I loved Warren Bennis book Leaders and I also thought Organizing Genus was brilliant. I’m not sure where Fast Company got this – cause it sounds real familiar. Or maybe it is just Bennis repeating himself. Anyway. In this article/interview titled The Secrets Of Their Success he tells a good story and then offers four questions that it would be helpful for all leaders to ask of themselves:
I used to think I wanted to be a university president. And for seven godforsaken years I did just that. The problem was that I wanted to be a university president but I didn’t want to do a university president. In retrospect, I realized, there was an unbridgeable chasm between my aspirations and what actually gave me satisfaction and happiness. Based on that experience, I developed a four-question test aimed at anyone seeking “success.” You have to answer with complete honesty, which means you have to have a fair amount of self-knowledge.
- Do you know the difference between what you want and what you’re good at?
- Do you know what drives you and what gives you satisfaction? (Clearly, in my own case, I didn’t.)
- Do you know what your values and priorities are, what your organization’s values and priorities are, and can you identify the differences between the two?
- Having measured the differences between what you want and what you’re able to do, between what drives you and what satisfies you, and between your values and those of your organization — are you able to overcome those differences?
If you are, then success will be yours. In a nutshell, the key to success is identifying those unique modules of talent within you and then finding the right arena to use them.
One of the advantages of planting a church like I did is that you get to have great influence over the values and priorities of the organization. But as CCC and NewThing continue to grow I think I need to ask these questions of myself too.
BTW- if you want to e-mail Bennis, they had his e-mail in the article too – firstname.lastname@example.org.