My own favorite of Bennis's writing is a curious little book called Geeks & Geezers. It was the subject of one of these columns in 2002. (Can it really be that long ago?) In it, he and Robert Thomas describe a study involving intensive interviews with a well-known group of geezer/leaders (the "grandparents of the geeks") and much younger entrepreneurs, presumably leaders undergoing on-the-job development. They found several similarities: members of both groups are "avid learners," they "forever strain to transcend limits," and "every leader � in our study had undergone at least one intense, transformational experience." They found differences too: (1) "geeks have bigger and more ambitious goals than geezers did at the same age," (2) geeks place far more emphasis on achieving balance in their work, family, and personal lives," and (3) "geeks are far less likely than geezers to have heroes or to have had their image of a successful leader shaped by a hero."
Of perhaps greatest interest to me was that these successful geezers were still optimistic, looking forward, and learning. They exhibited what is described by the word, "neoteny," the retention of youthful qualities by adults. (It helps explain why Bennis included himself in the sample of persons studied as "geezers.")
2008年本書發行平裝本改書名為一輩子的領導並在序部分修正Warren G. Bennis, Robert J. Thomas - 2002 - Business & Economics - 224 頁
Explores the dynamic process that forges new leaders, explaining how key turning points and challenges force individuals to decide who they are and what their ...
Warren Bennis、Robert Thomas
本書作者訪問超40位的各界領袖，其中有他們稱為奇葩（Geeks，年齡21～34歲之間），以及怪傑 （Geezers，年齡70～82歲之間），並評價他們對時代的價值和成功定義的影響力。這兩個群體在他們的企圖心、英雄意識，和家庭生活態度上，都有所 不同。他們共同的特點是，所有人都「擁有或經歷過至少一次強烈的轉化經驗。」作者稱之為一種「考驗」。
美國前總統杜魯門（Harry Truman）從小就不認為自己會成為領袖，任何人都是這樣。──前言 激發下一代領袖的誕生／葛根
「本書是一本見解卓越、引人入勝的智慧經典，集結了偉大領導者的面臨考驗時，所創造出獨特啟發性的方法。不只那些已經在上位者該閱讀本書，那些想要形塑未來改變領導命運的後起英雄，更該閱讀。」－－哈佛商學院教授肯特(Rosabeth Moss Kanter)
華倫‧班尼斯 Warren Bennis
南加州大學領導學院創辦人及教授，曾任教於麻省理工學院、波士頓大學等，並曾被四位美國總統任命提供建言、擔任財星500大公司的諮詢。著有二十七本有關 領導統御的書籍，其中被《金融時報》譽為50大商業好書之一的《領導者》(Leaders)，和另一本《如何成為領袖》（On Becoming a Leader）都被譯為全球21種語言。1993年及96年兩度被《華爾街日報》譽為管理學十大發言人，並被《富比士》雜誌指為「領導先師的長老」，《金 融時報》最近稱其為創立領導統御為學術規則之人。
羅伯‧湯瑪斯 Robert Thomas
埃森哲公司策略變革中心 （Accenture Institute for Strategic Change）的合夥人之一及資深研究員，曾為全球多家公司在領導發展方面進行諮詢。再加入這家公司前曾再麻省理工學院及密西根大學任教多年。著有得獎的 《機器無法代勞的事情》（What Machines Can’t Do）。
淡江大學美國研究所，擔任國內主要財經媒體資深編譯 13 年，負責國際金融新聞。最近譯作包括《知識經濟時代》、《引爆趨勢》、《貪婪時代》、《我的財富以秒計──無線通訊鉅子麥考傳奇》、《銀行中的銀行》、《投資心理學》、《操盤高手》等，並編譯審核多本金融專書。
推薦序 未來領袖的最佳參考 柯承恩
推薦序 審視自我成為領袖的潛力 賴士葆
前言 激發下一代領袖的誕生 葛根
全新的領導模式 33/用詞界定 34/以影音圖文記錄領導統御 38/時代背景的影響 40/磨練的力量 44/發掘磨練的意義 47/成就領袖的特質 49/
受限的年代：一九四五至五四年 54/大企業和組織人 57/向中間靠攏 59/連接時代的橋樑 62/二十五到三十歲的怪傑 63/盡自己的義務 72/以傳統方式學習 75/事業與家庭 78/英雄時代 82/
多樣的時代：一九九一到二○○○年 87/二十五到三十歲的奇葩 95/為什麼要忠誠？ 108/精明和討厭世界 110/平衡的生活 113/英雄領導的時代結束119/
個別因素的重要性 129/適應力才是關鍵 130/從實例印證發現133/節食和挨餓的差別 137/適應力就是運用創造力 140/以全新眼光看世界 145/英雄之路 147/失敗帶來的教訓 156/
偉大的時代需要，偉大的領袖 163/卓越的適應力 166/如何反領導 167/凝聚共識 171/領導者、追隨者及共同的目標 174/把事情做對 177/聲音和性格 178/操守鐵三角 181/奇事與赤子之心 185/赤子之心具有再生的力量 186/青春永駐 188/
時代背景的差異 191/有異有同 193/彈奏任何一首歌 196/領袖都到哪裡去了：談國民兵役 197/職場上的領導 203/關於個人 207/
30 SEP 2002 WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Are Business Schools Really Important “Crucibles of Leadership?”
