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Introduction and Acknowledgments
Organization of This Book
About the Editor
Part One: Framing the Issues: What Is Leadership?
Editor’s Interlude
Chapter One: What Leaders Really Do
The Difference Between Management and Leadership
Creating a Culture of Leadership
Chapter Two: Primal Leadership: The Hidden Power of Emotional Intelligence
The Primal Dimension
The Open Loop
Contagion and Leadership
How Moods Impact Results
Emotional Hijacking
Good Moods, Good Work
Quantifying the “Feel” of a Company
Chapter Three: The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership
Leadership Is a Relationship
The Ten Commitments of Leadership
Chapter Four: Reframing Leadership
Reframing Leadership
Chapter Five: When Leadership Is an Organizational Trait
Using Leadership Data as an Objective Focus for Change
Building Organizational Coherence and Agility
A Distinction with Consequences
The Role of Enabling Systems
Different in Countless Ways
High LQ: the Moral Equivalent of Individual Leadership
Lessons for the Next Generation of Leaders
Part Two: Becoming a Leader, Preparing for the Opportunities
Editor’s Interlude
Chapter Six: The Seven Ages of the Leader
The Infant Executive
The Schoolboy, with Shining Face
The Lover, with a Woeful Ballad
The Bearded Soldier
The General, Full of Wise Saws
The Statesman, with Spectacles on Nose
The Sage, Second Childishness
Chapter Seven: The Traces of Talent
Chapter Eight: Leadership Is Authenticity, Not Style
The Authentic Leader
Being Your Own Person
Developing Your Unique Leadership Style
Being Aware of Your Weaknesses
The Temptations of Leadership
Dimensions of Authentic Leaders
Chapter Nine: Thinking Gray and Free
Chapter Ten: Enhancing the Psycho-Spiritual Development of Leaders: Lessons from Leadership
Journeys in Asia
Leadership Journeys
Psycho-Spiritual Dimensions of Leadership Development
Reflections on the Journeys
Lessons on Leadership Journeys
Cultivating a Leadership Philosophy
Chapter Eleven: Moments of Greatness: Entering the Fundamental State of Leadership
Defining the Fundamental State
Preparing for the Fundamental State
Asking Four Transformative Questions
Applying the Fundamental Principles
Inspiring Others to High Performance
Part Three: Understanding the Territory, Anticipating the Challenges
Editor’s Interlude
Chapter Twelve: Making Sense of Organizations: Leadership, Frames, and Everyday Theories of
the Situation
Sense Making and Everyday Theory Building
Sorting Complexity: Leveraging the Pluralism in Organizational Theory
A Four-Dimensional Diagnostic Model: Issues, Choice Points, and Areas of Focus
Central Frame Tensions
Reframing: Using and Teaching Reflection and Cognitive Elasticity
Being a Generalist and a Specialist
Chapter Thirteen: Leadership and the Power of Position: Understanding Structural Dynamics in
Everyday Organizational Life
On Automatic Pilot: Seeing Systems as They Are
The Vision: Robust Human Systems
Moving from Reflexive to Robust
Chapter Fourteen: The Boundaryless Organization: Rising to the Challenges of Global
Boundaryless Behavior: The Art of the Fluid
A Changing Paradigm for Organizational Success
Out with the Old—In with the New
The Giant and the Upstart
Four Boundaries
Permeability in Action
Get Ready for Resistance
Making It Happen
Chapter Fifteen: Knowledge Management Involves Neither Knowledge nor Management
Why Knowledge Management Doesn’t Work
How Knowledge Management Can Work
Chapter Sixteen: The Sustainability Sweet Spot: Where Profit Meets the Common Good
A Map to the Sweet Spot
“Prove It!”
Three Ways Sustainability Enhances Your Business
Additional Business Benefits of Sustainability
Hard Cases
Final Thoughts
Chapter Seventeen: Leading Geeks: Technology and Leadership
Understanding Geeks
Why Geek Leadership Is Different
What Is Geek Leadership?
