The Leader Within : Learning Enough About Yourself to Lead Others,
by Drea Zigarmi, Ken Blanchard, Michael O'Connor, Carl Edeburn. 

Hardcover: 288 pages.  Publisher: Financial Times Prentice Hall (August 26, 2004). ISBN: 0131470256. The first step toward becoming an extraordinary leader: Know Yourself.  The Leader Within will help you understand yourself better … so you can change, grow, and become powerfully more effective.  If you lead... if you intend to lead... if you work with leaders... you need this book. You need it to discover why self-change is your most urgent leadership challenge; your values, beliefs, and personality are driving your success -- or your failure -- even when you don't realize it.  You need it to discover how to lead brilliantly, in ways that reflect your own values and personality; connect in both group settings and one-to-one contexts; liberate personal traits and energies you never knew you had; rekindle your team's spirit -- and build stronger, more effective, more joyful organizations.  Liberate the outstanding leader inside you -- with The Leader Within.  [The following is what I highlighted during my read of this excellent book -- I recommend it on my Top-ten List of Peace resources.  My purpose in providing them is to interest you, the reader, and hope that you will obtain and read the complete work.  To properly understand the highlights, you need to read the book to put them in the proper context.]



… vision must be growthful … societal … contribute to well-being … eventual independence …

The term ‘servant leader’ might come to mind.

Such a leader ensures that other people’s high-priority needs are being served.


1. Leaders and Change

“A person who doesn’t know himself can do nothing for others.”  Eiji Yoshikawa

The Importance of Leadership

The Conundrum: If it is so important, why don’t more people lead others more effectively? … Lack of know-how and lack of commitment …

Two Examples … visionless, myopic, self-oriented …

Questions to Ponder … you must commit yourself to change and growth.

… task focused … people focused …

… not aware of the effect he is happening …

… lacks the will to change …

… create anger, fear, resentment, frustration, and flight … the loss …

The Abetting System

… poor leadership begets more poor leadership … human issues are not valued … take longer to “fix” …

… more competition than collaboration … short-term issues displace long-term future considerations.

Kissing Off The Organization

… people in organizations feel sad and dissociated from their organizations … don’t nurture their organization …

Too many employees seem to lead stressful organizational lives because they choose or are forced to abandon their personal beliefs, values and hopes “at the organization’s doorstep”.

The Leadership Vacuum

… the biggest competitive edge they have lies more in the people they lead and less in technology, capitalization, or market share.

… have a strong desire for power or wealth are in charge.

The process of natural selection reinforces a culture of “self”-oriented individuals.

… neither the sense nor desire ... that includes both a social vision and values for others …

There seems to be a profound lack of purposefulness, except to make it to the top.

… shaped by corporate culture, rather than shaping or changing the culture to emotionally ignite the minds and hearts of those who carry out the organization’s purpose.

They are followers who are promoted to leadership positions with no precedents for what leadership could be.

… interconnectedness and commonality of people.

… addicts … imbalanced system … dysfunctional …

They must … see their office as a social responsibility, a trust, a duty, and not as a symbol of their personal identity, prestige and lofty status.

The Covenant

Good leadership is about your outlook, your orientation, your character, and your inner thoughts and emotions.

Onions: The Layered Self – The Leadership Onion:

1.       core unconscious self

2.       dispositional layer

3.       values layer

4.       persona

5.       leadership skin or behavior

The values layer is your unique essence …

… constantly grow through introspection and reflection … loving tolerance … humble acceptance … patient acknowledgement … self-change.

The Challenge of Discomfort

Change … inherent in the process of leadership is the requirement that other people change and grow.

Changing Ourselves:

1.       people create their own reality

2.       people seem to cling to their realities because of fear of losing what they have, and

3.       people confine themselves to their present realities because they do not usually envision other alluring and functional realities

Creating Reality

Beliefs as the Basis of Reality

Language and Reality

Clinging to Accepted Realities … Reality is just something on which there is consensus …

Confining Yourself … conforming to accepted realities can be confining.

Fear and The Shadow Self … Often, what can and does happen, through a trained incapacity, is that you develop a less flexible self, a less understood self, and a less self-accepted person … it’s the failure to explore the fears that limit.

Me and My Shadow

Societies throughout history denied and controlled the shadow side by “projecting” or assigning that which is not socially or culturally acceptable to other groups or races.

… the socialization process serves a purpose.  Socialization prevents anarchy or self-oriented, indiscriminate, socially harmful behaviors that pander to the possible destructive side of every person.

… certain antisocial behaviors, such as murder, rape, theft, lying, and so on, should be labeled as undesirable, unacceptable, or unhealthy, and therefore should be prevented.

Masculine/Feminine Shadows … each individual, regardless of gender, possesses the capacity to learn these two sets of behaviors …

Fear – Your Emotional Brakes

It’s All Part of the Game … to grow means that you must believe people can and do change…

This book is based on our findings that most people can change.  People can and do change major patterns of behavior – with effort and education.

Alternative Realities and Behaviors

It is said that true insanity is repeating the same ineffective behaviors over and over yet expecting different results.  The fear factor is one reason people do not change behavior, however a second and more debilitating reason is the lack of alternatives.  Some people possess almost no sense of different alternatives.

To grow requires that you become more versatile.

