Summary of Leadership Sustainability

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Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood’s newest, relatively short addition to leadership literature offers something original: You can learn how to prevent new initiatives from becoming yesterday’s news. To that end, they focus on “sustainability” as well as change. The authors’ program for keeping your initiatives fresh and active is clear, simple, manageable and doable. They cite and explain seven “disciplines” every leader of any organization can adopt to generate and sustain meaningful, lasting change. getAbstract recommends their plainspoken advice to leaders working to implement agile, well-timed, measurable and sustainable change. Ulrich and Smallwood always deliver value and insight; they can help you change the way you change.

About the Authors

Leading HR expert Dave Ulrich is a business professor. Norm Smallwood is a prolific writer and strategist. Both consultants, they founded the RBL Group in 2000.



Starting Is Easy. Sustaining Is Hard.

People and firms can change, but they rarely stay changed. Yet organizations must innovate and adapt. Lasting change is possible when leaders get the basics right. First, follow the five rules of the “leadership code,” and then apply the seven “START ME” disciplines.”

The Leadership Code

The five rules of the leadership code outline the fundamental leadership skills:

  1. “Shape the future” – Develop, share and drive your vision of the future.
  2. “Make things happen” – Execute. Turn talk into action and do it properly.
  3. “Engage today’s talent” – Develop abilities in others and inspire them to commit to the success of the organization.
  4. “Build the next generation” – Think about the future: Who will lead and sustain the organization after you leave? Consider and nurture the leaders and the skills leaders will need in the years to come.
  5. “Invest in yourself” – Commit to growing “intellectually,” “emotionally,” “physically,” “socially” and “spiritually,” by...

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