Summary: Key Ideas
Chapter Eighteen: Leading in Black and White: Working Effectively Across the Racial Divide
The Assumption of Similarity
The Effect of Miasma
Adding It All Up
What Colleagues Need to Know
Chapter Nineteen: Managing Middlescence
The Problems
Six Strategies for Revitalizing Careers
Rekindle Now
Part Four: Making It Happen
Editor’s Interlude
Chapter Twenty: The First Ninety Days of Leadership
Fundamental Propositions
Success Strategies for New Leaders
Chapter Twenty-One: What Is Our Mission?
It Should Fit on a T-Shirt
Why Does the Organization Exist?
Make Principled Decisions
Chapter Twenty-Two: The Power and Creativity of a Transforming Vision
The Transforming Vision
Chapter Twenty-Three: Finding the Right Vision
Properties of a Good Vision
What Vision Is Not
Where Vision Comes From
Getting Started
Chapter Twenty-Four: Developing Strategy: The Serious Business of Play
Linking Play, Leadership Development, and Strategizing
Comparing Serious Playing and Traditional Strategizing
Benefits of Playing with Serious Intent
How to Play Seriously and the Role of Leadership in Play
Chapter Twenty-Five: The Leader as Politician: Navigating the Political Terrain
Agenda Setting
Mapping the Political Terrain
Networking and Building Coalitions
Bargaining and Negotiation
Morality and Politics
Chapter Twenty-Six: Want Collaboration? Accept—and Actively Manage—Conflict
Strategies for Managing Disagreements at the Point of Conflict
Strategies for Managing Conflict upon Escalation
Tapping the Learning Latent in Conflict
Chapter Twenty-Seven: Creating and Managing a Learning Culture: The Essence of Leadership
What Might a Learning Culture Look Like
The Evolving Role of a Learning Leader
Becoming a Learning Leader
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail
Error #1: Not Establishing a Great Enough Sense of Urgency
Error #2: Not Creating a Powerful Enough Guiding Coalition
Error #3: Lacking a Vision
Error #4: Undercommunicating the Vision by a Factor of Ten
Error #5: Not Removing Obstacles to the New Vision
Error #6: Not Systematically Planning For and Creating Short-Term Wins
Error #7: Declaring Victory Too Soon
Error #8: Not Anchoring Changes in the Corporation’s Culture
Chapter Twenty-Nine: Leading at the Enterprise Level
The Enterprise Leader’s Job
An Unnatural Act
Overcoming the Obstacles
Bridging the Strategy-Capabilities Gap
Chapter Thirty: The Leader as Toxin Handler: Organizational Hero and Casualty
What Toxin Handlers Do
Filling a Need
The Toll of Toxin Handling
Handling Toxin Handlers
Making Toxin Handlers Obsolete
In Good Company
Chapter Thirty-One: Bad Leadership—and Ways to Avoid It
The Heart of Darkness: Seeing It, Avoiding It
Leaders: Self-Help
Followers: Working with Others
Chapter Thirty-Two: Good or Not Bad: Standards and Ethics in Managing Change
Managing Change Requires Fixed Points
Ethics as an Insufficient Fixed Point
Virtuousness as a Supplemental Fixed Point
Part Five: Sustaining the Leader
Editor’s Interlude
Chapter Thirty-Three: A Survival Guide for Leaders
A Hostile Environment
The Dangers Within
Why Lead?
Chapter Thirty-Four: Preserving Integrity, Profitability, and Soul
Soul Searching
How Much Is Enough?
Finding Common Ground
Accounting for the Good
Closing Thoughts: From Success to Significance
Chapter Thirty-Five: Learning for Leadership: Failure as a Second Chance
Ways to Create a New Identity
Example of Adversity as a Spur to Learning
The Value of Failure
Chapter Thirty-Six: Nourishing the Soul of the Leader: Inner Growth Matters
Spiritually Inspired Leadership: The Good Company
In Closing: A Caveat About Tensions Between Religion and Spirituality
Chapter Thirty-Seven: Choose Hope: On Creating a Hopeful Future
End User License Agreement
List of Illustrations
Figure 17.1. The Context of Geek Leadership.
Figure 17.2. The Context of Geek Leadership.
Figure 17.3. The Context of Traditional Leadership.
