Leadership Summit 3: Bill George – Finding Your True North

Bill GeorgeAs professor of management and ethics at Harvard Business School, Bill George teaches from personal experience on the topics of leadership and leadership development. He is the author of the best-selling books True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership and Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value. George is the former chairman and CEO of Medtronic, the world’s leading medical technology company. Under his leadership, Medtronic’s market capitalization grew from $1.1 billion to $60 billion, averaging 35 percent annual growth.

  • Are you fulfilling God’s calling on your leadership?
  • Examine yourself.
  • Are you letting your light shine?
  • Two goals for my life
    1) To become a value-centered leader of a corporation
    2) To help other people to become value-centered leaders
  • We’ve been in a leadership crisis where leaders have put themselves ahead of their organization.  Many have failed us.
  • We are all leaders, but we have to develop our leadership skills and use them.
  • We were born to make manifest the glory of God.  It’s in all of us.
  • We’ve been choosing leaders for the wrong reasons.  More for style than substance.  Why should we be surprised that our leaders lack integrity.
  • 20th century leaders were command and control
  • In the 21st century…
    • People know more than their bosses
    • They are looking for meaning and significance in their work.
    • Align, empower, serve, and collaborate
    • The job of the leader is not to get people to follow, but to get people to step up and lead.
    • Today’s problems are so big that no one organization can fix them.  Leaders need to be able to bring people and organizations together in collaboration.

6 Things you need to develop your leadership (edited 8/11)

1) Understand the purpose of your leadership

  • Out of people’s life story comes their passion to lead.  Not as important as competency.
  • Bill’s life story… ran for leadership in school 7 times and lost all 7 elections… mother and fiancé died… in working to become CEO of Honeywell he realized the company was changing him more than he was changing the company.
  • Follow your compass not your clock.  Go where God is leading and don’t worry about the timing.

2) Become self-aware.

  • Get feedback.
  • Go through a period of introspection.

3) Be true to your values

4) Do something you’re really motivated to do.

5) Build a team.  Starts with faith in God.  Next you need one person who you can be totally honest with.

6) Live an integrated life.  Can’t have a perfectly balanced life, but can live a life of integrity where you are the same person in all roles in life.

What did you do to make a difference in the world?

Robert F. Kennedy – (paraphrase) Few individuals can bend history, but each of us making a small difference can change history.

Why do leaders lose their way?

  • Didn’t fail to lead others, failed to lead themselves.
  • Weren’t well grounded.
  • Got caught up in power, money, fame.

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