Working Paper | HBS Working Paper Series | 2011

The Three Foundations of a Great Life, Great Leadership, and a Great Organization

by Michael C. Jensen

Abstract

I argue here that the three factors my co-authors and I identify as constituting the foundation for being a leader and the effective exercise of leadership can also be seen as the foundations not only for great leadership, but also for a high quality personal life and an extraordinary organization. One can see this as a "value free" approach to values because 1) integrity as we define it (being whole and complete) is a purely positive proposition, 2) authenticity is also a purely positive proposition (being and acting consistent with who you hold yourself out to be for others and who you hold yourself to be for yourself), and 3) being committed to something bigger than oneself is also a purely positive proposition (that says nothing about what that commitment should be other than it be bigger than oneself).

Keywords: Leadership; Organizations; Performance Effectiveness; Work-Life Balance; Strategy; Value;

Citation:

Jensen, Michael C. "The Three Foundations of a Great Life, Great Leadership, and a Great Organization." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 11-122, May 2011.