How To Discover Your True North And Become An Authentic Leader
In his book, True North, Bill George shows you how to discover your true north - your internal compass that guides you successfully through life. "Only when you discover your true north can you unlock your full potential as a leader and human being," explains George.
In the book, published a few months ago, George shares with you how to:
- Cultivate self-awareness
- Define your values
- Find the "sweet spots": of your motivated capabilities
- Build your support team and lead an integrated life
- Make the journey from "I' to "We" as an empowering leader
- Become a global leader
George shares profiles and stories from more than 100 leaders who in their own words explain how they discovered their true north.
He also explains the characteristics differences needed to be a leader in the Twenty-First Century versus the Twentieth-Century. Today's leaders, he says need to be:
- Purpose-drive versus charismatic
- Globally focused versus U. S.-centric
- Thinking long-term versus short-term
- Using a distributed leadership style vs. a hierarchal leadership style
- Taking the institution's best interests in mind instead of being self-centered
- Learning through crucibles versus having the "perfect resume"
Another important teaching from George is how to define your values, principles and ethical boundaries:
Values: The relative importance of the things that matter in your life.
Leadership Principles: A set of standards used in leading others, derived from your values. Principles are values translated into action.
Ethical Boundaries: The limits placed on your actions, based on your standards of ethical behavior.
Finally, George explains that to bring out the best from teammates, authentic leaders must develop trusting relationships based on mutual respect. "There is no substitute. Like loyalty, respect provides a basis for empowerment, but leaders must earn it," says George.
Here are some things empowering leaders do to gain the respect of their colleagues:
- Treat others as equals
- Listen actively
- Learn from people
- Share life stories
- Align around the mission
George is the former CEO of Medtroinc and Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School (HBS), where he teaches leadership in executive education programs.