[Update for June 3, 2010: Based on feedback, I have significantly revised this paper. The material is largely the same, but it has been re-ordered to an extent, cut in some places, amplified in others. It is now titled: “Following Self: How Leaders Can Stop Defending and Start Living Their Own Higher Cause.” The link below now fetches the new paper. It’s virtually in the land of “mini-books” at 50 pages, double-spaced.
I want to thank all those who provided feedback (you know who you are), but especially Dick Richards, whose advice as a writer was particularly detailed and insightful. And I certainly continue to invite your feedback. I absolutely want any and all additional thoughts and observations about how this paper can be made most useful to you.]
As a way to summarize some of my thoughts and learning over the last fifteen years about the topic of defensiveness, I have written a short paper called,
The Power of Accessible Leadership “Following Self: How Leaders Can Stop Defending and Start Living Their Own Higher Cause”. Feel free to download the pdf version by clicking on the link.
A couple of things:
1) I have built in an exercise at the front end of the paper — one I’ve been using for years in various forms — to help you determine your own “defensive strategy.” This is not meant to be all-inclusive, but simply a good start in evaluating your own behavior. If you get stuck trying to figure it out from my directions, please shoot me an email and I’ll do my best to be of help.
2) The way I am currently using this exercise is slightly different from the way I’ve used it in the past, so if you have seen it before, know that it has been intentionally altered to directly link to defensive behavior.
3) Some of the stories and examples have been used on this blog before.
4) If you like this stuff, please feel free to share it.
5) I’m deeply interested in your feedback in order to improve the model and the paper. What works for you? What does not? Where would you like to see clarification or more detail.
Thanks for taking the time to take a look. I hope you find this material of value to you personally in your own leadership journey.