Archives For The Technique of Executive Leadership

The speech inspiration leans heavily on sincere convictions. For unless the speaker feels deeply about his subject, how can he move his audience? So, if you have developed a philosophy of living; if your beliefs means a great deal to you and you can be proud of them; if you take joy in sharing your credo publicly—or feel impelled to do so—you probably have that conviction. It provides the tinder to set you and your audience in a glow or perhaps a conflagration.

~ James F. Bender, The Technique of Executive Leadership (1950)

Moral courage is, of course, a prime qualification, but there are often misapprehensions as to when it is shown. The thing that takes courage is to make a decision or take a position which may react seriously in some way upon the one who makes or takes it. It requires no courage to incur disapproval, unless those who disapprove have the desire and power to cause such a result. I can well remember the time when it was a dangerous thing to incur the displeasure of the bankers, but there has been no danger in this since 1932. It became a greater danger to incur the displeasure of farm or labor organizations. There is nothing more important than to curb abuse of power, wherever it may reside; and power is always subject to abuse. . . .

~ James F. Bender, The Technique of Executive Leadership (1950)

The world desperately needs champions; the world desperately needs leaders—more leadership. Only you and the thousands like you can supply this. Hard work, intelligence, sincerity of purpose, and the continuance of your own personal improvement as long as you live—these and these alone will provide leadership. No one else can do it. It is yours, and you yourself control your own destiny.

~ James F. Bender, The Technique of Executive Leadership (1950)

Can you stir an audience? Persuade them to go your way? If you can, you have a heavy responsibility. For your ability to play upon human emotions must be directed toward worthy goals, to justify the good meaning of leadership. You will use your eloquence, therefore, only in a positive and never in a negative way. You will urge your followers to work in harmony—to think more often about things of the spirit—to be more thoughtful of others—to make the most of their abilities.

On the other hand, if you do not possess the power to sway an audience, you will want to work hard to become a persuasive speaker. For the higher you go, the more often you will be called upon to make formal speeches, especially speeches of inspiration. Indeed, in the world of work, the inspirational type of speech is expected of the leader. He finds it a useful way to crystallize the thinking of his group. He discovers that inspiration moves men in the way they should go.

~ James F. Bender, The Technique of Executive Leadership (1950)

Occasionally you meet a business leader—he is ordinarily insecure emotionally—who falls into the habit of saying unkind things about one subordinate to another subordinate. It’s hard on morale, or course, because you never know when such a chief may say something about you in your absence. The point here is that the loyalties the leader practices or fails to practice are under steady surveillance. The wise leader therefore makes them worthy of imitation. The prompt leader, the neat leader, the persevering leader, the leader who keeps his promises and does his best to be just, practices the kind of loyalties he may expect his followers to practice also. This idea us to see the truth in the old adage that “An institution is but the lengthened shadow of its leader.”

~ James F. Bender, The Technique of Executive Leadership (1950)

Leaders get to the top because they have great capacity for loyalty. They stay on top by continuing to be loyal. Many a young man begins his ascent to leadership by being loyal to a leader of his choice. The young fellow hangs on to the leader’s coattails through thick and thin.

~ James F. Bender, The Technique of Executive Leadership (1950)

The small man flies into a rage over the slightest criticism, but the wise man is eager to learn from those who have censured him and reproved him and “disputed the passage with him.” Walt Whitman put it this way: “Have you learned lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who rejected you, and braced themselves against you, or disputed the passage with you?”

~ James F. Bender, The Technique of Executive Leadership (1950)

The leader, because he is ordinarily an extrovert, needs to be particularly versed in the temperament pattern of the introvert. Being opposites in so many characteristics, introverts and extroverts often understand each other too easily.

Understanding ourselves and our opposites in temperament certainly makes for better human relations.

~ James F. Bender, The Technique of Executive Leadership (1950)

Three Taboos for Leaders.

Nervous mannerisms are twitchings, muscular spasms, scratching, swaying—and the like—that can’t be traced to physical disease. You see them in men and women who aren’t composed. More or less oblivious to their nervous mannerisms, they make you, as their observer, uncomfortable. Many, children especially, find nervous mannerisms contagious.

 ~ James F. Bender, The Technique of Executive Leadership (1950)

Great Expectations Are Justified.

Did you know that impatient workers have wavering leaders—supervisors who hem and haw? Study employees who don’t persevere on the job and you soon find the bottom cause: too many unnecessary checks on them. Or review the history of firms hiring secretaries on an opportunistic basis; firms that pay this one five dollars more per week than that one for the same work and length of service. You uncover much justifiable resentment. Instances like these all reflect leader’s attitudes and policies.

~ James F. Bender, The Technique of Executive Leadership (1950)