Leadership is probably the core differentiation factor that separates organizations with longstanding success from their competition. While hundreds of books have been written about leadership in the last decade, there are very few that introduce new concepts without resorting to advertise singular traits, skills or strategies. Instead, “Head, Heart & Guts – How the World’s Best Companies Develop Complete Leaders” tries to distinguish itself by making the case for the development of “complete leaders”. The leadership qualities they focus on are not meant to replace traditional leadership qualities like Strategic Thinking and Planning, Decision Making, Problem Solving or Goal Setting. The authors merely list reasons why those cognitive competencies are not sufficient anymore to serve as competitive advantage. As a result, it identifies the following traits as important aspects for “whole leadership”:

Head Leadership

  • Rethinking the way things are done
  • Reframing boundaries when necessary
  • Understanding the complexities of a global world
  • Thinking strategically without losing sight of short-term goals
  • Looking for ideas inside and outside a company, wherever they can be found
  • Developing a point of view

Heart Leadership

  • Balancing people and business needs
  • Creating trust
  • Developing true compassion in a diverse workplace
  • Creating environments in which people can be truly committed
  • Knowing what’s important
  • Understanding and overcoming potential derailers

Guts Leadership

  • Taking risks with incomplete data
  • Balancing risk and reward
  • Acting with unyielding integrity in spite of the difficulty
  • Tenaciously pursuing what’s required for success
  • Persevering in the face of adversity
  • Not being afraid to make tough decisions