Every month, Leadership Issues intends to review highlights/trends from features/articles on the subject of leadership appearing in major global newspapers. Today we are reviewing the month of August.
Two universally proclaimed leadership gurus, Warren Bennis and James MacGregor Burns, passed away in August and both The New York Times and The Washington Post featured obituaries on their life, times and achievements. An interesting fact was that Bennis commanded a front-line platoon at the Battle of the Bulge and went on to write and advise in corporate leadership. Burns’ roots was more in political and presidential history and leadership. Both produced seminal texts. An informative article on the leadership style of Pope Francis appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Pope Francis’ open and supportive leadership approach continues to be widely commented on in the news. The subject of leadership style also featured in an article in The Washington Post which state that only 19% of leaders now have autocratic behaviours. The article champions the use of psychometrics in leadership to learn more about default styles. Open and diverse leadership was the subject of an article for PBS and The New York Times profiled the leadership style of James P Hackett, CEO of Stealcase who talked about the importance of authenticity in leadership. Differing approaches to leadership was a main feather in The Sunday Times – whether you need expertise and technical knowledge to be an effective leader. The journalist’s opinion was that although technical skills can be a distinct advantage, it is more important to have good management skills and the right technically skilled people around you to advise you as a leader.
So overall, features and articles on leadership appearing in the main global newspapers for the month of August were dominated by personalities and leadership approaches/styles.