The New SuperLeadership

Leading Others to Lead Themselves

Charles Manz (Author) | Henry P. Sims (Author)

Publication date: 01/01/2001

The New SuperLeadership
The truly effective leader today must be one who leads others to lead themselves. The rapid pace of change demands fast and flexible responses throughout the organization-there's no time to wait for directives from the top. And the highly-skilled workers so vital to organizational success also demand a high degree of independence. Old-fashioned command-and-control leadership is just too slow and stifling.
Charles Manz and Henry Sims, Jr. pioneered the concept self-leadership in their bestselling book SuperLeadership. In The New SuperLeadership, the authors present new content and examples designed to help leaders develop the kind of autonomous, quick-reacting workforce necessary to thrive in these turbulent times. This enriched and expanded edition takes the concepts in the first edition to another level by emphasizing a pragmatic, how-to approach for developing leaders at every level of the organization.
Drawing on contemporary examples and profiles, many from the high-tech and information sectors, Manz and Sims shatter the myth of the traditional, aggrandized versions of "heroic" leadership. They show that a leader truly becomes successful by turning followers into extraordinary self-leaders-pillars of strength that will support the organization at every level. They detail a series of action-oriented steps through which the SuperLeader provides an opportunity for followers to express and develop their own leadership skills-and in the process become highly motivated, dynamic contributors.
The New SuperLeadership critically reviews traditional leadership styles, vividly illustrating the drawbacks of each: the "Strong Man" whose reliance on fear-based compliance smothers initiative; the "Transactor" who promotes a narrow "what's in it for me?" mentality; and the "Visionary Hero" whose powerful personality inspires commitment but inadvertently discourages independent thinking. By bringing out the leader in every employee, SuperLeadership enables leaders to avoid these pitfalls and develop an enthusiastic, innovative and energized workforce.
The New SuperLeadership is a radically new way of looking at leadership, offering a leadership paradigm ideally suited to the realities of the modern workplace. It reveals that the only way to succeed today is to tap into the innate leadership potential that lies within every employee.
  • Thoroughly revised and updated edition of bestselling SuperLeadership

  • Features numerous real-life stories of how leaders have achieved greater success through bringing out self-leadership in others

  • Even more essential now than when first published

Read more and meet author below

Read An Excerpt

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Overview

The truly effective leader today must be one who leads others to lead themselves. The rapid pace of change demands fast and flexible responses throughout the organization-there's no time to wait for directives from the top. And the highly-skilled workers so vital to organizational success also demand a high degree of independence. Old-fashioned command-and-control leadership is just too slow and stifling.
Charles Manz and Henry Sims, Jr. pioneered the concept self-leadership in their bestselling book SuperLeadership. In The New SuperLeadership, the authors present new content and examples designed to help leaders develop the kind of autonomous, quick-reacting workforce necessary to thrive in these turbulent times. This enriched and expanded edition takes the concepts in the first edition to another level by emphasizing a pragmatic, how-to approach for developing leaders at every level of the organization.
Drawing on contemporary examples and profiles, many from the high-tech and information sectors, Manz and Sims shatter the myth of the traditional, aggrandized versions of "heroic" leadership. They show that a leader truly becomes successful by turning followers into extraordinary self-leaders-pillars of strength that will support the organization at every level. They detail a series of action-oriented steps through which the SuperLeader provides an opportunity for followers to express and develop their own leadership skills-and in the process become highly motivated, dynamic contributors.
The New SuperLeadership critically reviews traditional leadership styles, vividly illustrating the drawbacks of each: the "Strong Man" whose reliance on fear-based compliance smothers initiative; the "Transactor" who promotes a narrow "what's in it for me?" mentality; and the "Visionary Hero" whose powerful personality inspires commitment but inadvertently discourages independent thinking. By bringing out the leader in every employee, SuperLeadership enables leaders to avoid these pitfalls and develop an enthusiastic, innovative and energized workforce.
The New SuperLeadership is a radically new way of looking at leadership, offering a leadership paradigm ideally suited to the realities of the modern workplace. It reveals that the only way to succeed today is to tap into the innate leadership potential that lies within every employee.

