Four Leadership Competencies From Warren Bennis

In an article in The Economist, there was some great insights about leadership from management guru Warren Bennis.  His fundamental tenet is that leaders are made, not born. Bennis lists four competencies that leaders need to develop:

  • forming a vision which provides people with a bridge to the future
  • giving meaning to that vision through communication
  • building trust, “the lubrication that makes it possible for organisations to work”
  • searching for self-knowledge and self-regard

My take: There’s a big difference between manging and leading. Unfortunately, too many executives don’t understand the difference and don’t work hard enough on building these leadership skills. 

The bottom line: You can manage dozens of people, but you can lead millions.

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I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

One thought on “Four Leadership Competencies From Warren Bennis”

  1. Hi!

    I like the ‘My Take’ piece.
    You are right that many people do not understand the difference between Leading and Managing.
    When people Lead they make a big difference to the company as well as to the lifes of the people.
    Also my experience has been that when you lead people respect you for showing them the vision and working together for it. It is motivating. Managing is not so motivating as it ends up in control kind of situation,

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