James Kelly and Scott Nadler authored a terrific article
“Why leadership below the top is needed for fostering
This article resulted from a study of how businesses succeed
through solid leadership behaviors. The behaviors focus on two
- commitment to assume leadership and
- fostering leadership thinking.
In addition to those is a third–
- distilling clear values of what is appreciated and has
merit (added the third item).
Commitment to assume leadership
In the commitment element, Kelly and Nadler recognized
the need to move from the ‘in-charge’ posture to the forward
looking position. In so doing, forming a gap in what needs to
be accomplished on the day-to-day level and find other ways to
meet the needs.
I especially liked the idea of looking for signals from outside
their organization, including “customers, competitors,
A good leader thinks that he works with his subordinates,
shares the information he receives, keeps things clear and simple
and looks for a mental organizational chart where leaders connect
with everyone, rather than having layers of separation.
Effective leaders commit to leadership by developing
‘trusted adviser’ skills. They understand how to turn conversations
into meaningful discussions, listen more than they
speak, and ask questions that broaden perspectives.
Leaders who go far don’t try to “time things” as much as
‘recognize good times to infuse, refresh, adjust, and question.’
This can be done by creating the need for a solution rather
than imposing a specific solutions. Leadership is broadened
to others by
- opening up “what if” questions and thinking through to logical endpoints.
- discussing what the core beliefs mean to them and listen to the
translation to others
- refreshing the radar screen of risks and impacts ;
requirements, expectations and demands so that others
can see and pick up on the changes.
Distilling what is valued into values.
This is transformational thinking not mentioned in the article.
It is like Southwest Airlines “being the lowest cost airlines”
by translating how every team member can contribute to
the success of the enterprise.
Attached is a cover letter I wrote for a job that
was referred to me. Of course each cover letter
will have its own feel related to the specific
job and company. I just want to see if it is an
improvement and that I am headed in the
right direction. Thank you
Bill Smith March 5, 2007
B.K. Smith and Associates
Dear Mr. Smith,
This letter is in response to a Senior Research
Electrochemist (NES 1011) position that was
referred to me recently by a recruiter. I
understand that you seek an individual to
examine corrosion effects upon metal
surfaces to determine inhibitor actions. I hope
you agree that my experience and qualifications
meet your needs.
While performing my doctoral research I
examined mostly polymer surfaces/interfaces.
My experience lies in surface and thin film
characterization, and elemental and molecular
identification. In addition, I have worked
with corrosion inhibitors used as additives
in solutions to slow oxidation of surfaces.
This background in surface/interface
science would allow me to closely
examine and offer an in-depth
understanding of processes occurring
at the deposit/metal surface interface in
conjunction with electrochemical data.
Also my proven track record of experimental
design and method development would be
a great asset to the work in the area of
developing new electrochemical techniques.
My PhD from the University of M
refined my ability to think critically and
to approach problems from an intellectual
and strategic framework. At the same time
my work with scientists and engineers
at EFG and SCC allowed me to solve
problems related to surfaces/interfaces
in industry. These experiences have taught
me the importance of teamwork and good
communication. I have learned to collaborate
effectively with researchers who have many
different personalities and work styles.
To give you a better sense of my
qualifications I have attached my resume.
I would greatly appreciate any opportunities
to discuss this opportunity with you further
and appreciate your kind and thoughtful
review of my credentials.
Thank you for your consideration.