Ron's Material Leadership Blog

It is my sincerest hope that the stories I share are helpful to others. I have experienced first hand that many people toil in obscurity, searching for answers, ashamed to reach out and ask for help. This blog will contain experiences and wisdom that I have gained over the years that I hope will offer guidance in dealing with some of life's challenges.

Why the name material leadership? If you are curious the answer is on my website.
The link on the side bar.

Lead well


Monday, October 29, 2007

Leadership Development Training

Last week I traveled to San Diego CA to attend a leadership development training conference hosted by the Center for Creative Leadership and listen to a talk by Jim Kouzes. He and Barry Posner are the authors of the book The Leadership Challenge. This book as you know is in my top five leadership books and will not soon be dislodged because it is the most comprehensive leadership development book available. All the others in my top five appeal to me for numerous reasons, but none are as complete as this book. I am sure you can appreciate how excited I was to meet one of the people who have significantly influenced my leadership style. Not to mention the chance to have my book signed now by both authors!

The chance to hear Jim speak was fantastic. It got even better though since one of my grad school Profs was also there and she and Jim are friends. I had an opportunity to talk with him after the presentation on leadership development. Very cool to interact with some one with this degree of influence on the practice of leadership development. During his presentation Jim waged in on the age old leadership development debate of born versus made. Clearly this was a home town audience; a crowd full of leadership development zealots. I have never heard it put as well as he did this afternoon. His argument made me chuckle at the thought of updating the argument on this topic on this blog.

Leadership development is hard work. It demands sacrifice. It demands that the leader have the best interests of the institution as their priority rather than their own. However, when someone claims that leadership is a born condition or genetic endowment, this implies that working at it is relatively pointless since you either have it or you don’t. By extension those who believe that leadership is solely a born condition must be inherently lazy. After all there is no value in developing it so why bother…

So is leadership made or are you Lazy!?

What a deliciously provocative question!

Lead well


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Thoughts on a Recent Read

The Dip by Seth Godin

This was the first of Mr. Godin’s books I have read and I must say it will not be the last. I enjoyed this book and found its message wise and on point for our age. The premise of the book is that there is a time to quit a role, project, effort and a time to stay. When we have the opportunity to be the very best and are willing to pay the price, it is time to stay. When it is clear that staying will result in mediocrity or worse yet (Mr. Godin’s term for a dead end) a cul-de-sac, it is time to move on to something where we can be our best. The dip is the place in between. The place where we face opposition, adversity and discouragement. It is here that many wrongly chose to give up when greatness is not that far away for the brave souls who persevere.

Complexity: Low

Length: Short

Compelling: Very much

Worthwhile: Definitely