Lead Authentically

Develop your moral compass, a course by Bill George.

Bill George

Bill George

Goldman Sachs Director, Harvard Business School Professor

Lead Authentically
  • Overview
  • Episodes
  • Recommended for you

Overview

Authenticity is about being at home in your own skin. What complicates things is that at various stages of our careers, we can get sidetracked into thinking that in order to achieve our goals, we need to become anyone but ourselves. As a leader, you won’t always know where you’re going. But if you’re truly lost, you’re a danger not only to yourself but to those who follow you. What a leader needs, above all else, is a working moral compass based on a set of deeply held values. According to Bill George, it’s about experience and introspection.


What You'll Learn

  • How to identify and follow your purpose

  • What you can learn from the ​instances you compromised your values

  • How to acknowledge underlying structural issues-- not just surface-level problems


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Episodes

3 Episodes

1. A Case Study in Knowing Your Values, from Inside Nixon's White House

2min

Becoming an Authentic Leader: A Case Study in Knowing Your Values from Inside Nixon’s White House, with Bill George, Former Chairman and CEO, Medtronic, and Author, Discover Your True NorthAuthenticity is really very simple. It’s about being at home in your own skin. What complicates things is that at various stages of our careers, we can get sidetracked into thinking that in order to achieve our goals, we need to become anyone but ourselves. In pursuit of status, power, riches, or other markers of success, or out of loyalty to a friend or colleague, we can end up violating what feels fundamentally right. According to Bill George, these are essential learning experiences—the crucible in which authentic leaders are made.You don’t really know your values until they’re tested under pressure.Process times when you’ve violated your own values. Ask: Why did I do that? What pulled me off track? What did I learn from that experience?Think back to a crucible of choice—a moment when yo...

2. Finding Your True North

5min

As a leader, you won’t always know where you’re going. But if you’re truly lost, you’re a danger not only to yourself but to those who follow you. What a leader needs, above all else, is a working moral compass based on a set of deeply held values. Thus equipped, you’re in a position to navigate even the most treacherous terrain. But you can’t buy a moral compass on the Internet. So where do you get one? According to Bill George, it’s about experience and introspection.Stay on coursePut aside your ego. Commit to being a value-centered leader who makes a difference in the world.Calibrate your inner moral compass. Ask: What’s most important to me? Keep on track by avoiding people with bad values and by not chasing money, fame, or power.Seek out a lot of different experiences during the course of your career. “Rubbing up against the world” can help you discover your interests, strengths, and weaknesses.Cultivate self-awarenessRealize that you may have blind spots. Often we se...

3. Face Reality

5min

In this lesson, Bill George, professor of management at Harvard Business School and author of 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis, shares his firsthand experience in confronting and responding to crisis as the former chief executive of medical device maker Medtronic. George believes that people, and specifically corporate leaders, make all the difference when it comes to weathering a crisis. In short, are you being led by a Dick Fuld or by a Jamie Dimon? Your business will hinge on the answer.What the 7 Lessons Really MeanFace reality, starting with yourself.Follow your True North.Don’t be so eager to get the bottom line that you overlook or avoid real problems.Acknowledge your own mistakes.Search for structural, underlying issues – not just surface level problems.

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