Working on the “Self”

Personal “Why” of Leadership … Profits are necessary and desirable, but remember that profit is a by-product of a greater, broad-ranging vision.

Change and Failure … Your challenge is to know yourself well enough to change yourself.

Summary … change is possible, with self-understanding and growth. … being an effective leader is, more than anything else, a learned set of behaviors.  For the benefit of present and future generations …


2. Personality and Context

“Watch your thoughts; they become your words.  Watch your words; they become your actions.  Watch your actions; they become your habits.  Watch your habits; they become your character.  Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”  Frank Outlaw

Personality … In a Nutshell

Who you are (inside) governs, to a large extent, how you act and react (outside).

A Model For Experience … people know you through what you say and do – your behaviors.

Positive and Negative Response Models … An end response is values-based, premeditative, rational, belief-oriented, and desired state of existence; for example, the desire for world peace epitomizes an end response.

Behavior Is The Medium … the essence of any leadership attempt lies in others’ reaction to your behaviors … be the message …  [ed. This is why “Peace starts with me!”]

Definition of Personality

Personality is Dynamic

Personality is Influenced by Life History

Diversity Within Pattern

Subdivision of Personality: Disposition, Values, and Persona … managers use both their sense of right or wrong, and their understanding of personal goals and fears when they are influencing others.  Interestingly enough, some managers are more “values driven”, and others are more “needs driven”.

Definition of Disposition

The Importance of Energy … Disposition, when naturally acted upon, energizes you.

Being aware of your energy requirements means understanding and coping with the compatibility or incompatibility between the functional requirements of a situation and your natural disposition to meet those requirements.  There are adverse consequences to the expenditure of life energy when not replenished. There should be at least a moderate fit between role and disposition if stress and tension are to be handled effectively.

Definition of Values

Criteria for a Value … Thoughts and ideas not acted on over time should not be considered values … Only beliefs that are genuinely self-owned, “cherished”, and consistently acted on can be considered values.

The Persona

The Disposition-Values-Persona Connection

The Leadership Onion and Personality


Definition of Role Behavior

Organizational Philosophy and Values Are a Basis For Role … lack of role clarity can stem from ambiguous, ill-conceived vision and/or values, as well as confusing job descriptions and action plans.

Role Behavior as the Basis For Leadership … the leadership role blends and integrates these different viewpoints toward a shared vision or end state … Leadership, in its best form, is granted by those being led.

Importance of the Role Concept … you must learn to read the “social architecture”

Effective leadership results from an inner state of readiness (or nonreadiness) in light of external role requirements.

Leaders are born and made.

Your inner work is as important as your understanding of the role.

The Leader Behavior Subset … direct leader behaviors

Effective leadership is the act(s) of arousing, engaging, and satisfying followers’ motives – within an environment of conflict, competition, or change – that results in followers taking action toward a mutually shared vision.

Context Versus Situation

One-to-One Context

Group Context

Organizational Context … four key factors that dynamically interact to shape the performance of the organization:

1.       the organization’s culture (formal and informal)

2.    strategic directions and strategies

3.    processes and systems (including its managerial, operational, financial, and human resource processes), and

4.    people

Need To Know Yourself … to meet the situation well, you must come to know yourself.  If you don’t know yourself, you are not likely to be as effective as those who do.


Knowing yourself requires both action and reflection.  Action without reflection can result in uninformed future action.  Reflection without action can result in sterile, ungrounded thinking. … You must practice learning about yourself.

… if, through reflection and action, you can let go of your ego, habits of preference, or personal needs, then you can become more adaptive, more tolerant.  You are able to access your other inner aspects, which can help you become a more versatile, effective, and human leader.

The beauty of self-understanding is that it can help you recognize the expectations inherent in the context in which you lead.  It can help you understand that they self is a microcosm of others and a mechanism for seeing similar and dissimilar patterns within others.


3. Preference and Disposition

Preference … Unconscious Preference

Roots of the Idea

Definition of Preference

Definition of Disposition

“Wired” and “Acquired” Disposition

Neither Good Nor Bad Disposition

DISC Pattern

Familiar Ways of Responding

Modes of Responding

Flight Versus Fight

Accept Versus Control

Extroversion Versus Introversion

Direct Versus Indirect

Perceive Versus Judge

Risk-Taking Versus Risk-Assessing

Optimistic Versus Pessimistic … A pessimist is an individual who tends to react as if the world is an unfriendly, hostile place, despite information or experiences to the contrary.

Change-Oriented Versus Continuity-Oriented

Summary of Basic Response Modes


The “D” Direct Controller … Control, Extroversion, Fight, Directness, and Judging … Directive or Dominant … pay a high price for success in their personal and social lives, because they choose getting results over developing relationships. … big picture … “lead, follow, or get out of the way” …

The “I” Direct Accepter … Interactive or Social … they put relationships before tasks …

The “S” Indirect Accepter … Stable or Steady preference … work hard at making relationships work … “Everything in Moderation” … “Actions speak louder than words”…

The “C” Indirect Controller … Cautious or Conscientious preference … accountants … heavy requirement on being right … overly critical of, and lack compassion for, themselves and others … aloof … takes the greatest amount of time … fear personal criticism of their work efforts and invasion of their privacy … see the complexity in life … “In God we trust; everyone else bring data!” … power comes from the acquisition of systematically proven knowledge …

Fundamental Principles

DISC Principle #1 – There is no best preference or DISC position. … It is the preference in light of role requirements that makes a preference better or worse.

