Covert Leadership

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What is Covert Leadership? Meaning.

Covert Leadership is a term invented by Henry Mintzberg ('98) to describe how modern leaders may lead without seeming to. They don't seek absolute control over others; rather, through many unobtrusive actions, they inspire others to perform and use their talents.

Mintzberg compares leaders with a symphony orchestra conductor. When a covert leader or top manager guides (part of) an organization, just like a symphony orchestra conductor, he leads without seeming to, without his people being fully aware of all that he is doing.

In today's world of professionals, a leader is not completely powerless--but neither does he have absolute control over others. Covert leadership means managing with a sense of nuances, constraints, and limitations.

Like musicians, professionals don't need to be empowered--they're already secure in what they know and can do--but they do need to be infused with energy for the tasks at hand.

Because knowledge work has grown in importance, the way an orchestra conductor operates can serve as a good model for top managers in a wide range of businesses.

In such businesses, the role of the covert leader is: to act quietly and unobtrusively in order to exact not obedience but inspired performance.

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Lead Like a Great Conductor
An orchestra conductor faces the ultimate leadership challenge: creating perfect harmony without saying a word. In this (...)
🔥 NEW Covert Leadership: Differences Between Orchestrating an Orchestra and Leading an Organization
Covert Liderazgo:
Entiendo el significado que Mintzberg adjudica comparando la gestión de un líder con la de un dir (...)

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Mintzberg: 7 Myths on Management

Management Development, Leadership Development, Managers versus Leaders, MBA
Prof. Henry Mintzberg refutes 7 myths on leadership and management: ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR: One myth about management is t (...)
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Visions on the Roles of Managers, Management Roles, Managerial Roles

Management, Leadership, Reflection on What Management Fundamentally is, Workshops, Trainings
This superb presentation outlines the roles and tasks that managers perform. The presentation includes views of importan (...)

Video Introduction to Leadership

First Understanding of Leadership, Trainings, Workshops
Quick visual intro to the subject of leadership by showing short impressions of: harmony, driving performance, followin (...)

Interview Mintzberg: From Leadership to Communityship

Introduction / Discussion on the Role of Leadership in Organizations, Trainings, Workshops
Interview with Professor Mintzberg on the obsession of the Americans with (charismatic) leadership and the need to move (...)

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Compare with: Charismatic Leadership  |  Seven Surprises for New CEOs (Porter)  |  Active Listening  |  Storytelling  |  Chain of Command  |  Chairman of the Board  |  Chief Executive Officer  |  Management by Exception  |  Span of Control  |  Transformational Leadership  |  Seven Habits (Covey)  |  Level 5 Leadership (Collins)  |  EPIC ADVISERS  |  Core Group Theory  |  Strategic Stakeholder Management  |  SMART  |  Path-Goal  |  Leadership Continuum  |  Situational Leadership  |  Theory X Theory Y  |  4 Dimensions of Relational Work  |  Leadership Styles (Goleman)  |  Strategic Intent  |  Results-Based Leadership  |  Transactional Leadership

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