More Than Money
Issue #35

Money and Leadership

Table of Contents

“Bang for the Buck: Changing Our Concepts of Leadership”

By Beverly Keel

Emerging Concepts of Leadership

The Self-Effacing Leader
"Our research indicates the best-performing entrepreneurial CEOs are relatively self-effacing and humble. 'It's the team, not me,' these talented leaders consistently stress when talking about their success, even in this most unlikely of worlds.

This modest style of leadership has two major advantages-it results in an environment that attracts and retains the very best, and it allows employees to develop to their ultimate potential."
-From "The Self-Effacing Leader: the Value of a Low-key Style," on MSN Office Coach, by James M. Citrin and Richard A. Smith, special to MSN.

Quiet Leadership
"[Quiet leaders] think of themselves modestly; they often don't even think of themselves as leaders. But they are acting quietly, effectively, with political astuteness, to basically make things somewhat better, sometimes much better than they would otherwise be."
-From "The Quiet Leader and How to Be One," an interview with Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr, by Martha Lagace, HBS Working Knowledge , February 11, 2002

For more information about Leadership for a Changing World, visit www.leadershipforchange.org .

When Susan Berresford became president of the Ford Foundation, she embarked on a national tour to hear firsthand about our society's problems. "One of the things she heard over and over was that we, as a nation, lack leaders," says Laura Chambers of The Advocacy Institute, a Washington- D.C. based nonprofit organization. "Yet in every community she visited, she saw leadership. That raised the question of why this leadership was not being recognized in the community. She wondered: Was there a way to shift the public dialogue in such a way as to break some of the common stereotypes about what a leader is, so that we begin to recognize that, indeed, leadership does come in many forms and abounds in our communities?"

That was the philosophy behind the creation of Leadership for a Changing World (LCW), a program funded by the Ford Foundation and implemented by The Advocacy Institute, with additional support from New York University. LCW, now in its fourth year, awards leaders of non-profit organizations $115,000 to further their work. It also includes them in research projects that study leadership and how it can be encouraged in organizations.

Honorees meet each year to share lessons they have learned. The program contains a communications component that works with the media to boost the profiles of the leaders in their own communities.

"The program is exploring this type of community leadership because there hasn't been a lot written about it," Chambers says. "We're trying to figure out what sustains this type of community leadership. What is it about the community that allows leadership to thrive? Are there lessons to be learned that can be passed on to others?"

The program is unique in that it often honors teams of leaders, as opposed to individuals, as our society is prone to do. Over the past three years, it has recognized shared leadership teams ranging from two to seven people, who all share one award.

"LCW encourages a public conversation about leadership," Chambers says. "It's a tall order that we're looking for: to change the public dialogue about leadership. So often, when people are in front of reporters, the reporters will want to single out one person to be responsible for leadership. When one person comes forth and says, 'I have accomplished this,' I think that, usually, credit is not being given where it should be."


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