DISC Principle #2 – All people are motivated by their needs (goals and fears).  What is observed more often than not is that leaders try to meet their own needs through the job or role they play in the organization, rather than meet the requirements of the role.  The organizational role becomes a vehicle for ego stimulation and enhancement.

The fear-based behavior of … “D” as demanding and defiant, … “I” as impulsive and indiscriminate … “S” as sedentary and stern, … “C” as callous and complaining … Operating from your fear base makes it difficult to lead others, and therefore, you lose credibility in the eyes of your employees.

Knowing when you are fear-driven can help you modify your behaviors before “you burn your bridges” …

The leader must also understand the underlying disposition of those they seek to influence well enough to speak to their needs. … In other words, the understanding of self and others is a prerequisite (though not a guarantee) to long-term leadership effectiveness.

DISC Principle #3 – Eighty-five percent of the population demonstrates more than one DISC preference or DISC position.

DISC Principle #4 – Two preferences cannot, at any one time, be equally strong under pressure. … the “D” preference … may be less effective in situations where they cannot control outcomes, take on challenges, take charge, or create change.

DISC Principle #5 – Each personal preference has its own inherent strengths or limitations and, therefore, still undeveloped potentials

… you are limited only when you are not aware of your alternatives.

Behavioral adaptability is defined as the willingness and ability to use a range of behaviors, not necessarily characteristic of your style, to deal effectively with the requirements of the situation or relationship.

Your strength lies in your natural self’s energy to act in certain ways.

DISC Principle #6 – People can become more versatile; other preferences can be developed. … speak the language they prefer.

Adaptability results, first, from making a commitment to change, and then learning and using more effective behavior when the opportunity occurs. … Adaptability results from keeping your goals in mind and on paper, then revisiting those goals frequently.

Sensing ineffectiveness, for most normal people, triggers a need for change.

The Platinum Rule

Reciprocity is a basic stage in moral development.

… you make a critical mistake by assuming that how you would like to be treated is how others would like to be treated.

The Platinum Rule says, “Do unto others as they want to be done unto.”

Leaders must act on the premise that others are motivated and shaped by their own needs.

Summary … DISC Summary


4. Beliefs and Points of View

“A society driven by responsibilities is oriented toward service, acknowledging other points of view, compromise and progress – whereas a society driven by rights is oriented toward acquisitions, confrontation and advocacy … at the most fundamental level, all conduct is individual so when you bring the moral dimension to individual actions, you bring integrity to the entire work environment.”  Keshavan Nair

Beliefs … Beliefs as Building Blocks

Importance of Beliefs

There are two reasons why you should examine and understand your beliefs:

1.       to better know yourself, and

2.       to provide a mechanism for self-change.

Beliefs and values are a cognitive structure, “mental filters” by which you experience objects, people, and events.  These filters influence your attitudes and intentions, and impact the way you interact with others.

The Power of Beliefs

A perceived similarity or dissimilarity between people’s belief systems is the basis for rejection or acceptance of others.

Leadership problems in organizations are not simply “miscommunication” problems, but clearly communicated differences in beliefs and values.

Mechanism of Self-Change

You must begin to know and examine the beliefs that underlie your approach to yourself and the world.  It is not events that control your life, but your beliefs about what these events mean.

The Concept of Belief … A belief is the mental acceptance that some idea or perception is true.

Beliefs and Values … Beliefs are the basis of values and value systems.  However, a point that needs repeating is that all values are beliefs, but not all beliefs are values…

What is a Value? … A value is an enduring belief that a particular mean or end is more socially or individually preferable than another end or mean. 

Examples of end values … wanting a world at peace.  Examples of means values include wanting to be honest, or doing unto others as you would want done unto you.

Values Criteria:

1.       a value is chosen … Coerced or forced behaviors are not considered values based.

2.       it is chosen from alternatives … To act on your values initially requires thoughtful reflection.  It involves weighing what is better, what is right (or more right) against what may be worse or wrong. … unexamined values are called programmed values …

3.       it is chosen with an understanding of the consequences … developed values.

4.       it is acted on over time … it is a major contradiction to say you value something, yet not act on that value over time.

5.       it is prized or “publicly owned”

Values Process

Types of Values … there are two types of values: means and ends. … end values are either social or personal in focus.

Value Systems … developed with time and experience. … A well-integrated value system would include interrelated ideas and values that connect economics to power or to morality, and so on.

The Value of Values … People use values for

1.       ego defense

2.       presentation of self in a social context

3.       self-conflict resolution and decision making … Value differences stand at the base of conflict or strife throughout the history of human beings. … A value system is a learned set of beliefs or values that help one to choose between alternatives and conflicts and decide on a course of action.

4.       motivation … Values also serve as means for self-motivation.  End values are most often future oriented and serve as a long-range expression of your desires.  The ends and means of attainment represent your reasons for living … a sense of self-esteem along your life evolution toward personal fulfillment.  End values become a purpose – a focus for future action.  They tell you what “business” you are in as a human being.  Adherence to end values liberates energy.  Motivation is the expression of the interest, excitement, or enthusiasm to produce some end. … Motivation is manifested in consistent, focused behavior toward a desired end; it is a purposeful action.  Without end values, purposeful action is limited to transitory adaptation to the environment.  You must own a sense of purpose that exceeds the sense of task. … A major emphasis of your leadership behaviors lies in making “the game” clear for those you wish to influence so they can motivate themselves.

