In the landmark book Good to Great, Jim Collins studies what drives average companies to take a quantum leap and become extraordinary. He concludes that a crucial component of greatness is leaders with a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. These leaders, whom Collins calls “Level 5,” channel their ego ambition away from themselves into the larger goal of building a great company. However, Collins couldn’t answer a central question: how to develop Level 5 leadership. “I would love to be able to give you a list of steps for becoming Level 5, but we have no solid research data that would support a credible list.”
To help us address this question, our guest is Fred Kofman, author of Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values, a book that has been translated to more than ten languages and received numerous awards. Fred was a professor of Management Accounting and Control Systems at MIT, and today he is co-founder of the international consulting firm Axialent, and Professor of Leadership and Coaching at the University Francisco Marroquín.
Fred uses seven qualities to distinguish conscious from unconscious leadership.
- The first three are character attributes: unconditional responsibility, essential integrity, and ontological humility.
- The next three are interpersonal skills: authentic communication, constructive negotiation, and impeccable coordination.
- The seventh quality is an enabling condition for the previous six: emotional mastery.
Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Fred’s book: Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values
- Audio version of the book
- Twitter: @fredkofman
- Read more of Fred’s work on LinkedIn
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For the transcript of this episode: How Conscious Leaders Build Value | with Fred Kofman