THE GOLDEN FLAME
Searching For the Heart and Soul of Remarkable Leadership
Dr. Keith Merron
I find it both fascinating and troubling that, despite an enormous amount of research conducted on the topic of leadership, and in spite of what so many people know about great leaders, few leaders actually behave consistently with what they and we know. Here is what we know. Remarkable leaders engage with others in definable and observable ways that distinguish them from others. They are qualities like vision, courage, determination, compassion, emotional intelligence, integrity, as well as many others. What is also well known is the behaviors needed to be a great leader such as surrounding oneself with great talent, building teamwork, providing clear direction, being focused, etc. Indeed, examining the groaning bookshelf of books and research on the subject, we know an awful lot about leading - its behaviors and the qualities that cause these behaviors. And so do leaders themselves.
Yet in spite of this knowledge, there are no more great leaders today than in any previous era. To the contrary, disappointment in leadership in every walk of life is at an all-time high. The problem isn't in our understanding. The problem is making it happen. We can't figure out why some people are able to adopt these characteristics while others are not. The gap between knowing how to be a great leader and actually being a great leader is huge, and little is known about how to bridge this gap.
The research for the book seeks to ask the big question: What forces produce great leadership in some, and what forces prevent it in others?
The book is directly based upon the lessons learned from meeting with and interviewing leaders of organizations whose approaches to leading are notable, unique, and extraordinarily powerful. By meeting and interviewing remarkable leaders who are charting new paths of leadership and organizational life, and creating a chronicle of their lifelong journey, I offer an answer to the big question. It has to do with a golden flame that burns brightly in each leader. The Golden Flame describes and defines the behaviors, attitudes, and ways of being that are or have the potential to define a new era of leadership and organizational life.