The Leadership Triad: Knowledge, Trust, and Power

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byDale E. Zand

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People once stood in awe of electricity, writes Dale Zand, until scientists identified and harnessed its three basic variables: voltage, current, and resistance. Likewise, people marvel at the achievements of successful leaders, such as Lee Iacocca at Chrysler or Jack Welch at GE, and wonderhow they do it. In this superb volume, Zand dispels the mystery surrounding leadership so that managers at all levels--from the CEO to the shop supervisor--can develop the skills needed to lead effectively. Zand highlights the three elements required for leadership in today's information-driven organizations: knowledge, trust, and power. Knowledge, Zand argues, is essential to decisionmaking: Leaders must be able to tap information about customers, products, and processes found throughout theorganization. The book brims with suggestions about how to tap this knowledge. The author demonstrates, for instance, how a leader's attitudes and behavior can release (or repress) the flow of knowledge in a corporation (he shows how at one failed home-appliance company managers suppressedinformation about customer complaints and reprimanded factory workers for suggesting changes, fatal mistakes); he outlines how the skillful use of questions can draw out and highlight the knowledge managers and workers possess; and he discusses how to avoid subtle obstacles (such as the complacencyof success) to improve the link between knowledge and action. Trust, the second element of the triad, helps a leader achieve open, collaborative communication. Indeed, Zand shows that the degree to which people trust a leader determines how much access they will give him or her to their knowledge.The book explores the key elements in the development of trust (a leader must disclose relevant information, share influence, live up to the spirit of agreements, and not abuse power) and also illustrates some basic laws of trust--mistrust drives out trust; trust stimulates productivity; andmistrusting groups self-destruct. Zand then considers power, showing how the leader must set the agenda for the firm; select, develop, and motivate the people who will implement the agenda; and examine and adjust individual performance. Equally important, he shows that in today's knowledge-drivencorporation, the effective leader rarely issues directives, but instead acts more as a consultant or a client. At Chrysler, for example, CEO Robert Eaton, senior managers, and project leaders all meet when a new car model is to be created or redesigned. After the objectives are worked out, the teamis turned loose to organize itself and get the job done. Freed from constant second-guessing by top bosses, teams work harder and take greater pride in their work. By the mid-1990s, this design-consignment process at Chrysler was so effective that the company's speed to market and reduction ofdevelopment costs far exceeded its U. S. competitors.Masterfully written, Knowledge, Trust, and Power is a down-to-earth, powerful guide. Full of examples--many from the author's consulting experience--of companies from General Motors, Wal-Mart, and American Express to electronics, manufacturing, and health care organizations, it offers a wealth ofpractical information to managers at all levels, and to anyone who aspires to a leadership position.

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From Our Editors

In this concise, insightful volume, Zand dispels the mystery of leadership so that managers at all levels - from the CEO to first-line supervisor - can understand the key concepts of leadership and develop the skills needed to lead effectively. Zand cogently examines the three essential elements of high-performance leadership: knowledg...

From the Publisher

People once stood in awe of electricity, writes Dale Zand, until scientists identified and harnessed its three basic variables: voltage, current, and resistance. Likewise, people marvel at the achievements of successful leaders, such as Lee Iacocca at Chrysler or Jack Welch at GE, and wonderhow they do it. In this superb volume, Zand d...

From the Jacket

In this concise, insightful volume, Zand dispels the mystery of leadership so that managers at all levels - from the CEO to first-line supervisor - can understand the key concepts of leadership and develop the skills needed to lead effectively. Zand cogently examines the three essential elements of high-performance leadership: knowledg...

Dale E. Zand, the author of the highly acclaimed Information, Organization, and Power, is Professor of Management and Organizational Behavior at the Stern School of Business, New York University, and a management consultant to major corporations.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:232 pages, 9.49 × 6.3 × 0.83 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195092406

ISBN - 13:9780195092400

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From Our Editors

In this concise, insightful volume, Zand dispels the mystery of leadership so that managers at all levels - from the CEO to first-line supervisor - can understand the key concepts of leadership and develop the skills needed to lead effectively. Zand cogently examines the three essential elements of high-performance leadership: knowledge, trust, and power. The knowledge that leaders need for high-quality decisions in rapidly changing competitive markets is dispersed throughout today's complex, information-dense organizations. Leaders are not omniscient and it is meaningless to expect them to be. Therefore, Zand argues, they need to know how to gain access to the knowledge of others and how to work with people to convert that knowledge into action. Zand examines how a leader's attitudes and behavior can release or repress information and insights about customers, products, processes, and competitors available throughout the organization. Trust, the second element of the triad, is the leader's key to achieving open communication and collaborative, committed action. Z

Editorial Reviews

"If you want to learn how to build knowledge for action, to develop trust, and to use power for effective leadership, read this book."--Chris Argyris, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University