Discovering Your Authentic Leadership

Discovering Your Authentic Leadership is a great read for people who want to improve their Leadership skills. I have read many articles on leadership and everyone of them focuses on different aspects of leadership.

Best part about this article is it tells you to focus internally to look at your own history and learn from that. Authors focus on following key aspects of your life to learn from

  • Learn from your own life story
  • Know your authentic self
  • Practice your values and principles
  • Balance your extrinsic and intrinsic motivations
  • Build a support team to learn and get guidance from
  • Integrate your life by staying grounded

Original Article:

Authors: Bill George, Peter Sims, Andrew N. McLean and Diana Mayer


During the past 50 years, leadership scholars have conducted more than 1,000 studies in an attempt to determine the definitive styles, characteristics, or personality traits of great leaders. None of these studies has produced a clear profile of the ideal leader. Thank goodness. If scholars had produced a cookie-cutter leadership style, individuals would be forever trying to imitate it. They would make themselves into personae, not people, and others would see through them immediately.

No one can be authentic by trying to imitate someone else. You can learn from others’ experiences, but there is no way you can be successful when you are trying to be like them. People trust you when you are genuine and authentic, not a replica of someone else. Amgen CEO and president Kevin Sharer, who gained priceless experience working as Jack Welch’s assistant in the 1980s, saw the downside of GE’s cult of personality in those days. “Everyone wanted to be like Jack,” he explains. “Leadership has many voices. You need to be who you are, not try to emulate somebody else.”

Leadership That Gets Results

This Article by Daniel Goleman is a great read on different leadership styles and how leaders can use them in different scenarios to get results. In this article Goleman explores which precise leadership behaviors yield positive results. He outlines six distinct leadership styles, each one springing from different components of emotional intelligence. Each style has a distinct effect on the working atmosphere of a company, division, or team, and, in turn, on its financial performance.

You have to read the article to get the full picture. You can access it at . Below is a preview…

  1. Coercive leaders demand immediate compliance.
  2. Authoritative leaders mobilize people toward a vision.
  3. Affiliative leaders create emotional bonds and harmony.
  4. Democratic leaders build consensus through participation.
  5. Pacesetting leaders expect excellence and self-direction.
  6. Coaching leaders develop people for the future.

Leadership Styles at a glance








The leader’s modus operandi

Demands immediate compliance

Mobilizes people toward a vision

Creates harmony and builds emotional bonds

Forges consensus through participation

Sets high standards for performance

Develops people for the future

The style in a phrase

"Do what I tell you."

"Come with me."

"People come first."

"What do you think?"

"Do as I do, now."

"Try this."

Underlying emotional intelligence competencies

Drive to achieve, initiative, self-control

Self-confidence, empathy, change catalyst

Empathy, building relationships, communication

Collaboration, team leadership, communication

Conscientiousness, drive to achieve, initiative

Developing others, empathy, self-awareness

When the style works best

In a crisis, to kick start a turnaround, or with problem employees

When changes require a new vision, or when a clear direction is needed

To heal rifts in a team or to motivate people during stressful circumstances

To build buy-in or consensus, or to get input from valuable employees

To get quick results from a highly motivated and competent team

To help an employee improve performance or develop long-term strengths

Overall impact on climate


Most strongly positive





The research indicates that leaders who get the best results don’t rely on just one leadership style; they use most of the styles in any given week.

25 Best-Selling Harvard Business Review articles of all time



I got this list of best-selling HBR articles through our library. I am planning read (and in some cases re-read) the articles and post a summary. Hope it is useful to y’all.



The Parable of the Sadhu by Bowen McCoy, May/Jun 1997 (originally published 1983)


What Is Strategy by Michael Porter, Nov/Dec 1996


Discipline of Building Character by Joseph Badaracco, Mar/Apr 1998


Hidden Challenge of Cross-Border Negotiations by James Sebenius, Mar 2002


Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail by John Kotter, Jan 2007 (originally published Mar/Apr 1995)


The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy by Michael Porter, Jan 2008


What Makes a Leader by Daniel Goleman, Jan 2004 (originally published Nov/Dec 1998)


What Leaders Really Do by John Kotter, Dec 2001 (originally published May/Jun 1990 )


Harnessing the Science of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, Oct 2001


Leadership That Gets Results by Daniel Goleman, Mar/Apr 2000


The CEO’s Role in Business Model Reinvention by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble, Jan/Feb 2011


Creating Shared Value by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, Jan/Feb 2011


Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker, Jan 2005 (originally published Mar/Apr 1999)


Discovering Your Authentic Leadership by Bill George, Peter Sims, Andrew McLean, and Diana Mayer, Feb 2007


Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, Oct 2004


Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve by Jim Collins, Jul 2005 (originally published Jan 2001 )


Can You Say What Your Strategy Is? by David Collis and Michael Rukstad, Apr 2008


Discipline of Teams by Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith, Jul/Aug 2005 (originally published Mar/Apr 1993)


Managing Your Boss by John Gabarro and John Kotter, Jan 2005 (originally published Jan/Feb 1980)


Building Your Company’s Vision by James Collins and Jerry Porras, Sep/Oct 1996


Hidden Traps in Decision Making by John Hammond, Ralph Keeney, and Howard Raiffa, Jan 2006 (originally published Sep/Oct 1998)


Strategy & Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, Dec 2006


Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey by William Oncken and Donald Wass, Nov/Dec 1999 (originally published Nov/Dec 1974


Why Should Anyone Be Led by You? by Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones, Sep/Oct 2000


Marketing Myopia by Theodore Levitt, Jul/Aug 2004 (originally published Jul/Aug 1960)

As per 2012 Resolutions, Sunday Walks Begin

As part of 2012 resolutions I had said I will Participate in 1 outdoor activity(walk, run etc.) with Swati every week. We started that today.. Smile We went for a good 1 hour walk and did some 3miles(5k) walk. That is great start, goal is for us to do a half marathon together this year… Smile That would be fun and I think we can do it…

Don’t worry abt the timing below.. Forgot to switch off the watch this time. Smile 

2012 Resolutions

2012 is already here and had a great start to the year with a 5k resolution run. Today I finalized my 7 resolutions for the year… Yes I always have 7 of everything… The theme in 2012 will continue to be Living Healthy Lifestyle but will expand the health angle from physical health to mental and financial health. Smile

My 2012 resolution list:

  1. Maintain weight under 185lbs by exercising at least 5 days a week and eating healthy foods
  2. Participate in 12 events(endurance running, triathlon etc.) in 2012, at least 4 of them with Swati.
  3. Get financial health in order and reduce recurring credit card debt to $0.
  4. Read everyday for 15-30minutes before sleeping
  5. Participate in 1 outdoor activity(walk, run etc.) with Swati every week.
  6. Volunteer time(at least 25hrs) for a charitable cause
  7. Start a business(maybe small or tiny or something… Smile)… Start something…

Things that did not make the list but am surely going to try…

  1. Write 6 apps across different platforms
  2. Start a walking/running club with friends…
  3. Post at least 1 blog a week
  4. Many more like x number of vacations, y activities with kids etc.…