Saturday, November 27, 2010

Week 46: Geeks & Geezers: How Era, Values and Defining Moments Shape Leaders by Warren G. Bennis & Robert J. Thomas

For me, leadership is a tantalizing subject. Warren Bennis is an author I recently discovered on a podcast with the Harvard Business Review. After two minutes of listening to him speak, three of his books were on my library wish list.

"Geeks & Geezers" discussed the differences between older business leaders (geezers) and those of us who might just be getting our feet wet (geeks). Authors Bennis and Thomas tried to identify key characteristics that played significantly within the lives of leaders, whether young or old.

I don't know where one author stopped and the other began, but I can say that they worked together to produce a great book that explored many facets of what seems to "make" a leader. They explored history, familial backgrounds, crucibles, and mindsets, and peppered the book with delicious quotes from leaders (both young and old) that helped them better illustrate their key points. They presented historical and current examples of "neotenics" - people who embodied the elements that seem to define today's leaders.

I am nearing the end of six months' of leadership training with a coach from the University of Georgetown. It has been a profound few months during which I feel I have found my "voice" as a leader within my organization. Therefore, it is no surprise that this book spoke to me so clearly.

I'll be buying my own copy as soon as possible. This is a "must have" for my own library.

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