Warren Bennis

Leaders are Learners: Three Motivational Lessons From Warren Bennis

Life Long Learning, Note 06

What is great about this post (for me) is that Warren Bennis was one of those early and sustained sources of learning. He guided me in my own learning about leadership and my work at being a leader. I would read what he said, and I would try it out. I would engage with his most inspiring ideas and I would seek to put them into practice. Warren Bennis helped me understand that leaders are learners and that great leaders are great at learning. Here are three thoughts and some commentary about them.

Warren Bennis quote, taking charge of your learningONE:
Leaders learn by taking charge of their learning.

Warren Bennis: People Leadership

Warren Bennis quote, great leaders make people feel they are at the centerLeaders don't simply lead organizations. Leaders lead people. People are the heart and soul of the organization, its energy and the passion and they are the ones who make it possible for the organization to continue its existence.

Therefore, great leaders are leaders of people.

Bennis expresses this insight with this thought.

"Great leaders make people feel that they're at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning."

Warren Benis: Over-managed, Under-led

The issue of leadership and management has attracted many of our greatest minds who have come to a vareity of conclusions on the nature of these two tasks.

Warren Bennis clearly maps out his position on leading and managing. If you click here, you can see an article where Bennis provides some of the differences between management and leadership.

Warren Bennis quote, failing organizations over-managed under-led


Warren Bennis: Leaders Shape Reality

Warren Bennis quote, leadership is the capacity to translate vision into realityWarren Bennis is one of the originators of modern leadership. He was the founding chairman (and professor) of the Leadership Institute of Southern California. He is the author of over 30 books. His great contribution was to write in ways that were accurate, personable, interesting and accessible to the non-academic. In other words - he wrote for leaders living at the EDGE of where the action was. 

Bennis died a few weeks ago. I did a post with links to some thoughtful eulogies. I am running a short series of posts on some of his great thoughts. In each post I will also mention one of his great books that are well worth reading.

Warren Bennis (Great Leadership Innovator) Dies at 89

Warren G. Bennis, leadership authorWarren Bennis is one of those innovative teachers and authors who helped change how we think about leadership... and really how we LEAD. When I was first learning about leadership, his books were accessible (written in non-technical ways), motivational and instructional.

You can see many of the books he wrote at his author page on Amazon.

His book - On Becoming a Leader was one of THE most influential books for me in my own early learning and development as a leader. Later I devoured his books,

The Three Things Followers Need

Warren Bennis has been around for some time now. He is one of the early leadership authors who had an enormous influence on just about EVERYONE ELSE. If you want to see the incredible number of books he has written, you can see them here.  I still remember how powerful his book - On Becoming a Leader - was for me. He was clear, direct and compelling. So here is a brief list from this outstanding leadership scholar.

Bennis says followers need three things from their leaders. If leaders do not provide these things, the followers will not be effective, fruitful, successful, devoted followers. they will be confused and frustrated . . . and their ability to commit to the organization is weaker. Here they are, with my own explanation:

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