  • Thoroughly revised and updated edition of bestselling SuperLeadership

  • Features numerous real-life stories of how leaders have achieved greater success through bringing out self-leadership in others

  • Even more essential now than when first published

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Meet the Authors


Visit Author Page - Charles Manz

Charles Manz, Ph.D., is the Charles and Janet Nirenberg Professor of Business Leadership in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. Manz has served as a consultant for 3M, Ford, Motorola, Xerox, the Mayo Clinic, Procter & Gamble, General Motors, American Express, and many other organizations. He is the author of several books, including the bestselling The New SuperLeadership and Leadership Wisdom of Jesus.

To learn more about Charles and his work, visit him on the web.



Visit Author Page - Henry P. Sims

Henry P. Sims, Jr. is Professor of Management and Organization and former Director of the Ph.D. Program at the Maryland Business School.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: A Call for SuperLeadership

PART I THE GHOSTS OF LEADERSHIP: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
1. Leadership in the 21st Century
PROFILE:
Dennis Bakke of AES Corporation
2. The Strongman, Transactor, Visionary Hero, and SuperLeader
PROFILE:
Chainsaw Al—SuperLeader NOT!
3. SuperLeadership 101: The Basics for Unleashing Self-Leadership
PROFILE:
Percy Barnevik of ABB

PART II SELF-LEADERSHIP STRATEGIES: LEADING THE ONE IN THE MIRROR
4. Self-Leadership in Action
PROFILE:
Carly Fiorina of Hewlett-Packard
5. Self-Leadership through Natural Rewards
6. Self-Leadership of the Mind
PROFILE:
SuperLeadership in the Information Age— Leading By Creating Knowledge Self-Leaders

PART III SUPERLEADERSHIP—IT'S IN THE DETAILS
7. Leading Others to Lead Themselves
PROFILE:
MacGregor—Insisting on Self-Leadership
8. Leading Individuals to Become Self-Leaders
PROFILE:
Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines
9. Leading Teams to Self-Leadership
PROFILE:
Joe Paterno and Phil Jackson—SuperLeadership in Sports
10. Leading Organizational Cultures to Self-Leadership
PROFILE:
(More) Dennis Bakke of AES Corporation

PART IV SUPERLEADERSHIP IN THE 21ST CENTURY
11. Leadership: A Hero or Hero-Maker?
Notes
Index
About the Authors

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Excerpt

A Call for SuperLeadership

“Give a man a fish, and he will be fed for a day;
teach a man to fish, and he will be fed for a lifetime.”

EVERYONE HAS HEARD THIS EXPRESSION, and the logic underlying this book is similar. We might paraphrase: “Be a strong, even a charismatic leader and followers will know where to go as long as you light their way. Teach them to lead themselves, and their path will be lighted always.” And we would add, “In return, they will illuminate new paths of opportunity that you might have never seen.”

A number of years ago we coined the term “SuperLeadership” to describe leadership that helps others to lead themselves. Given the wave of demand for individual empowerment that was beginning to sweep the country at that time, this concept struck a strong chord with the public, especially with business executives. We believed strongly that SuperLeadership filled a critical void in understanding how leadership could help meet the challenge of successfully putting empowerment into practice in organizations.

As we move onward into the 21st century we believe that Super-Leadership is needed even more today than it was then. For most organizations, empowerment is no longer a new management fad but a requirement for survival. And as more and more people work remotely and independently with the aid of advanced information technology, and as the world continues to become increasingly complex, changing, and globally integrated, the call for a new kind of leadership is echoing through the virtual halls of the new knowledge-based corporations. We believe this call again beckons Super-Leadership to move to center stage.


2
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SUPERLEADERSHIP


SuperLeadership: Leading Others to Lead Themselves was originally published in 1989, was well received, and went on to become a bestseller. We were pleased that management guru Tom Peters contributed a foreword. (See excerpts in the following box.) The book was awarded the Stybel-Peabody literary prize and was chosen to be a feature selection in the Executive Book Club. An audiotape version was published by the widely distributed Fast Track series. A year later, a paperback version was published and became a bestseller. SuperLeadership also received significant media attention, being featured on television and radio as well as in many magazines and newspapers across the country. The book was also published in several foreign language editions.

