View the step-by-step solution to:

Moments of Greatness: Entering the Fundamental State of Leadership by Robert E. Quinn As leaders, sometimes we're truly "on," and sometimes we're

Read the following articles:
King, S. N., Altman, D.G., & Lee, R. J. (2011). Discovering the leader in you (New and Revised edition). San Francisco: John Wiley. ISBN 978-0-470-49888-0
What makes a leader?
Moments of Greatness

Post your thoughts about the article (What did you agree with, disagree with, etc.).
Provide an example from your experience that illustrates the points made by the authors.
How are the findings of the articles relevant to the concepts of self-leadership, assessment, and development?
How do the articles compare with, and relate to, the concepts in chapters 1-4 of the King, et al text?

Moments of Greatness: Entering the Fundamental State of Leadership by Robert E. Quinn As leaders, sometimes we’re truly “on,” and sometimes we’re not. Why is that? What separates the episodes of excellence from those of mere competence? In striving to tip the balance toward excellence, we try to identify great leaders’ qualities and behaviors so we can develop them ourselves. Nearly all corporate training programs and books on leadership are grounded in the assumption that we should study the behaviors of those who have been successful and teach people to emulate them. But my colleagues and I have found that when leaders do their best work, they don’t copy anyone. Instead, they draw on their own fundamental values and capabilities— operating in a frame of mind that is true to them yet, paradoxically, not their normal state of being. I call it the fundamental state of leadership . It’s the way we lead when we encounter a crisis and finally choose to move forward. Think back to a time when you faced a significant life challenge: a promotion opportunity, the risk of professional failure, a serious illness, a divorce, the death of a loved one, or any other major jolt. Most likely, if you made decisions not to meet others’ expectations but to suit what you instinctively understood to be right—in other words, if you were at your very best—you rose to the task because you were being tested. Is it possible to enter the fundamental state of leadership without crisis? In my work coaching business executives, I’ve found that if we ask ourselves—and honestly answer —just four questions, we can make the shift at any time. It’s a temporary state. Fatigue and external resistance pull us out of it. But each time we reach it, we return to our everyday selves a bit more capable, and we usually elevate the performance of the people around us as well. Over time, we all can become more effective leaders by deliberately choosing to enter the fundamental state of leadership rather than waiting for crisis to force us there. De ning the Fundamental State f Even those who are widely admired for their seemingly easy and natural leadership skills—presidents, prime ministers, CEOs—do not usually function in the fundamental state of leadership. Most of the time, they are in their normal state—a healthy and even necessary condition under many circumstances, but not one that’s conducive to coping with crisis. In the normal state, people tend to stay within their comfort zones and allow external forces to direct their behaviors and decisions. They lose moral influence and often rely on rational argument and the exercise of authority to bring about change.
Background image of page 01
Others comply with what these leaders ask, out of fear, but the result is usually unimaginative and incremental—and largely reproduces what already exists. To elevate the performance of others, we must elevate ourselves into the fundamental state of leadership. Getting there requires a shift along four dimensions. (See the exhibit “There’s Normal, and There’s Fundamental.”) There’s Normal, and There’s Fundamental Under everyday circumstances, leaders can remain in their normal state of being and do what they need to do. But some challenges require a heightened perspective—what can be called the fundamental state of leadership. Here’s how the two states differ. First, we move from being comfort centered to being results centered. The former feels safe but eventually leads to a sense of languishing and meaninglessness. In his book The Path of Least Resistance, Robert Fritz carefully explains how asking a single question can move us from the normal, reactive state to a much more generative condition. That question is this: What result do I want to create? Giving an honest answer pushes us off nature’s path of least resistance. It leads us from problem solving to purpose finding. Second, we move from being externally directed to being more internally directed. That means that we stop merely complying with others’ expectations and conforming to the current culture. To become more internally directed is to clarify our core values and increase our integrity, confidence, and authenticity. As we become more confident and more authentic, we behave differently. Others must make sense of our new behavior. Some will be attracted to it, and some will be offended by it. That’s not prohibitive, though: When we are true to our values, we are willing to initiate such conflict.
Background image of page 02
Show entire document
Sign up to view the entire interaction

Recently Asked Questions

Why Join Course Hero?

Course Hero has all the homework and study help you need to succeed! We’ve got course-specific notes, study guides, and practice tests along with expert tutors.


Educational Resources
  • -

    Study Documents

    Find the best study resources around, tagged to your specific courses. Share your own to gain free Course Hero access.

    Browse Documents
  • -

    Question & Answers

    Get one-on-one homework help from our expert tutors—available online 24/7. Ask your own questions or browse existing Q&A threads. Satisfaction guaranteed!

    Ask a Question