Points of View … Research shows that there are four general points of view … (“T.I.C.S.”)

Self/Other Focus … When acting on a social end, you are acting on behalf of others.

To truly understand these points of view, suspend your judgment about good or bad and right or wrong as you initially begin to analyze these concepts.  Otherwise, you may reject before truly understanding.

Rights/Responsibility Focus … the locus of control.  For the rights-oriented individual, control of the ends and means lies with the person.  In contrast, a responsibility orientation places the definition of goodness n the hands of the group.  A responsibility orientation is concerned with what the group requires from the individual, and what is “better” for the group rather than for a given individual.  A responsibility orientation fosters the orientation of service, acknowledgment of other points of view, and compromise for the welfare of the group.  Priority is given to the group’s well-being, and then the individual’s responsibility and role in support of the group’s collective thinking. … Ends such as a world at peace or equality are examples.

“T” – traditionalist … oriented toward social ends and social means … the key end value is responsible living … they are motivated to contribute to others and their society.  They want to be of service – to make their world a better place. … once the appropriate authority or process determines the group’s goals and courses of action.  … The key means values are devotion, loyalty, and dependability. … Their motto is “no pain, no gain”. … New technologies and military weapons necessitate that the traditionalist develops a greater capability to collaborate in a global context.  [ed. But these people could be totally misguided; eg. fundamentalists that believe the status quo is perfect for all]

“I” – inbetweener … can sense the strengths of both traditionalist and challenger beliefs and find a position somewhere in the middle.  They are in a double bind of believing in some of the tenants of social order and tradition while focusing first on their own self well-being. … they take a “rights” approach rather than a responsibility orientation.   They focus on their rights, and then others’ rights.  Unlike the challenger, the inbetweener is optimistic about life and its multiple choices. … End values such as true friendship, a comfortable life, and happiness are self or person focused. … achieved by the social recognition of hard work. … means values are growth, equality, and helpfulness. … “climb the highest mountain” … “attitude determines altitude” … “the sky is the limit” … found reading self-help books … concern for others … they look for ways to satisfy the “wants” of others without sacrificing their own happiness … produces conflict minimizers, peacemakers, and friendly relationship makers … sometimes incapable of making the provocative decisions needed to be visionaries.

“C” – challenger … focused on their individual rights … the key end value is self-preservation/satisfaction. … achieve power and status … They are willing to do whatever it takes because “all’s fair in love and war” and “the end justifies the means”. … pessimistic about life and societies and do not want to be constrained by needless rules or customs of the masses. … see the need for change as part of life … push an issue into a win-lose confrontation … “Might keeps you free.” …”my way or the highway”

“S” – synthesizer … oriented toward social ends and personal means … is actually a by-product of all the other points of view. … shares the same concern for well-being as the traditionalist, the same optimistic sense of unlimited potential as the inbetweener, and the same belief in self-competency as the challenger. … The key belief that motivates the synthesizer is inner satisfaction, which derives from knowing they did the best that can be expected under the conditions that prevailed at that time. A key value is integration of self with others.  Because they hold largely responsibility-oriented ends … their priority is human rights in the context of “human dignity” for themselves and others. … mutual respect … “inner peace” … resolution … they want all-win solutions … deep belief in themselves and their purpose in life. … key means values are logic, justice, and inner congruence. … The synthesizer’s belief in justice is demonstrated through their ability to see merit in all values perspectives and to recognize the limits of any one position as the right way, including their own.  … simple solutions that represent one point of view are likely to produce conflict. … Belief in inner congruence is demonstrated through the constant examination of “self” behavior in light of service or commitment to beliefs.  They believe, above all else, that each individual must be true to his or her espoused values.  A better world is achieved through each person’s individual actions. … Synthesizers pay particular attention to the betterment of future generations. … Integrity is achieved by meaning what you say. … To espouse something, yet not act in accord with what is espoused, is to not be personally congruent.  The lack of inner harmony or congruence can be stressful on synthesizers – stressful to the point where they may become ill if they fail to act in alignment with their values. … “Let your conscience be your guide” … “Winning isn’t everything” … “The most important thing in life is to decide what’s most important and then act consistently with what is most important.” … “You make your own luck” … They will be personally active for the causes they believe in. … make long-range choices so as not to be controlled by external forces in a situation.  They view ambiguity as part of contemporary life … flexible and accountable … A set of shared “rules” is a “must” for the future, if conditions are to stabilize and improve. …

Specific Life Issues for the Synthesizer:

1.       Political – “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable, the art of the next best.  Do not confuse power with greatness.”

2.       Legal – “The law must be stable, but it must not stand still.  The law does not generate justice.  The law is nothing but a declaration and application of what is just.”

3.       Aesthetic – “A good life is doing the best for all concerned with the knowledge and abilities you have available at that time.  Give me beauty in the inward soul: may the outward and inward man be as one.”

4.       Social – “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is part of the continent, a part of the main.  Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.”

5.       Moral – “No one can be perfectly free ‘til all are free; no one perfectly moral ‘til all are moral; no one perfectly happy ‘til all are happy.”