List of Tables
Table 12.1. A Four-Frame Approach to Understanding Organizations.
Table 12.2. Frame-Related Issues and Areas of Focus.
Table 12.3. Frame-Related Central Tensions.
Table 24.1. Characteristics of Strategizing Approaches.
List of Exhibits
Exhibit 3.1. The Five Practices and the Ten Commitments of Leadership.
Exhibit 13.1. A Leader’s Guide for System Change.
Exhibit 19.1. Sources of Frustration.
Exhibit 19.2. Avoiding Midcareer Crisis.
Exhibit 35.1. Thirteen Common Passages.
Business Leadership
A Jossey-Bass Reader
Second Edition
Joan V. Gallos
Foreword by Ronald A. Heifetz
Copyright © 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Published by Jossey-Bass
A Wiley Imprint
989 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103-1741—
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,
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fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, 978-750-8400, fax 978-646-8600, or on the Web at Requests to the publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons,
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Readers should be aware that Internet Web sites offered as citations and/or sources for further information may have changed or
disappeared between the time this was written and when it is read.
Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and author have used their best efforts in preparing this book, they make no
representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied
warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or
written sales materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. Y ou should consult with a
professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages,
including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.
Jossey-Bass books and products are available through most bookstores. To contact Jossey-Bass directly call our Customer Care Department
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Jossey-Bass also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic
Credits are on page 595
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Business leadership: a Jossey-Bass reader / Joan V. Gallos, editor.—2nd ed.
p. cm.— (The Jossey-Bass business & management series)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-7879-8819-7 (pbk.)
1. Leadership. 2. Management. I. Gallos, Joan V.
HD57.7.B875 2008
The Jossey-Bass
Business & Management Seriess
For Christopher John Gallos Bolman and Bradley Garrison Bolman—Reach high, my sons, for stars
lie hidden in your souls
The demands of change have always challenged collective enterprise. People have faced new pressures
and opportunities from the beginning of time, and many of our current ways of doing business are
practices that have evolved in response to the adaptive challenges of their day. With change a constant
in today’s global business environment, adaptability remains critical for sustained success.
For nearly four million years our early ancestors lived in small bands that foraged for food. They
developed ever increasing sophistication in the design of tools and strategies for hunting and
movement; and their physical capacities grew through evolutionary change. About twelve thousand
years ago people learned to domesticate plants and animals, and new abilities to store food allowed and
required sustained settlements. Large numbers of people living together brought new needs for
governing organizations and communities. These in turn were met by drawing on the small-group
authority relationships that had worked so well before, now amended for greater complexity to fit the
differing contexts of military command, civil governance, and commercial organizations.1 Drawing on
what anthropologists have identified as a capacity to internalize the wisdom of elders, our ancestors
went on to form cultures with self-sustaining norms that required minimal reinforcement by
This process of adaptation to new possibilities and challenges has continued over the course of written
history, with growth and variation in the scope, structure, governance, strategy, and coordination of
political and commercial enterprises. So has the evolution of our understandings of leadership.
Leadership is the process of mobilizing progress—fostering people’s adaptive capacities to tackle tough
problems and thrive.3 The concept of thriving is drawn from evolutionary biology, in which a
successful adaptation accomplishes three tasks. It preserves the accumulated wisdom of essential DNA;
discards DNA that no longer serves current needs; and innovates to develop the organism’s capacities
to flourish in new ways and in more challenging environments.4 Successful adaptations enable a living
system to take the best from its history into the future. They are both conservative and progressive.
When we anchor the concept of leadership in the work of progress—in resolving contradictions within
our cultural DNA or between our cultural DNA and the demands of our environment—we come to view
authority and power as tools, rather than as ends in themselves. Neither authority nor power defines
leadership, although both are central to its practice—and can, if misused, become significant
constraints. Too many individuals in positions of power today do not exercise much leadership, and we
need to understand more deeply how acquiring authority limits, not just enables, good leadership.