Crucibles of leadership are where you find them—or they find you. And business schools rarely create them, at least according to the respondents to the October column.
Perry Miles put it most succinctly when he said, "A business school cannot and should not be designed as a crucible. Crucibles—by design—are boot camps of a sort, where the heat and pressure make or break the participant." Lim Yung Hui commented, "Business schools can only create a context that is fertile for the emergence of leadership." And according to Charlie Cullinane, "It would be very difficult for a school to create the equivalent of a tough childhood, a religious revelation, or a life and death experience."
Setting aside the issue, Shaun Greene even questioned the importance of crucibles of leadership, raising the age-old question of nature versus nurture. As he observed, "The 'crucible' can help someone become better or more effective but the truly great were naturals."
Steffen Nevermann stated the case for the affirmative, but cautioned, "To create crucibles from which leaders may emerge, schools must put their students in a learning mode that challenges them to accept responsibility for their own education and gives them first-hand appreciation of the application of knowledge and skills to practice." Nevertheless, Kathryn Aiken points out that "... studying other crucibles is no substitute for experiencing your own." And in that regard, Aiken feels that women often face a different challenge than men because they are too often "put into staff positions rather than line management jobs in order to 'protect their success,'" which, she adds, "…actually hinders the movement of women and prevents the exposure to crucibles of leadership."
If the majority prevails and one accepts the validity of research on the subject, it leaves us with the question of just what business schools can contribute to the leadership development process. Is it limited, as Miles (a retired Marine) suggests, to "teach[ing] and model[ing] ethical leadership?" Or can it also include the study of management practices that help create crucibles of leadership for others as well as dilemmas that enable one to "practice" for the day that such a crucible may actually come along? What do you think?
The new book Geeks and Geezers by Warren Bennis and Robert Thomas, argues that all the leaders they studied, whether "geeks" (under thirty) or "geezers" (over seventy), have the ability to engage others in shared meaning; a distinctive and compelling voice; a sense of integrity; and "neoteny," a trait that makes them "addicted to life" and able to recruit protectors, nurturers, and believers through a long and productive leadership career.
In pointing out one other thing shared by leaders, the authors state once again the case for leaders being made, not born. These primary qualities of leaders are formed in the "crucible of leadership" (as Bennis and Thomas define it, anything from an important mentoring relationship to a near-death or war-time experience). Leaders have the adaptive capacity to learn from the crucible rather than be psychologically destroyed by it. Their geeks and geezers may have experienced different kinds of crucibles (the dot-com bust as opposed to the Second World War, for example), but they learned many of the same lessons from them.
The concept of the "crucible of leadership" was suggested by Abraham Zaleznik in a 1977 Harvard Business Review article, "Managers and Leaders: Are They Different?" Arguing that they are, Zaleznik cited one difference:Is a person "once-born" or "twice-born?" That is, have they had a traumatic experience in their life (the second birth), requiring, as Zaleznik described it to me in a recent e-mail, "a turning into one's self ... following which one emerges with a deepened sense of self, and relatively free of dependency on the social structure."
Zaleznik in turn was influenced in his thinking by William James, who, in a series of lectures in 1902 published The Varieties of Religious Experience, first suggested important differences between the relatively well-adjusted "once-born" individual with a strong sense of belonging and the "twice-born" person with a sense of being separate.
Regardless of the degree to which we feel leaders are made rather than born, the concept of the crucible of leadership raises a number of questions for us, some of which are posed by the authors of Geeks and Geezers.
If crucibles of leadership are so important, do men and women have equal access to them? If we value diversity in leadership ranks, what can be done to provide greater access to the essential crucibles? In general, what can we do in the private or public sectors to create crucibles from which leaders may emerge? What form might they take? Assuming that one of their objectives is to forge leaders, to what extent do business schools fill the role? Given the findings of investigators like Bennis, Thomas, and Zaleznik regarding leadership, is it realistic to think that business schools can perform an important role in this quest? What do you think?