6.       Economic – “That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.”

Summary of the Synthesizer … Synthesizers derive meaning in the work setting by being active in issues that matter to them.  They tend to follow a life of outer simplicity and inner richness in a quiet and highly personalized manner.  They also tend to treat relationships as “social contracts” that represent rights and responsibilities, which are defined, agreed on, and regularly acted on.  In the social contract, they believe it is important to give more than they get in the bargain. … Synthesizers, because they are activists, tend to be in demand and are often called on to help others … overcommitted … may not maintain their sense of inner harmony … controlling their commitments … increase their self-tolerance … pace themselves … point of view in which self-conguence is paramount.  End values such as integration of self, self-respect, and wisdom are core in the synthesizer’s life.  Means values such as logic, justice, inner congruence, forgiveness, broad-mindedness, and self-control are also of central importance to the synthesizer. … produces individuals who are involved in causes … desire to make the world a better place … involved in social issues.  Examples: Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer, Albert Einstein, W.E.B. Du Bois, Abraham Lincoln, Henry David Thoreau, Susan B. Anthony …

… experience, socialization, and significant life events may result in a shift of point of view …

Caveats to Points of View … keep the following points in mind:

1.       you may be a combination o f tow or more of these value outlooks

2.       you may change your position on various issues and, therefore, ultimately change your overall point of view

3.       you belong to a generation of significant others who may reflect the same point of view as you, which will “legitimize” your value base

4.       each point of view includes inherent stress points for use in everyday existence

The negative mode is exemplified by a self-esteem conflict and a positive mode by ends-driven behavior.

Figure 4.7 Summary of Value Points of View


5. Perceptions and Persona

Perceptions … Psychological Bifocals … “would” and “should” questions can lead you to understand whether you are values or needs driven, at that specific moment or in that particular situation.

Connections to Self … making connections between your dispositional self and your valuing point of view requires that you continually look at your experiences through the psychological bifocals of “would-do” and “should-do” behavior.

General Research Findings … Although you are the best judge as to which drive – disposition or values – is dominant at a particular moment … there seems to be little correlation between self-perceptions of values and dispositional base. … The likelihood for effective, meaningful interaction is further diluted by the other individual’s possible lack of self-understanding.

Iceburgs … others’ perceptions of your behavior are the important 50 percent of the leadership equation that you must consider if you want to influence others more effectively.

Self Versus Others’ Perceptions

Self-Perception … The accuracy of your self-perceptions is dependent on intelligence, self-esteem, ability to self-observe, and capacity to seek and retain personally relevant information.

Others’ Perception of the Disposition-Values Connection … Others’ perceptions are usually more reliable than your own.  To be a better leader, you must seek and accept feedback from others.

The So Whats

The Merger … the possibility of being misinterpreted, misunderstood, or thwarted around issues that are important to you.  If you are not seen for what you value, it could be because you do not act on your values … the burden is on you to dispel the possible confusion, and clearly communicate the uniqueness that you alone can bring to the individuals you intend to influence.

[Ed.: Peace people are “thwarted” because they do not act on their values.  (eg. Modeling violent action; poor relationship building; closed mindedness, etc.)  The burden is on Peace people to dispel confusion, clearly communicate and model peaceful behavior = Be Peace = Peace starts with me.]

The Misunderstood Challenger … generational points of view cyclically reveal themselves in a specific order and reoccur approximately every 80 years … The generations are titled “civic” (traditionalist), “adapter” (inbetweener), “idealist” (synthesizer), and “reactor” (challenger).

Relaters as Inbetweeners

Introverts as Traditionalists

Controllers as Synthesizers … seek to control people and things to meet these needs … If your synthesizer ends values are all-win and harmony for self and others, then you must, at times, put people ahead of task control.  That can be a difficult choice for you, as a “D” or “C” synthesizer.

“What is happening below the surface of what people see?”

Persona … there are at least two internal selves.  The self you know you are and the self you want to present to others.  The self you think you are and your evaluation of that self is the basis for self-esteem.  The self you want to present to others is your persona.

Self-Esteem … Noting how you function in your experiences gives you a sense of competence.  If a history of failures is what is “noted”, then the self considers itself as not functioning well.  Self-esteem is your judgment of your ability to function in the world. … self-confidence boils down to belief.  Self-esteem is based on your negative or positive beliefs about self. … Self-esteem is also self-respect.  In other works, you value your successes.

Negative and Positive Modes Revisited … Negative modes are fear based, while positive modes are ends or goals oriented. … The persistent search and fight for basic living requirements can put an individual in a constant fear mode.  Couple the fear mode with failure to obtain the basic living requirements and the result can be lower self-esteem. … Maslow argues that most cruelty, malice, and destructiveness are not innate, but a violent reaction against the frustrations of unmet intrinsic needs, emotions and capacities.

