The retailing of this perspective yields no help to the true student. Explaining the commonobsessions that brought them to the position where they are surprised by the acclaim and oftenreluctantly find themselves on the covers of magazines, is the question we are setting out toanswer with the implications for every managerial and executive level. Successful leadersrecognize at a profound level the article is truly not about them, but rather a way to sellmagazines while covering a business story. Pictures of the corporate headquarters do not jumpoff the newsstands.What this series of articles
attempt to review is the root causes of the numerous reasonsfor failure once the pinnacle seems to have been reached. Conflicts so varied and deep as to defya research process seem to be at work. But we think we have hints as to why the great often fall.However, the reality is that those driven to make businesses succeed tend to stay successfulmuch more often than not. We do think we have a modicum of insight into why that is. Frankly,it does not make for great headlines or even at times for interesting reading.I apologize in advance if this series proves to be a bit dry and suffers from a few too manyfootnotes and charts. If you seek a study in the “management du jour” techniques, you arereading the wrong paper. What makes “the few” able to consistently elicit more discretionaryeffort, to hire better people and have systematically more motivated people with better results iswhat we are attempting to document. We have labeled the phenomenon “
Right out of the gate, the initial premise is simple. Without question, the key to beating the oddsagainst today’s challenges has to do with creating an environment that produces an
“achievement aroused,” high performing workforce.
So what is the job of an effective leader? Is it to provide direction? To motivate? To challenge?“All of the above” may be correct, but they are limited views of what a leader is. Leaders do allthese things. But what is the essential aim of leadership?
It is to create a climate whereinpeople want to --
-- produce great results
, and seem to be driven to do it over and over.This is the job of the leader -- to create conditions wherein others produce
great results, and theydo it repeatedly.
Reproducing these results over time is what produces greatness, in leaders,in organizations, and in people.
The job of an effective leader is to stimulate employees to pushthemselves and accept personal responsibility to meet or exceed tough performance targets. It isto create organizations where people do things above and beyond the call of duty; where peopleare highly committed to delivering extraordinary results.
In other words, great leaderssystematically create highly motivated, high achievement aroused organizations.