Thought of the week ...

I wish I knew who to attribute this quote to, but the closest I can get is that is was shared at ALA Emerging Leaders session this past week in Boston.

“Leaders do not provide energy, they release it from others”

I've been thinking a lot of leadership philosophies lately and wondering how many people in management positions actually think about their own? From some recent conversations I've had with colleagues in the field, I've come to realize that it's not really thought about enough, which leads me to wonder two things ...

1) how can you truly lead if you don't know yourself well enough to have philosophy?

2) how can you expect others to adapt and flourish under your leadership style, if you don't know what it is yourself?

Over the past two weeks I've been rereading the L3 Leadership manifesto. I think there's a lot to this approach that focuses first on leading yourself. If you don't where to start in thinking about or identifying your own personal leadership philosophy, the manifesto's 34 pages walks you through a great series of small exercises that helps you better understand your leadership potential.

L3 Leadership Approach

  • L1—Leading Self: Total Life Leadership. Achieving personal mastery and work/life integration.

  • L2—Leading With Others: Creating and sustaining Collaborative Advantage.

  • L3—Cultivating The Best Place To Work: A culture of high engagement, retention, performance and productivity.”

Related posts:

L3 Leadership

My leadership motto

PS: Thanks Justin for blogging this & Karen for tweeting. Good stuff on a cloudy day to ponder and think about.


Peter Bromberg said...


The quote is, "The leader's job, after all, is not to provide energy but to release it from others." -- Frances Hesselbein

It was included in Maureen Sullivan's handout to the Emerging Leaders class of 2010.

Peter Bromberg said...

And here's a citation (cuz, you know, I'm a librarian)

Justin Hoenke said...

Thanks for supplying that Peter. I only had a second to take down the notes at the ALA EL workshop.

And Helene! I'm glad you enjoyed my post!