College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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White on the Nature of Leadership


What do elephants and lizards have to do with making a great leader?  In his recently published book, The Nature of Leadership:  Reptiles, Mammals, and the Challenge of Becoming a Great Leader, B. Joseph White, the University of Illinois President and James Towey Professor of Business Administration, weaves lively stories from his own leadership journey and explains his analogy from the animal kingdom that defines the universal nature of leadership.

On February 28, 2007, from 11:00-12:00 a.m. Central Time, the American Marketing Association will host an interactive web cast featuring White discussing excerpts from his book and his own leadership journey.

“Leaders come in all shapes, sizes, and types,” he writes in his book.  “Some are the reptiles, the cold-blooded, tough-as-nails decision makers with their eyes on the numbers and a focus on control.  Others are the mammals, the warm-blooded, compassionate creatures who connect with others around them and build success through mutual trust and open communication.”

Good leaders combine the attributes of both “reptiles and mammals,” he says, and “the true leader is the one who transcends type and moves beyond usual barometers of success to achieve real change in his or her organization.”

The web cast is free, but registration is required: .

UIUC College of Business