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Michael Fullan's book Change Leader describes his approach to leadership, one he has used successfully in Ontario to lead that city to significant academic gains over the past 9 years. He prescribes seven key insights leaders should adapt to create the conditions for change to flourish.
- The effective change leader actively participates as a learner in helping the organization improve.
- The effective change leaders combine resolute moral purpose with impressive empathy.
- Realized effectiveness is what motivates people to do more.
- Collaborative competition is the yin and yang of successful change.
- Change leaders are more confident than the situation warrants but more humble than they look.
- Statistics are a wonderful servant and an appalling master.
- Simplexity is salvation for an intricate world.
Numbers 1, 2, and 5 deal with the character, demeanor and approach of the leader. I agree wholeheartedly that an effective leader participates as a co-learner with the staff (#1), maintains a healthy balance of push and support (#2), and balances confidence with humility (#5). We would do well to cultivate these three character traits in our work and life every day.