Monday, October 18, 2010

The Intangibles of Leadership

I read a book "The Intangibles of Leadership - The 10 Qualities of Superior Executive Performance" by Richard Davis.

I am a big believer that leadership is mostly about intangibles.

The first intangible is wisdom. Daunting although Davis gives hope that we all have wisdom and that it can be developed:

"Often we think of wisdom as something inborn, an attribute some possess and others do not." "...these conceptions of wisdom miss the mark. First, none of us is born wiser than anyone else...Second, wisdom is not passively obtained, it is the result of conscious reflection, evaluation and decision."

Davis goes on to explain tangible ways to gain wisdom - things like "seek out new ideas", "find a mentor", "designate time for reflection" etc.

"Knowledge is the process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification" Martin Fischer

Makes me think. Perhaps I pursue knowledge too much and do not allow myself enough time to find wisdom.

One of the intangibles is Fortitude. The closing line in that chapter:

"Your leadership destiny will be determined largely by the strength with whcih you confront challenges"

The book continues with other intangibles like integrity (the obvious one), presence, will, self-insight etc.

It is a good book that provokes thought.

Gives me a new list of 10 things I can work towards.
I ran the Babylon Post Office Cafe 5K on Saturday. Good time (for me) 22:11 but still did not place. It was beautifully cool weather. I run better in the cool.


At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Jonathan Michael Bowman said...

This sounds like a great book. While I have not yet read it, I'm a firm believer that the most important things about leadership cannot be measured. The results - i.e. the bottom line - can be measured. But the intagibles that have a lot to do with creating the bottom line cannot be. Too often leaders mistakenly focus on the bottom line when they should be focused on mastering the intangibles.

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Madinah Institute said...

I enjoyed reading this article and especially appreciated the author's view about wisdom and leadership. I also believed that being a leader is not born, but leaders are being mold and forge through time and hardships.

Thus, if you are interested more about best leadership and management practices please visit

F.M. Torculas

At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Rob Jager said...

Too many managers and business leaders do not set aside time to reflect and gain wisdom from an event. Those who take the time to learn from their mistakes will certainly exceed those who do not.

Thanks for the synopsis. I like to know whether a book is worth reading before I take the time to buy it.



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