Friday, July 10, 2009

Generations and Leadership

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of spending a good hour on the phone with my old friend and mentor, Warren Bennis. Warren, as most folks in the world of management know, is the pre-eminent voice on issues of leadership, having practically invented the field as one worthy of study. The reason for the call was a brief exchange on this blog about the changing nature of leadership over the years: Did an earlier generation of leaders have a different set of values than those currently occupying positions of responsibility? Were business leaders 50 or 60 years ago more likely to take responsibility for their decisions and their actions; did they hold themselves and their organizations more accountable; did they have a greater sense of commitment to the community? Warren, as you might expect, had a list of leaders from "the old days"--but at the end of our phone call we left the question still open. What do you think?

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