The Esteem, Disposition, and Values Connection

The Definition of Persona … The person you represent to the world, over time, constantly forms and grows through social, intellectual, and physical encounters with the world around you. … Hence, the persona (the person seen to the outside world), is a façade, a compromise stemming from three factors:

1.       the self you want to be …

2.       the self you think others expect you to be …

3.       the physical/psychological self-realities (disposition and values) that limit achievement of that ideal

Persona is important to consider because the leader’s persona can be either a source of great delusion or the basis for true change and/or influence.  The persona is like a “cloak” or “mask” …

Implications of Persona

Role-Dependent Persona

Self-Indulgent Persona

The “So What” of Persona

In general, the traditionalist shows little individual impact on employees, independent of the organizational culture in which they lead.  The challenger and inbetweener points of view tend to overestimate the presence of their influence.  They also overestimate the positive impact of their behaviors on group motivation and morale.  The synthesizer point of view tends to underestimate the presence of their influence behavior, but has a realistic view of their impact on group motivation and morale.

More important, a leader’s point of view has a greater impact on follower perceptions of workplace satisfaction than does disposition.

To vary the persona, one must be conscious of it.  To be conscious of your persona, you must clearly understand how others perceive you, and then own that as a relevant, truthful part of you.  You must constantly seek feedback from others and weigh that feedback in light of the intended outcomes of your leadership attempts.


6. Behaviors and Situations

“A new moral principle is emerging which holds that the only authority deserving of one’s allegiance is that which is freely and knowingly granted by the led to the leader in response to, and in proportion to, the clearly evident servant stature of the leader.”  Robert Greenleaf


Managers Versus Leaders … You may think of the words “manager” and “leader” as two concepts representing opposite ends of a continuum.

Chart 6.1 Managers and Leaders (contrasted)

Viva La Difference … The difference between leaders and followers is both psychic and behavioral.  This difference does not imply that one is better than the other.  The “goodness” depends on the organization, its social and business environment, and its internal psychological, economic, and technical capacities.  The type of influencer, leader, or manager needed depends on the circumstances.  Thus, the complexity is profound.

A Prescription

Leadership Defined … Any time you try to influence the behavior of someone else …

leadership is defined as the act of arousing, engaging, and satisfying the motives of followers – in an environment of conflict, competition, or change – that results in the followers taking a course of action toward a mutually shared vision.

Leaders must know their followers well enough to coalesce the followers’ motives toward a common outcome.

… must ultimately connect with those being led.

Values-based activity is the basis for commitment – yours and others’.

Leadership Style Defined … others’ perceptions of your influence behavior.  … Obviously, they will act on their own perceptions.

Two Basic Elements of Influence Behavior

Some leaders try to influence others by directing or shaping followers’ activities in terms of a task, goal, or overall vision.  These are called directing, structuring, or focusing behaviors.  Other leaders concentrate on providing socioemotional support and on building emotional relationships between themselves and their followers.  These influence behaviors are called supporting, collaborating, or inspiring behaviors.  These fundamental elements of directing and supporting can be used in tandem or separately.

Directing, Structuring, Focusing Behavior … The decision-making prerogative is ultimately in the hands of the leader, and is based on expertise or legitimate position power.

Supporting, Collaborating, Inspiring Behavior … mutual trust and respect … manifested through listening, praising, and facilitating the problem solving of others.  Decision-making responsibility is ultimately in the hands of the follower …

An Example Across Context

A Three-Context Responsibility

Seven Is Not Magic … more than 300 leadership behaviors

Chart 6.2 Directive and Supportive Behaviors Across Contexts

Situational Leadership II

No “Single Best” Leadership Style

The One-to-One Context

Situational Leadership in a One-to-One Context

Development Level … development level is defined as the competence and commitment of the follower to perform a particular task or achieve a particular goal.

Competence is a function of knowledge or skills that can be gained from education, training, and/or experience.

Commitment is attitudinal.  It is a psychological willingness to do what needs to be accomplished. … “want-to-do” …

Subdivisions of Competence … The idea of competence is subdivided into task knowledge and transferable skills.

Subdivisions of Commitment … Commitment is a combination of confidence and motivation. … Motivation is defined as the desire, excitement, or enthusiasm to be the “best” or to get ahead.  It is the achievement ethic.

Development Levels Are Somewhat Sequential

Regressive Cycle … organization’s practices, your leadership style, or other job-related factors … family illness, divorce, birth of a child, and other personal factors …

Development Level is Task or Goal Specific


A General Concept of Style 1 – Directing … military … short-term oriented … tactics, not strategies …

Style Is In The Delivery … coercive …

A General Concept of Style 3 – Supporting … Servant as Leader … used inappropriately, it tends to put employee needs above the needs of the organization.

… for mutual trust and respect to develop between you and the employees being influenced, you must actively listen to them about work-related issues and seek to help them reach their answers to work-related issues.  Facilitating work-related problems means asking the critical, open-ended questions that assist employees in finding their own solutions, not promoting your solutions.  In assisting employees with their own work solutions, you also give them the prerogative to decide for themselves how something is to be accomplished.

… key leader behaviors … mutual problem solving and listening … “ownership” of outcomes and personal motivation to achieve them are increased when the employee can help define and control how the outcomes are reached.

A General Concept of Style 2 – Coaching … “push” and “pull” the follower toward goal accomplishment.

A General Concept of Style 4 – Delegating … giving an employee the power to act in the leader’s place. … Appropriate responsibility means the communication of a mutually agreed-upon obligation for goal and task accomplishment. … Appropriate authority is the legitimized capacity to act in the leader’s place when using resources to accomplish a goal and its related tasks. … Effective delegation requires a leader to understand the scope of the delegated goal and the related subtasks before delegating.

