Harvard Business Review: Greatness in Art and Leadership

I love the idea of comparing a great leader to a great artist.

You should really answer the below questions – for yourself or your CEO:

“The same attributes that distinguish great from mediocre artists distinguish exceptional leaders from their ordinary counterparts.

So let me suggest 12 artistic criteria for judging the art of particular leaders. To appreciate their leadership, we should ask about its …

  1. Intent. Do they make an express commitment to achieve certain exceptional ends?
  2. Focus. Do they highlight certain features of the business environment over others to separate the important from the trivial?
  3. Skill. Do they demonstrate mastery or virtuosity in critical aspects of business; do they possess a foundation for understanding people, organizations, and the way work is accomplished?
  4. Form. Do they combine their communications, structures, policies, etc. into a unified, coherent whole?
  5. Representation. Do they convey meanings, in nonobvious and captivating ways, as opposed to giving simple directives and making straightforward declarations of fact?
  6. Imagination. Do they make surprising and unconventional departures from the ordinary that create a new sense of awareness or understanding?
  7. Authenticity. Do they present a stylistic distinctiveness that is an honest expression of their individuality and personal beliefs?
  8. Engagement. Do they offer complex and challenging information that stimulates intellectual effort and imaginative contemplation?
  9. Pleasure. Do they provide emotionally rewarding experiences that are shared among members of a group, promoting stronger bonds and fostering personal fulfillment?
  10. Human significance. Do they facilitate personal reflection about who one is, what is most important, what is culturally valuable, and what is possible?
  11. Context. Do they take actions that are commensurate with institutional practices, customs, demands, and norms, and communicate in a style that is understandable and appropriate?
  12. Criticism. Do they welcome discourse and evaluation from others regarding how well they have performed and the amount of appreciation they should be afforded?”

Please read the full post at hbr.