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Quotes About Leadership by
Bill George


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In the 21st century, without authenticity in leadership, organizations can't develop sustained growth. ~Bill George

First you will have to understand yourself, because the hardest person you will ever have to lead is yourself. Second, to be an effective leader, you must take responsibility for your own development. ~ Bill George, True North

I think we've been choosing boards of directors and many wrong leaders for the wrong reason. We choose people for their image, their charisma, their style and we should be choosing them for their integrity, for their character, and their substance. ~Bill George, PBS: Interview with Bill George

Emotional intelligence also matters. As Dick Kovacevich of Wells Fargo says, "Above the 99th percentile of intelligence, there is an inverse correlation between leadership and intelligence." In other words, many exceptionally intelligent leaders try to be the smartest person in the room and impose their views. They don't get the best out of their people. Leadership is about much more than IQ, and requires you to develop yourself through the mosaic of all your experiences. ~Bill George, The Thought Leader Interview

The leader's job today, in 21st-century terms, is not about gaining followership. Followership is an outmoded notion. Leadership starts with gaining alignment with the mission and values of the organization: What are we about? What do we believe as a group? Goldman Sachs, where I serve on the board, has achieved solid alignment around its mission: "The clients' interests always come first." At Medtronic, we aligned around the idea of "allevi­ating pain, restoring health, and ex­tending life." It was clear that anyone who didn't buy into that could work somewhere else. ~Bill George, The Thought Leader Interview

Successful leaders lead with the heart, not just the head. They possess qualities like empathy, compassion and courage. They also have the ability to establish deep, long-term and genuine relationships where others trust them. ~Bill George, Incentive Interview

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