Situations … The diagnosis of employee competence and commitment should be done in dialogue with the employee. … Boredom, lack of recognition, organizational politics, a change in marital status, long-term illness, and a lack of organizational vision are examples of factors that reduce employee commitment. … You must match leadership style to development level.

Figure 6.4 Situational Leadership II:



When to Use Style 1 in a One-to-One Context … Sharing the “big picture” might also overwhelm someone who wants a limited view of a discrete, “hands-on” solution to the assigned task.

When to Use Style 2 in a One-to-One Context … 1. it is harder than they thought, 2. it is boring, 3. the more they learn, the more they need to learn, 4. they did not receive needed help

When to Use Style 3 in a One-to-One Context … A confidence issue requires your revisiting past instances of success, lowering the stakes through examination of possible consequences for failure, and re-examining the strategies chosen to accomplish the employee’s outcomes. … The drop in motivation could be the result of your past leadership; the organization’s procedures, rules or constraints; or it could be because the task/goal is routine, boring, and unchallenging; or just the opposite, too difficult. … creative problem solving … job-related or non-job-related … In Style 3, the action is open for negotiation, but the outcomes are not.

When to Use Style 4 in a One-to-One Context … Your role is to acknowledge, affirm and empower the D4.

Does Situational Leadership Work? … the appropriate application of leadership style to development level can do wonders for the motivation and morale of employees. … climate … Each time you are about to influence someone, as yourself, “What is this person’s competence and commitment to accomplish this goal or task?”

Development and Regressive Cycles

Using Situational Leadership Theory … You must diagnose, and then be flexible enough to use the needed directive and supportive behaviors. … Diagnosis and flexibility are the keys to using the Situational Leadership II Model.  Your competence and commitment to do so are based on your disposition and point of view – your character.



7. Vision and Learning

“We need a new heroic ideal: the brave, truthful, non-violent individual who is in the service of humanity, resists injustice and exploitation, and leads by appealing to our ideals and our spirit.”  Keshavan Nair

Vision …. When leaders and followers create and share a common vision, then enormous amounts of focused energy, effort, productivity, and satisfaction can result.

Dimensions of Vision

A vision is a picture of a possible, ongoing future you intend to create, one that illuminates your guiding values and beliefs.  A compelling vision focuses on end results; it concentrates on where you are going, not on how you are getting there.  The closer you are to achieving your vision, the clearer it becomes.  A strong vision crystallizes the needs, desires, beliefs, and values of followers.  It excites the minds and hearts of those you lead by clarifying the purpose of the organization, illuminating your guiding values, and providing your image or picture of the future.  These three ingredients – purpose, values and image – are necessary for a vision to be strong, vital, and motivating.

Purpose … a purpose statement explains your company’s reason for existence. … stated from the viewpoint of the customer and society. … to grow and be profitable, those purposes are secondary to the organization’s inherent customer and societal relationships. … a growth or profit purpose does not answer the question, “for what purpose?”

Serving Customers … Every organization serves someone …

Serving Society … embody a noble purpose or relevance to society. … which people must become conscious if they are to bring deeper meaning to their work … change the world … Organizations that espouse social service, but evidence other behaviors, run the risk of employee “whistle blowing”, and legal or economic calamity.

Values … guidelines or values that shape the “hows” of the purpose … Stating values and making them part of the vision evokes the passion necessary to remain focused in the face of obstacles, adversity, and change.  Values evoke people’s emotions and feelings.  Values can nourish standards.  A vision is motivating and foreceful when it clearly resonates with the values of the individuals within the organization.  When this happens, you don’t need to sell the vision.  People naturally enlist. … management occurs by values, not by individual managers … [Ed. However, if you do not “walk the talk”, then people recognize the hypocrisy, with negative consequences.]

Image … is a mental picture of a highly desirable future state. … The power of an image lies in conceiving the end state. … A clearly expressed image (1) lets you and others know what success will look and feel like, and (2) creates a symbol to guide the actions of self and others.

Gravity … A well conceived, widely expressed, and consistently modeled vision influences individuals working within the organizational setting. … when the organization’s vision is clear and faithfully communicated, the benefits are quite easily seen.  A shared vision can (1) unleash employee energy, (2) provide a “field” of empowerment, (3) give perspective to individuals and teams as to how they “fit” in the organization, (4) promote cooperation, and (5) contribute to proactive action. … While you may be very clear about your organizational vision, you must also have a personal leadership vision that includes a personal purpose, personal values, and a personal image …

Starfish … There are several important points to be gained from this story: (1) the boy acknowledges a dream or vision, (2) he expresses that dream despite difficult odds or conventional wisdom, (3) he acts on a dream that he may not fully realize, and (4) he treats saving each starfish as a single incident within the bigger dream.

What’s Your Personal Leadership Vision … To be a leader, you must affirm a socially purposeful dream that enlists the hearts and minds of others.  You must be willing to express and strive for your dream, despite competing forces that make the dream difficult to obtain.  You must act locally, but think globally.  You must treat daily activities as incidents within the larger context of your leadership dream. … How can you express it through metaphors and analogies to others?

Power and Leadership Purpose

Without a vision or dream that is bigger than yourself, you are more likely to serve only yourself. … You, as a leader, do have a responsibility to yourself.  However, that responsibility is for self-growth and self-development in the service of others.

