Drew Faust, President of Harvard University, recently made some remarks to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Harvard Business School. Amongst the topics, he spoke about leadership and the five essential elements that HBS must teach.
- Developing judgment
- Having an entrepreneurial perspective
- Using good communication skills
- Behaving with integrity
- Having the courage to act
I find two essential elements missing from the list.
First, there is no concept of commitment to the mission--the over riding principle for which the organization is devoted. Examples of missions might be "defending the U.S.", "improving the lives of our customers", or maybe even "increasing shareholder value".
Second, there is no element of selflessness--putting the good of the team, the company or the country ahead of your personal ambitions.
When it comes to leadership, I prefer the way it is taught at West Point. I think bullets bring a clarity of thinking that the Harvard professors may be missing. For more on the West Point philosophy of leadership, read this post.
I found the story through this post.