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Leadership at Your Fingertips


Jacobsen, Ian. Leadership at Your Fingertips: Proven Ways to Handle Your Challenges. Los Altos: Westchester Publishing Company, 2003.

When you hire, you hire a whole person. It is naive to assume that people leave the rest of their life on the doorstep as they come to work. Organizations need to be prepared to help employees deal with the challenges they face off the job, too, in order for them to be effective on the job.

Whenever two or more people work together, conflict is inevitable. Conflict can be healthy when it is a competition of ideas. It can be destructive when it is a conflict between people. Thus, it is essential for any organization to have an agreed-on way to deal with conflict, and for people to be trained to use the system. Such a process is more easily created and installed before a conflict arises than in the heat of a conflict.

A leader is not a leader without people to lead. Leaders are entrusted to serve the people they lead. Leadership is a privilege earned through being credible to the people one leads and represents, and competent to resolve the issues. For people to commit them self to you is an act of faith. In other words, “followers” need to have faith and trust in you in order to commit themselves fully.

Yet, there is a tendency for people to build organizations piecemeal as an amalgam of available spare parts when what they really need is a unified structure to create a total system. Even copying the best practices of other organizations typically falls flat. …