Notes from ‘On Becoming A Leader’ by Warren Bennis – Chapter 5

  • Don’t try to condense a complex problem to bumper sticker solutions.
  • Seek simplicity, then distrust it.
  • Example is the need to support the existing structure, BUT also the need to change it.
  • A part of whole brain thinking includes learning to trust what Emerson calls the “blessed impulse”, the hunch, the vision that shows you in a flash the absolutely right thing to do. Everyone has these visions; leaders trust them.
  • Entrepreneurs are the artists of the business world as they put things together that haven’t been so in the past.
  • Have character so people will trust you.
  • Find areas where you have good instincts.
  • Find out what’s truest in yourself and stick to it. Machiavelli said fortune favors the bold. A prepared mind is the same as being bold.
  • Once you have the ideas, you need to trust them even if they break some rules. Then it’s the confidence and courage to carry out the ideas once you’ve found them and once you’ve trusted them. Then you can’t be afraid to fail… Real leadership probably has more to do with recognizing your own uniqueness then it does of identifying your similarities with other leaders.
  • Leaders need self-confidence, vision, virtue, plain guts, and relies on the blessed impulse.
  • No leader sets out to be a leader. People set out to live their lives, expressing themselves fully. When that expression is of ozles (IMG_0326, pg 5.5), they become leaders.
  • Strike hard, try everything, do everything, render (IMG_0326, pg 5.5) everything and become the person you are capable of being.
  • The point is NOT to become a leader. The point is to become yourself, to use yourself completely- all your skills, gifts and energies- in order to make your vision manifest. You MUST withhold NOTHING. You must, in sum, become the person you started out to be, and enjoy the process of becoming.

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