Without an explicitly stated social purpose, the meaning of work becomes self-centered, and the covenant becomes everyone for him or herself.  Without social purpose, power is driven by the unquestioned norms of hierarchy and economics.

Without social purpose and the leader’s faithfulness to such social purpose … The result is disorder and lack of common purpose.

Power, within most organizations, is exercised through hierarchical and economic control.  This kind of control motivates people through their need for “things” such as compensation, job security, and desire for hierarchical position. … There is no heart, no personal excitement, and no moral imperative in this transaction.

Without the purpose of service, power is a means looking for an end – much like a gun looking for a target.  It is contingent on the emotional, moral, and spiritual well-being of the individual who wields it.  [Ed.: but power corrupts, with negative consequences]

You are bringing meaning to the lives of those you seek to serve.

The combination of disposition and points of view shapes the way you go about influencing others.


The “So What” of Personality on Leadership Behavior

Disposition and Leadership Behaviors

“D-ness” and Leadership Behavior in a One-to-One Context … Directive Behavior … Supportive Behavior …

“I-ness” and Leadership Behavior in a One-to-One Context … Directive Behavior … Supportive Behavior …

“S-ness” and Leadership Behavior in a One-to-One Context … natural teachers … quiet, logical, and supportive … consistent … Directive Behavior … easygoing, pleasant, and relaxed … In conflict situations, they tend to accommodate others and comply with required changes to reduce instability or conflict … “S” leaders want to serve people, not pressure them … Supportive Behavior … moderation … may overlook things to keep the peace … challenge is to initiate and change a situation or practice that is no longer effective.  Problems don’t usually go away by waiting for them to “take care of themselves”. … “S” leaders must face change and conflict with the optimism and skills they already possess, which are usually considerable when drawn on.

“C-ness” and Leadership Behavior in a One-to-One Context … Directive Behavior … Supportive Behavior …

Values and Leadership Behaviors

Leaders must reflect, through their actions and words, the common values that live in their hearts and in the hearts of their followers.  Followers must be convinced that the leader is a resource and ally for their dreams and can be counted on to remind them of those dreams when forgotten.

… the follower’s perception of self commitment and morale is strongly correlated with the leader’s values or points of view.

Leader Values and Follower Perceptions of Leader Behaviors

The only point of view that seems to influence follower perception of leader behavior is the synthesizer point of view.

… the synthesizer is seen as a listener and one who asks for input, shares information about the self, and prompts rationale building.

… synthesizers want to listen to others, ask for input, and build teams.

Persona and Values Point of View

Traditionalists and the Organization

Morale and Leader Values

The most important finding from the research is that the leaders’ values or point of view has a greater impact on the followers’ view of motivation and morale than does the leaders’ disposition.

There are a greater number of correlations between leader value systems and follower perceptions of company motivation and morale than between leader disposition and company morale.  It seems that while leaders’ personal values are not a predictor of leader behaviors, they may be a predictor of motivation and morale.  A secondary point is that employee motivation and morale is not solely contingent on leader behavior as manifested through directive and supportive elements.

Challenger Point of View and Follower Morale … it could be concluded that a leader who holds a challenger or inbetweener point of view may be creating, or is at least partly responsible for creating, a toxic work environment for followers.

Inbetweener Point of View and Follower Morale

Synthesizer Point of View and Follower Morale … Your means values of logic, justice, and inner congruence, and ends values of integration of self with others, tend to produce positive motivation and morale in followers you lead.

The End of the Beginning … good leadership starts from the inside out.


The Expression of Character

The word “ethics” in our culture, is derived from the Greek word “ethos”, which means Character.  One dimension of ethos or Character concerns the relationship of the individual to the community.  The community’s expectations, standards, or ethics place “conditions” on the preferences, values, and ultimately, the behavior of the individual.  Because both Character and character are essentially social, it is the individual’s relationship with the demands of the community that needs to be understood to act ethically.  The individual’s Character is expressed as the interactive result (behaviors) of what he or she does with the community’s expectations and standards.

Definition of Character

… Character is the consistently thoughtful demonstration of an individual’s values in light of community expectations.  It is individual or collective action, over time, toward a humane vision, in a context where individuals are faced with significant obstacles, competition, or temptations.

The most important is the ingredient of a humane vision.  By humane vision, we mean a vision that involves the intellectual and emotional commitment to equity in all human relationships.  Equity involves not only equality of opportunity but also fairness and justice.  It involves social ends and social means.  Equity means that what we do to others, we do to ourselves.

It is the essence of a humane vision that we want you to understand.  What kind of humanism is contained in the vision of your organization?  What kind of equity is espoused …?

In essence, Character is about doing good rather than harm to others, whether the harm is intention al or not.

… leaders’ core self …  [Ed.: heart in the right place]

It is not easy; it requires thought.  It takes leading by example. … It requires clarifying the social purpose of the organization so the purpose and meaning of the work is foremost … It means equitably sharing the wealth, status, power, and opportunity to perform with all followers who are competent and committed to do so.

Character on a Personal Level

Character on a personal level is demonstrated by the commitment you make to the vision of equity in human relationships, in any context.

The commitment to equity requires leaders to be in the service of others.  It requires the patient understanding and effective management of those whose moral consciousness resides in the service of themselves.  Your service must present a contrast of morals, which allows others to choose equity and justice.