Behavior As Leadership Substance

Agnieszka and Chip continue talking about the difference between leadership style and leadership substance.

“In our previous blog you suggested that leaders can evaluate their effectiveness by asking a couple of simple questions such as: Am I behaving in ways that support my followers to reach our common goals? Is my behavior for good or for ill?” I reminded Chip, picking up our conversation about leadership style versus substance.

“That’s right,” agreed Chip. “Because like almost every form of human behavior, leadership can be for better or worse, good or ill. Discussing the style of leadership in my opinion is not the best way to understand effectiveness. What really matters is substance. And substance is about how a leader behaves.” Continue reading

Leadership: A Matter of Substance; Not Style

Chip shares an army story with Agnieszka as they reflect on the substance of effective leadership.

As the ancient sage Lao Tzu said: “Leadership is best when people say, ’We’ve done it ourselves!’”

“As a consultant I sometimes get asked what leadership style is the best. But, there is no simple answer. After all, how a leader leads depends a lot on the context of a given situation,” I said to Chip one day. “What do you think is the best leadership style?” Continue reading

Reflections on Leadership

Agnieszka shares an old family story with Chip as they reflect on a definition of an effective leader.

Peter Drucker’s famous definition about leadership is simple: “A leader is someone who has followers.”

“I think I would like to elaborate on that definition just a bit,” said Chip one day, as we were discussing qualities of truly great leaders.

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The Gifts of “Quiet Leadership”

Agnieszka Perlinska shares her thoughts to honor Dr. Monika Baege.

I have recently attended a memorial for Dr. Monika Baege, where close to 300 people gathered to honor a friend, a colleague and a beloved family member. The ceremony was a moving tribute to Monika’s many talents and contributions. To me, it was also a celebration of leadership. It was a celebration of the quiet ways in which leaders, such as Monika, change the world for the better, bit-by-bit, step-by-step, day-by-day. I ended up feeling humbled, inspired, and energized. Apparently, I was not alone. Continue reading


Chip Chapados shares his thoughts to honor those who served.

There are two truths about battle. Combat never goes according to plan is number one. Survival is more about what the other person does than what you do is number two. Success in combat happens when these two truths are fully embraced and applied. To paraphrase Eisenhower, a plan for battle is worthless, but planning for battle is priceless. Those who have served understand that planning is not just about logistics, weaponry, strategy, or tactics. The most important planning is for the preparation and use of the people. Continue reading