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By Monica E. Oss

August 30, 2010

We’ve been discussing leadership a lot lately around the OPEN MINDS’ office as we prepare for the 2010 Executive Leadership Institute. As this time of year rolls around, I am struck by how the thoughts about leadership frequently gets lost in the day-to-day operations. It is easy for executive team and board members to get caught up in the details and forget to take a step back to think what shapes the course of their organization in the future.

Last week, my colleague Dr. John Talbot, posted a piece on leadership based on interviews with Dr. William Rosenbach and Ambassador Lawrence Taylor, two of our Institute faculty members (Do You Have the Transformational Leadership Skills You Need? all members). In response to that post, Glenn McFarlane, Chief Executive Officer of Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch in Billings, Montana, shared with me some leadership tenants that he likes to emphasize:

  • Leadership is not a position or title, it is life giving influence.

  • Leadership acknowledges and rewards excellence in others.

  • Leadership insists on excellence for themselves and those they lead.

  • Leadership discovers and does the right thing, always.

  • Leadership discerns the right time for doing the right thing.

  • Leadership only takes action for the right reason.

  • Leadership is not threatened, but instead welcomes talents in others that they do not possess.

  • Leadership ALWAYS puts the welfare of clients, staff and organization above their own.

I thought Mr. McFarlane’s points were a great reminder for everyone in a leadership position of the practical and tactical face of day-to-day leadership.

If you have any thoughts on leadership that you would like to share, please e-mail me at As always, we love to hear your comments and questions.

Monica E. Oss
Chief Executive Officer, OPEN MINDS

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For more from OPEN MINDS on leadership, see: Is your leadership style a limiting factor for your organization? Do you even know your leadership style? all members 

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