This volume reflects decades of work by multiple individuals to identify common principles of success
and the leadership that helps to generate it. Looking through various lenses we have come to
understand the workings of organizational adaptation in different ways, yet all appreciate how
businesses and communities can thrive in new and challenging contexts. In my work across sectors and
around the world, for example, I find that the logic of biological adaptation drawn from Darwin’s theory
of evolution provides insights into organizational and cultural adaptation. And I want to use six ideas as
a suggestive set of properties to frame this wonderful collection of chapters. Let me begin with the links
between leadership and change.
Leadership is about change, but not just any change. Many regressive and destructive actions generate
change, but we would not consider them acts of leadership. Take, for example, the assassinations of
Lincoln, Kennedy, King, Sadat, and Rabin. Or look at the daily murders and muggings that profoundly
change lives in communities around the world. These are society’s miscarriages. The change that we
intuitively associate with leadership is enabling. Changing environments and new dreams demand new
strategies and capacities and the leadership to mobilize them. As in evolution these new combinations
and variations allow organizations to thrive under challenging circumstances rather than perish,
regress, or contract. Our concepts of leadership, then, must wrestle with normative questions of value,
purpose, and process. What does thriving mean for businesses operating in any particular context?
In biology, thriving means propagating. But in business, mission, objectives, and method are more
complex. Thriving thus becomes a mix that includes short- and long-term shareholder value, quality of
service, employee morale, and social and environmental impact. Adaptive success in a cultural rather
than a Darwinian biological sense therefore requires business leadership that can orchestrate
conflicting priorities among legitimate stakeholders in order to clarify the stakes. Moreover, priorities
do not remain stable: they change as circumstances and contexts do. From this perspective, leadership
operates within a dynamic tension where essential priorities and bottom lines are less clear than many
initially imagine them to be.
Second, leadership is only partly about change. Most successful changes build on the past. They are
rarely the result of a zero-based, ahistorical, start-over stance, except perhaps as a deliberate exercise in
strategic rethinking. Most radical revolutions fail, and those that do succeed have more rather than less
in common with the heritage that preceded them. The American Revolution, for example, created a
political system and culture with deep roots in British and European cultures, systems, and thinking. In
biological evolution most core processes are conserved, and although the DNA that changes may
radically expand capacity, the actual amount of DNA that changes is very small. More than 98 percent
of our current DNA, for example, is the same as that of a chimpanzee: it took less than a 2 percent DNA
change to give humans dramatically greater capacity. The challenge for leadership, then, is to mobilize
people to distinguish that which is essential from that which is expendable in their heritage and to
innovate in ways that make efficient use of previous wisdom and know-how. Successful adaptations are
always more conservative than progressive. Leadership consists of anchoring change in values,
competencies, and strategic orientations that will endure.5
Third, innovation is an experimental activity, with more failure than success along the way.
Evolutionary adaptation and “learning” accumulate and consolidate these successes over time. Sexual
reproduction rapidly produces diversity, along with higher failure rates. As many as one-third of all
pregnancies spontaneously abort, usually within the first weeks of conception, because the embryo’s
genetic variation is too radical to support life—too much critical DNA is missing. Similarly in business,
Pfizer, for example, knows it must be willing to lose one billion dollars to find the next blockbuster
cardiovascular drug. In such an environment, leadership needs an experimental mind-set to meet the
adaptive pressures and opportunities of the marketplace. It must learn quickly from its actions and
respond accordingly, rather than rely heavily on traditional planning and top-down decision making. In
nature the tension between efficiency and creativity balances itself out. In the world of business those
who lead may never find a perfect balance. They must learn to operate comfortably within the dynamic
tension between efficiency and creativity and improvise as they go, buying time and resources along the
way for the next sets of experiments and lessons to be generated.
Fourth, evolution is about diversity. It operates like a fund manager, diversifying nature’s risk. Each
example of conception is a variant—an experiment—with capacities somewhat different from the norm.
By diversifying the gene pool, nature markedly increases the odds that some member of the population
will have the capacity to survive in a changing ecosystem. In contrast, cloning, the original mode of
reproduction, is extraordinarily efficient in generating high rates of propagation. It has, however,
limited degrees of variation and is therefore far less likely to generate innovations for thriving in new …
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