Leadership is one of those extremely complex, messy and sometimes frustrating topics.  While we all have our favorite leader and people we try to emulate as we take on leadership roles, so many of us struggle with trying to be an authentic leader.  During my time as a leader, research, writing and working with leaders, I have develop two tools that might help. 

In leading Peak Performance: Lessons from the Wild Dogs of Africa, the book he co-authored with Stephen Hacker, Marvin writes “The convergence of technological, social and political change keeps the subject of leadership vibrant.” With that one line, Marvin and Stephen set the stage for talking with senior executives about why leadership is important and why they must engage in improving leadership ability for themselves and for others in their organizations. Because leadership is directly connected to performance, it is — at its essence — a combination of behaviors, characteristics, and skills that strive to achieve “peak performance.”

One question continually came up during my work researching this book, how can I become a wild dog?  This led to my second book co-authored with Stephen Hacker Leading Self before Leading others: A life planning resource book.

At the core of exceptional leadership is the ability to lead self. Some level of proficiency can be demonstrated by simply focusing on leading others. But to achieve transformational results, leading self is essential. Cultivating self-awareness and developing a life plan are key elements of leading self. And really, should not leaders demonstrate a level of self-mastery
before leading others?
It is time that leaders move to a deeper understanding of themselves as they operate within a world of accelerated change and increasing complexity. Although leadership performance is evidenced in outward results, decisions, and actions, the genesis of the leadership performance is an internal endeavor. Resiliency and ethical behavior are grounded by having a strong sense of purpose, established vision, and clear operating values. To the degree that the leader is consciously leading self, the quality of his or her leadership corresponds. Be it for good or evil, conscious leadership is powerful. This book makes plain the case for enhanced self-awareness, provides case studies and research support, presents the voices of several master leadership coaches, and most importantly … leads the reader through the life planning process.