orris, Tom. If Harry Potter Ran General Electric: Leadership Wisdom from the World of the Wizards. New York: Doubleday, 2006.
The greatest teachers are always masters of their subjects who lead, train, guide, and inspire their student apprentices to their own forms of excellence. They never just pass on information. The master is a model, coach, helper, and motivator as well as a teacher and trainer.
The best leaders teach by example and guide with encouragement.
What we haven’t ourselves received, we can’t pass on to others. … A great mentor is a person who has filtered his or her own prior personal experience, along with the experience of many others, analyzed it fully, and extracted from it the wisdom it contains.
Ultimately, he is a great leader because he’s a wise man who knows human nature, and who acts in everything he does with great character.
Without truth, people can’t work effectively. Without trust, people can’t work efficiently.
The best leaders in most circumstances tend to be just completely committed people with keen intelligence, great skill, focused energy, a clear vision, the courage of their convictions, a passion for what they’re doing, strong character, and a robust sense of concern for others.
We can mess up, and then clean up, and end up better than we started.
The deepest emotions are compatible with the highest rationality in any life that is in full control of all its faculties. But without proper self-control, no amount of passion or intellect can guarantee either great leadership or even long-lasting personal success.
…Ethics is really about creating strength. It is a matter of making choices that preserve those values and qualities most deserving of preservation. It’s about doing what’s right in any given circumstances, regardless of the consequences we might happen to predict, and it’s about becoming a properly formed, strongly virtuous person as a result. All of ethics comes down to the choices we make every day. And who we become is a result of those choices.
There are many aspects to strength of character. An ability to make the right choices hinges on all of them. Honesty is important, as is a proper sense of loyalty, an empathetic appreciation for the needs of others, moderated desires, and a grounded, appropriate personal sense of self-worth and dignity. Any leader should seek to surround himself with people who have such qualities.
If you want to be a great leader, be a great person. Work on embodying and living the classic virtues. Broaden and deepen yourself as a human being. Seek to govern everything you feel and whatever you do in accordance with your most fundamental beliefs and values. Believe in other people. Show that you care about them. Never forget the power of apprenticeship. Make it a habit to exercise appropriate control over all your emotions and actions. And remember to have fun whenever it’s at all possible.