Most of all, we found the acceptance by the managerial and executive community to be dramatically positive and exceptionally gratifying. SuperLeadership has significantly impacted practice and training in organizations of all sizes. Many of these have been Fortune 500 companies, some of which distributed material from the book, or the book itself, on a widespread basis to employees throughout their organizations. Others used the SuperLeadership and self-leadership concepts and strategies as a key component of their leadership and empowerment efforts and training programs.

image SuperLeadership challenges our fundamental assumptions about leadership and offers a powerful alternative for unleashing the vast capabilities of others.

In the past ten years we have personally delivered hundreds of speeches and executive development modules on the topic of Super-Leadership. The single overwhelming response from managers and executives has been a simultaneous fascination with how Super-Leadership challenges the fundamental assumptions that they have learned about leadership, and yet offers a powerful alternative for unleashing the vast capabilities of their followers. The concept appears to move them to take a penetrating look in the mirror, which helps free them to empower others while moving themselves toward becoming highly effective leaders—SuperLeaders. Many seem to realize for the first time that the best measure of their own leadership effectiveness is not how much they personally excel and receive acclaim. Instead, the effectiveness of leadership can be measured by the success of others.3

In SuperLeadership, Charles Manz and Hank Sims … focus on leaders who lead, not for their own edification and glory, not through command and authority, but through a subtle and ill-understood process that leads others to lead themselves to excellence. Indeed, in reading SuperLeadership, I recognized many of the characteristics that they articulate in the numerous executives I had encountered in researching my books.


Manz's and Sims's book has a further strength. The authors do a superb job of articulating specific behaviors and strategies that leaders can use to bring out excellence in others. While philosophy and abstract vision are important executive strengths, the actions that executives take to realize these visions are critical. SuperLeadership is action-oriented—it proposes specific strategies for leading others to lead themselves.


I remain convinced that executive leadership will continue to be the critical ingredient in the success or failure of American business and industry. Certainly, the corporate environment is becoming more complex and transitory, so the more we can understand about leadership, the more effective our business organizations can be. Understanding SuperLeadership moves us closer to this elusive goal.


—Tom Peters, from the Foreword to SuperLeadership, 1989


SUPERLEADERSHIP: EVEN MORE IMPORTANT FOR THE 21ST CENTURY


When most people think of leadership, they think of one person doing something to another person. We call this “influence” and we think of a leader as one who has the ability to influence another. A classic leader—one whom everyone recognizes is a leader—is sometimes described as “charismatic” or “heroic.” A popular concept is the idea of a “transformational” leader, one who has the vision and dynamic personal attraction to generate total organizational change. The word leader itself conjures up visions of a striking figure on a rearing white horse, crying “follow me!” The leader is the one who has power, authority, or charisma enough to command others.4

We think of the historical figures who fit this mold: Alexander the Great, Caesar, Napoleon, George Washington, Churchill, Patton. Even Lee Iacocca's turnaround of Chrysler Corporation might be thought of as a notable example of 20th century heroic leadership in a manufacturing organization. More recently, Steven Jobs accomplished a similar feat in a high-tech environment after returning as CEO of the then financially troubled Apple Computer. It's not difficult to imagine Iacocca or Jobs astride a white horse, riding out in front of the troops at Chrysler or Apple.

But is this heroic leadership figure the most appropriate role model for the organizational leader of the 21st century? What kind of leader is needed for an information-based organization that operates in a rapidly changing world? How can highly independent and physically dispersed telecommuters be effectively led? What kind of leadership is appropriate for leading empowered team members who are supposed to be leading themselves? Is there another model? We believe there is.

We begin with the idea that true leadership comes mainly from within a person, not from outside. At its best, external leadership can provide a spark and support the flame of the powerful self-leadership that dwells within each person. At its worst, it disrupts this internal process, damaging the person and creating conflicts between inner and external influences.

This perspective demands that we come up with a new measure of leadership strength—the ability to maximize the contributions of others by helping them to effectively guide their own destinies, rather than the ability to bend the will of others. We refer to this subtle yet tremendously powerful approach to leadership as Super-Leadership—leading others to lead themselves.

