Bernie Banks: Leadership is Influence

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Leadership is not a role. It’s a process. A process of exercising influence in order to bring about a desired outcome. So says Bernie Banks. He’s the Associate Dean for Leadership Development and a Clinical Professor of Management at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He served as a U.S. Army Officer for more than 30 years, retiring from the Army as a Brigadier General in 2016 after having successfully led West Point’s Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership. Banks joins the podcast to explain his eight core leadership principles and draws parallels between effective leadership in the military and in business.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • Why leaders can’t default to exerting formal authority and a “do it because I said so” approach
  • Why leadership is about establishing credibility, building empathy, earning trust, and aligning interests
  • The West Point Honor Code and what business could gain from following it
  • Charisma doesn’t guarantee great leadership (though, it can help)
  • Reasons why we distrust our leaders the decline in trust in institutions and our growing distrust in leadership
  • Why companies should accept that different leaders may be required at different phases of an organization’s growth
  • Why disciplined execution is perhaps the most important leadership principle of all
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