons. But there certainly is a gaping dilemma in many segments of our society. Read More >

Greg L.Thomas Articles

How to Groom the Leaders of the Future

For management writer Peter Drucker, leadership is having followers who “do the right thing”. For political historian James MacGregor Burns, leadership is a “calling”. For US president Abraham Lincoln, leadership is appealing to the “better angels of our nature”. Leadership is also a matter of making a difference. It entails changing a failed strategy or revamping a languishing organisation. It requires us to make an active choice among many plausible alternatives, and it depends on bringing others along, on mobilising them to get the job done. Read More >

Michael Useem Articles
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College Students as Emerging Servant Leaders: A Collaboration between Columbus State University, Synovus, and Others

Our colleges and universities administer an “anti-leadership vaccine,” according to John Gardner (Greenleaf, 1969).  Robert Greenleaf, the father of servant leadership, agrees and adds that we have the misfortune to live in the age of the anti-leader. We’ve done a good job of educating cynics, critics and experts—the technical specialist who advises the leader or the intellectual who stands off and criticizes the leader, but no one wants to educate the leader himself  (Greenleaf, 1969).   And yet the leadership crisis looms.  “We give every appearance of sleep-walking through a dangerous passage of history,” writes Gardner (1990); “we see the life-threatening problems, but we do not react.  We are anxious but immobilized.” Read More >

Mary Sue Polleys, Ph.D. Articles
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This Is Heart Science

Homer Hickam probably isn’t a name very many will recognize, but early in his life he knew what he loved and wanted for a career. He wanted to be a rocket scientist. Mr. Hickman is the author of many books including Rocket Boys, the memoir about his boyhood adventures building rockets and growing up in the mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia 1.  Rocket Boys was made into an award-winning 1999 motion picture titled October Sky.  The author had a boyhood dream of becoming a rocket scientist, and eventually became an engineer at NASA.  What he did for a living was real rocket science!

Read More >

J. Howard Baker Articles
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Leadership Lessons From the Life of Thomas Jefferson

One Leader’s Perspective

The greatest complement I have ever read was directed toward Thomas Jefferson. President John F. Kennedy was speaking at a White House dinner given to honor Nobel Prize winners throughout the Western Hemisphere. Kennedy looked out over the distinguished guests and stated that they were “the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” Read More >

Greg L.Thomas Articles
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Is Servant Leadership Part of Your Worldview?

Leadership is about the way you perceive and treat yourself and how you perceive and treat others. Personal leadership involves the former; social and organizational leadership involves the latter. The two are interrelated.

 

Each of us has a unique, complex “thinking system” which has developed since birth. This complex system is believed to actually be a composite of several more fundamental thinking systems layered one on top of the other. Our “worldview” is the totality of our conception of what this complex, fragmented world is like. Our worldview is a composite of our cognitive style, genetic makeup, memory, mental models or paradigms, assumptions, vision of the future, and the fusion of factual and value premises. Our personal worldview plays a major role in determining outcomes in our personal lives. Our collective worldview plays a major role in determining outcomes in our organizations and institutions. This is often described as the “See-Do-Get” cycle. How we “see the world” determines “what we do,” and “what we do” determines “what we get” as an outcome. Read More >

Dr. J. Howard Baker Articles
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The Time To Cross a River is Before It Gets Too Wide

One Leader’s Perspective

I am fortunate to live in the great state of Ohio. Anyone who has traveled the state or studied geography knows that much of this beautiful land is encircled by the Ohio River. This majestic river is formed by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers at Pittsburgh, it flows northwest out of Pennsylvania, then in a southwesterly direction to join the Mississippi River at Cairo, Illinois, after an expansive course of 981 miles. It marks several state boundaries including Ohio-West Virginia, Ohio-Kentucky, Indiana-Kentucky, and Illinois-Kentucky. The Ohio River contributes more water to the Mississippi than does any other tributary and drains an area of 203,900 square miles. The river’s valley is narrow, with an average width of less than 1/2 mile between Pittsburgh and Wheeling (W.Va.), a little more than 1 wide mile from Cincinnati (Ohio) to Louisville (Ky.) and somewhat greater in width below Louisville.

 

Geographically, the river starts out rather narrow and continues to widen on its grand journey toward the great Mississippi River. Hundreds of years ago members of the Erie Indian tribe traveled this part of the present United States. I am sure their journeys often required them to cross the Ohio River. They must have discovered something that is important for leaders to remember even today. The time to cross a river is before it gets too wide. Read More >

Greg L.Thomas Articles
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Driving Change in Business Today

America’s businesses are comprised of diverse individuals. However, these employees share most of the same basic cultural and societal influences. These influences strongly determine the qualities and type of leadership found within these organizations. This also includes a cultural acceptance, or resistance toward risk-taking and boldness. I will discuss and show some of the reasons that America’s businesses increasingly find themselves incapable of embracing major change. Read More >

Fred Weiss Articles
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Personal Leadership and the Importance of Vision

Perhaps the most important quality that sets a leader apart from a mere manager is the ability to construct and articulate a vision. Leaders use vision to establish and interpret a hopeful image of the future. This visual picture must be persuasive, attractive and desirable to everyone on the team. Read More >

Greg L.Thomas Articles
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