Bill George, the former chairman and CEO of
Medtronic, is a professor of management practice at
Harvard Business School in Boston.
Peter Sims established “Leadership Perspectives,” a
class on leadership development at the Stanford
Graduate School of Business in California.
Andrew N. McLean is a research associate at Harvard
Diana Mayer is a former Citigroup executive in New
Bill George (Cambridge, MA) has spent over 30 years in
executive leadership positions at Litton, Honeywell, and
Medtronic. As CEO of Medtronic, he built the company
into the world’s leading medical technology company as its
market capitalization increased from $1.1 billion to $60
billion. Since 2004, he has been a professor at the Harvard
Business School. His 2004 book Authentic Leadership (0-
7879-7528-1) was a BusinessWeek bestseller.
Peter Sims (San Francisco, CA) established “Leadership
Perspectives,” a course on leadership development at the
Stanford Graduate School of Business and cofounded the
London office of Summit Partners, a leading investment
This article was adapted from True North: Discover
Your Authentic Leadership by Bill George with Peter
The ongoing problems in business leadership over the
past five years have led the authors to answer question
and the need for a new kind of leader in the 21st
century: the authentic leader.
True North offers an opportunity for anyone to
transform their leadership path and become the
authentic leader they were born to be.
Author Bill George and his colleagues, conducted the
largest leadership development study ever undertaken.
They interviewed 125 business leaders from different
racial, religious, national, and socioeconomic
backgrounds to understand how leaders become, and
remain, authentic. Their interviews showed that you do
not have to be born with any particular characteristics or
traits to lead.
Summary of the article
Plan centered on five key areas:
Knowing your authentic self
Defining your values and leadership principles
Understanding your motivations
Building your support team
Staying grounded by integrating all aspects of your life
Shared experiences Of:
Personal, original, and illuminating stories from Warren
Bennis, Sir Adrian Cadbury, George Shultz (former U.S.
secretary of state), Charles Schwab, John Whitehead
(Cochairman, Goldman Sachs), Anne Mulcahy
(CEO, Xerox), Howard Schultz (CEO, Starbucks), Dan
Vasella (CEO, Novartis), John Brennan
(Chairman, Vanguard), Carol Tome (CFO, Home
Depot), Donna Dubinsky (CEO/cofounder, Palm), Alan
Horn (President, Warner Brothers), Ann Moore
(CEO, Time, Inc.) and many others illustrate the
transitions that shape the type of leaders who will thrive in
the 21st century.
Authors share the wisdom of 125 outstanding leaders
and describe how you can develop as an authentic
leader. True North presents a concrete and
comprehensive program for leadership success and
shows how to create your own Personal Leadership
The article shows how anyone who follows their
internal compass can become an authentic leader.
you do not have to be born with any particular
characteristics or traits to lead.
You also do not have to be at the top of your organization.
Anyone can learn to be an authentic leader.
The journey begins with leaders understanding their life
stories. Authentic leaders frame their stories in ways that
allow them to see themselves not as passive observers but
as individuals who learn from their experiences. These
leaders make time to examine their experiences and to
reflect on them, and in doing so they grow as individuals
and as leaders.
Authentic leaders also work hard at developing self-
awareness through persistent and often courageous self-
exploration. Denial can be the greatest hurdle that leaders
face in becoming self-aware, but authentic leaders ask
for, and listen to, honest feedback.
They also use formal and informal support networks to
help them stay grounded and lead integrated lives.
Achieving business results over a sustained period of time
is the ultimate mark of authentic leadership. It may be
possible to drive short-term outcomes without being
authentic, but authentic leadership is the only way to
create long-term results.
Relationship with the course
It is closely related with the course outline as objectives
are alligned with course objectives of :
To give a concrete and comprehensive program for
leadership success and shows how to create your own
Personal Leadership Development plan.
Learn how to transform your leadership path and
become the authentic leader you were born to be.