With nearly 30 books and 85 years behind him, Warren Bennis is among the preeminent figures in the field of leadership studies. When the International Leadership Association (ILA) announced its 2010 webinar series entitled Leadership Perspectives, Bennis's August 25thpresentation was a can't miss (More information about the book and a recording of the presentation are available here). Through an interview moderated by Jean Lipman-Blumen, Bennis discussed his latest book, Still Surprised - A Memoir of a Life in Leadership, and further explored his personal leadership journey through anecdotes and reflections of his life. If you were unable to listen or didn't know about the ILA's series, we wanted to recap Bennis's major points:
1. Social animal
One of the more poignant and heartfelt insights that Bennis had to offer was the importance of people in his life. He considered his personal relationships with friends and colleagues to be the thread that unifies his many experiences, and proclaimed himself a social animal. Bennis spoke of how he best learns through conversation with others, shared his original idea for his book's title (My Self through Others), and spoke openly of the importance of people and meaningful conversation in his life.
2. Engaged Observer
Bennis spoke at length about his desire to be a part of the action of his time. He expressed a genuine interest in learning and exploring, and wanted to be a participant in our countries history and struggle. He labeled himself anengaged observer, reflecting on his service as an officer in World War II to his research on institutions and groups. He wanted to be a part of solutions, and spoke passionately about his optimism for being a part of positive and meaningful change in the world.
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