SMPIG—Taking Aim at Corporate Leadership

Chicago Booth Alumni Club of Chicago

October 17, 2014: 7:30 AM - 8:45 AM

For this Strategic Management Practices and Issues Discussion, bring a profile of a leader you admire. Be prepared to describe that person's attributes, competencies, and impact.


Sopraffina Marketplace Cafe, Franklin Center
222 West Adams St
Chicago, Illinois

Event Details

Warren G. Bennis is an eminent scholar and author specialized in the essence of successful leadership—a commodity he found in short supply in recent decades. Many of us were fascinated by Ken Burns' intimate portrait of the Roosevelts that ran on PBS recently. TR, FDR and ER all were imperfect and yet unequivocal leaders that left an indelible mark on American society. As Ken Burns suggested in his film, each were flawed in ways that today would not be palatable or acceptable to the American electorate. They also exemplified views held by Bennis that great leaders are not born but made. (see more at

Today, a natural friction between expectations and human reality increasingly leads to significant upheaval of business leaders. Ironically, we may accept that experiences play a critical role in leadership development but have little tolerance for mistakes and imperfections. We have taken up the charge of Bennis to address the vacuum of corporate leadership. What leadership values and qualities do we understand , develop and admire? Do these same traits prove valuable to organizations and their stakeholders?

For example, the US Military's leadership development strategy development strategy focuses on creating living examples of "Be, Know, Do." A central principle of the Army strategy sets the expectation that "leaders at all levels understand their responsibility for continually developing other leaders." After all, unlike the private sector, they can't routinely recruit, select and assign mid-grade and senior level leaders from outside its ranks.

The October 17th discussion represents a change in protocol for our discussion. Instead of listing articles to focus our discussion, we invite you to identify a business leader whose potential or record left a sustaining mark on the business landscape. Bring us a profile of a leader you admire or wish to emulate and be prepared to describe their attributes, competencies and impact.

With full disclosure, I offer an example of an earlier take I created with a colleague in which we identified the attributes, competencies and impact of Robin Hood. Take a look, skim the link from the US Army model above if you like. We don't expect you to rewrite your leader's profile this way, but do bring at least one concrete example of their attributes and competencies.


No Charge


Register Online

Deadline: 10/16/2014


Rachel Kaberon