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The Leadership Triad

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The Leadership Triad

Knowledge, Trust and Power

Oxford UP,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Your employees form their reactions to you based on knowledge, trust, and power. Trust the powerful knowledge here for insights into their thoughts, and actions.

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Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Overview
  • Inspiring


Dale E. Zand’s book effectively reviews the key elements of organizational leadership in the new management era. He intelligently discusses three major components of leadership - knowledge, trust, and power - in great detail. He uses straightforward examples to reinforce the principles presented. This is a valuable book for leaders who have experience in traditional management, and want to understand how and why they need to change. recommends this book to managers on any level who need a non-guru approach to leadership in the knowledge economy.


Harnessing the Leadership Triad

The leadership triad is comprised of knowledge, trust, and power. Effective leaders harness these three forces in running an organization. You can harness knowledge by knowing "how to gain access to the knowledge of others," though you must then "convert that knowledge into action." To harness trust, earn it first by "fairness in...dealing with others." Leaders earn trust by "disclosing relevant information, sharing influence, and competently using knowledge." To harness power, "use...power appropriately." Leaders must know how to give orders, delegate, review, evaluate, and guide.

Effective triadic leadership is often revealed in business strategy decisions. The creation of Allstate Insurance by Sears Roebuck is an example of such triadic leadership. In 1930, Robert Wood, chairman of Sears Roebuck, was playing cards during a morning commuter train ride with his old friend Carl Odell, an old insurance agent. Odell casually suggested that Sears should sell insurance by mail. Wood investigated the idea with his staff of mail order retailers. They determined that U.S. ownership of cars would dramatically expand despite the depression. ...

About the Author

Dale E. Zand is a professor of management and the former chairman of the department at the Stern School of Business at New York University. He is a management consultant to major corporations and a director of the Newfield Exploration Company. He is the former chairman of the Organization Development Division of the Academy of Management and was a Ford Foundation Fellow at the Harvard School of Business.

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