SuperLeaders marshal the strength of many, for their strength does not lie solely in their own abilities but in the vast, multiple talents of those who surround them. In this sense, the word super has a different connotation than it does in comic books, or in terms like superman or supermom. It does concern bringing out the best—but mainly in others, not just the leader. The SuperLeader does not try to carry the weight of a hyperchanging high-tech world alone, but shares this burden with others. And those others become stronger and stronger through their initiative, creativity, and real contributions. As others become stronger, the leader gains the strength of the unleashed potential of many, and consequently can become a SuperLeader.5

image A SuperLeader is one who
leads others to lead themselves.

Our underlying philosophy is optimistic. We believe in the vast, often hidden capability within leaders and their followers. Super-Leadership taps the potential of each person to make the world a better place, if given a chance. This is crucial in a world of accelerating change, where knowledge workers need to contribute their fuller potential, where no one person can know it all and make all the decisions competently on their own. We believe that Super-Leadership confronts the demands of the 21st century head on. It provides a road map for meeting vast challenges and opportunities in a way in which everyone can be involved and, in a very real sense, everyone can be a leader.


SO WHAT'S NEW THIS TIME? LEADERSHIP IN THE AGE OF INFORMATION


First, let's make it clear, this book is deeply rooted in the original version, SuperLeadership, published in 1989 and 1990. We are faithful to our own original ideas and rhetoric. But indeed, there are many changes to this new book for the 21st century.

Over the years we have developed an enriched model of how SuperLeadership can actually be implemented. In many ways the actual practice of leadership by real executives in real organizations has changed dramatically over the last decade, mainly toward the ideas represented by SuperLeadership. It's becoming easier to find real life SuperLeaders such as Dennis Bakke of AES (see later profile). We have observed and recorded this change, and much of it is reflected in our new writing.6

Our views of self-leadership have been enriched and expanded, and this is also reflected in this new book. We have given special emphasis to the ideas of expressing self-leadership through seeking out the natural rewards in work, and by influencing one's own patterns of thinking. Our current thinking and writing reflects a holistic, integrative perspective that recognizes the interrelated role of behavior, thought, and emotion for effectively leading ourselves. Self-leadership is truly the heart of SuperLeadership and receives a great deal of attention in this book.

Practical self-leadership consists of both action- and mind-focused strategies designed to enhance personal achievement and effectiveness. We especially draw upon the thinking that Charles Manz brought forth in his recent book with Christopher Neck, Mastering Self-Leadership (2nd edition).

image SELF-LEADERSHIP—a philosophy and a systematic set of actions and mental strategies for leading ourselves to higher performance and effectiveness.

Many of the changes in the book are focused on the examples, cases, and profiles that we use. We have many new examples and profiles that reflect more contemporary leadership, especially in high-tech and knowledge-based environments.

Perhaps the most prominent change is the way we have incorporated the realities of the information age into this new version. In the first and last chapters especially, we have articulated the dramatic, cutting-edge changes in communication and information processing and what these changes mean for leadership in the 21st century. We believe that the age of information will require more and more investment in human capital, and that SuperLeadership is the way to bring out the best in the people who inhabit our organizations of the 21st century.

image The most important change is the emphasis on how the age of information has changed leadership and made self-leadership an essential skill for everyone.

SOME SUPERLEADERSHIP THEMES


7
Here are some primary themes that capture the spirit of the book:


Given the rapid change, complexity, and new high-tech autonomous work roles of the information age, SuperLeadership is needed even more now than it was in the past.

SuperLeaders lead others to lead themselves.

The first critical step of SuperLeadership is to master self-leadership.

Superleaders establish values, model, encourage, reward, and in many other ways foster self-leadership in individuals, teams, and wider organizational cultures.


Some expressions that illustrate the above themes include:


An important measure of a leader's own success is the success of others.

“[This transition to SuperLeadership] is even more difficult for me than other people … I started to realize that I better let some other people do some things and I better start looking at the big picture a little more.”—Joseph Vincent Paterno

The strength of a leader is measured by the ability to facilitate the self-leadership of others—not the ability to bend the will of others to the leaders.

If leaders want to lead somebody, they must first lead themselves.

The best of all leaders is the one who helps people so that eventually they don't need him or her.

8
The stories, examples, and cases used throughout this book are designed to provide practical insight on how SuperLeadership can be used successfully by leaders. But the most important point is to understand the underlying philosophy—that is, as a leader you can act to enhance and unleash the self-leadership of others. In the process, you will become a SuperLeader!

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