Resources - Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. -Henry Ford
A New Leaf

April 2012: In This Issue

This edition of "A New Leaf" focuses on the critical role of leadership. It offers a feature article on the critical difference between "granted authority" and "personal power" and a book review of "The Truth About Leadership".

The importance of the leadership role has been evident as See Change has assisted business owners in turning a new leaf in the following, selected 2012 engagements:

  • Leading the financial and organizational restructuring of a 100 year old, $50 million distributor serving a troubled industry
  • Facilitating 2012 strategic planning and a first quarter goal review for:
    • a successful, growing $25 million plastics injection molding manufacturer previously nominated as a candidate for the 2011 Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year award
    • an aggressive, profitable $20 million service company, which has been included on Inc. magazines List of Fastest Growing Companies for each of the last three years
  • Providing 2012 financial modeling, owner coaching and team building to a 35 year old firm focused on right sizing their business model
  • Engaging in executive coaching of four CEO's and one CFO dedicated to taking their performance to the next level

Continued best of luck in 2012 as you personally look to turn your own new leaf in improving upon your past performance.

- Mike 


Feature Article:
Leadership Authority vs. Power

As strong managers develop into effective leaders, their transition will be enhanced by their ability to differentiate between the concepts of granted authority and personal power. All leaders have varying degrees of both.

Former President, Dwight Eisenhower, captured the essence of personal power in his famous quote “leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it”. The potential to be powerful lies within everyone.  This compares to the authority of a leader to make important organizational decisions which is given to the position by the Board of Directors.  Authority is often position/person specific and may be narrowly defined.

Personal power is earned and may be limitless. Increased power translates to increased effectiveness. Two leaders may be in the same position of authority but have extremely different amounts of power. Conversely, one can have a high degree of power with limited or no authority. 

Effective leaders understand that authority is a necessary management tool that should only be used sparingly. They focus their efforts on enhancing their power through the building of trust, cooperation, and high levels of motivation in those they are responsible for.

As you examine your own leadership effectiveness, ask yourself whether your conduct is based upon use of authority or exercise of power. It’s never too late to become more effective by changing your focus to building constructive, positive relationships that ultimately will enhance your personal power


The Truth About Leadership Book Review:
The Truth About Leadership

In these difficult times, organizations need stronger and more visionary leadership than ever before. In “The Truth About Leadership”, noted researchers James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner offer ten “enduring leadership truths” about what constitutes effective leadership. This book follows their epic “The Leadership Challenge” which for over three decades has proven to be the authoritative source of guidance in this important area.

“The Truth About Leadership” is:

  • Based on over 30 years of management research
  • Explores the fundamental truths of leadership that remain constant without regard to context
  • Provides emerging leadership with a realistic view of what they need to learn to become effective

The first Enduring Truth, is based on the assumption that before you can lead others, you have to lead yourself.  From this assumption, the following enduring truths, supported by surveys of over one million leaders, are discussed in detail:

  • Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership
  • Values Drive Commitment
  • Focusing On the Future Sets Leaders Apart
  • You Can Not Do It Alone
  • Trust Rules
  • Challenge is the Crucible for Greatness
  • You Either Lead By Example, or You Do Not Lead At All
  • The Best Leaders Are The Best Learners
  • Leadership is an Affair of the Heart

The final chapter concludes with:

“Leaders put their hearts in their businesses and their businesses in their hearts. They love what they’re doing and they stay in love with leading, with the people who do the work, with what their organizations produce, and with those who honor them by using their products and services. They show they care by paying attention to people, sharing success stories, and making people feel important and special. Exemplary leaders are positive and upbeat, generating the emotional energy that enables others to flourish.”

In the book’s Epilogue, the authors return to their initial assumption that “you matter”, noting that “until you say yes, nothing great can happen”.  If you are committed to saying yes, “The Truth About Leadership” provides you with your next best steps.

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