Chapter Summaries

  • Systems thinking is a core activity of leadership because, from a problem-solving perspective, leaders need to see the “whole” system to make decisions that are more integrated and fully account for the complexity involved.
  • Systems thinking is central to the success of leaders, and one tool for “seeing the system” is to develop a concept map that highlights the significant components. Likewise, the hope is that systems thinking will lead to sustainability.
  • Sustainability is defined as a sensible use of resources on many different dimensions. In fact, it is essential to think of sustainability as a system as well. It is likely that sustainable results are predicated on many different dimensions such as ethical decision making, environmental impact, creativity and innovation, fiscal responsibility, and more. Viewing these dimensions as a system is vital for long-term organizational health and wellness.
  • It concludes with a discussion on the topic of authentic leadership, which means that you have discovered a style and approach to leadership that naturally aligns with your gifts, talents, passions, and values. Authentic leadership is not developed overnight—it is a long-term, lifelong endeavor that requires you to “know thyself” and ultimately prepare the next generation of leaders who follow.