Engage Your Leadership With These Critical Questions

We are in a study and discussion of Gary Burnison’s recently published book titled, The Twelve Absolutes of LeadershipBurnison is CEO of Korn/Ferry International, the world’s largest executive search firm.


Burnison writes, “By the time you reach the level of senior leader, you have already mastered the technical skills that you need.  What you may be missing, however, are the nuances and the seemingly simple truths that get lost in all the noise around how to run an organization.  More often than not, a leader’s blind spots stem from a lack of these softer skills, which may look very simple, but are deceptively so.”


I suggest a simple, yet very effective exercise that will positively impact the individual leaders and overall leadership throughout your organization.  Using the direct quotations listed below from The Twelve Absolutes of Leadership, ask leadership teams throughout your organization to discuss these questions and come to specific conclusions:


  1.  Do you agree with Burnison’s leadership  statement?
  2.  If yes, why?  If no, why?  Defend your position.
  3.  Based on the mission, values and culture of  our organization, how can we best improve our organization in this critical area of leadership?
  4. What  are the specific steps we will implement, monitor and measure to insure maximum improvement?


Here are some great discussion points from The Twelve Absolutes of Leadership:


  • “There is nothing simple about empowering people so that the decisions they make      and the actions they take are in line with the overall values and strategy of the organization.”
  • “It is not easy to reward your team continuously with praise and      acknowledgment of milestones achieved, particularly when you must steer a supertanker of an organization toward an endpoint that is over the      horizon.”
  • “Leading   is less about analytics and decisions, and much more about aligning,  motivating, and empowering others to make those decisions.”
  • “Leading is learning from the past to define the future, inspiring others to move purposefully forward.”
  • “To lead is to acknowledge the reality of the here and now, while always focusing on tomorrow.”


Ask leadership teams throughout your organization to discuss and answer the 4 questions above related specifically to each of the five statements from The Twelve Absolutes of Leadership.


I am betting that you will be amazed at the high quality feedback and recommendations, not to mention the personal and professional bonding and learning that will occur through the process.


What do you have to lose?  You have a lot to gain!


Copyright © 2012 by Dan Nielsen

Founder, National Institute for Healthcare Leadership  –  www.nihcl.com

Founder, America’s Healthcare Leaders  –  www.americashealthcareleaders.com

Cell 214-695-1292





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