“We will now more thoroughly describe these five major elements of leadership attributes (Character, Personal Capability, Focus on Results, Interpersonal Skills, Leading Organizational Change).
Character—-The Center Pole of Every Leader
We begin with the component that is indeed at the core. Everything radiates from it.
Here are some of the ways character gets defined:
-Making decisions with the organization paramount in their mind, versus allowing a personal agenda to influence decisions.
-Keeping commitments that are made.
-Practicing self-development; constantly learning.
-Being receptive to, and specifically asking for feedback from others.
-Being approachable by anyone.
-Treating everyone the same—-‘no smiling up and kicking down’ behavior.
-Treating the waitress and bellhop with dignity, as well as people with high status.
-Trusting other people; assuming they have good intentions.
-Working collaboratively with others, versus seeing everyone as a competitor.
-Not acting in an arrogant manner toward others.
-Being tenacious and not giving up because something is difficult.
-Having emotional resilience; adjusting rapidly to changing environments.
The second important attribute of leadership is the personal capability the individual possesses. This cluster of abilities comprises skills or competencies that are absolutely crucial for people to be highly regarded by peers, subordinates, and bosses. These are not skills that would typically be described as leadership skills, and yet our research proves they must be in place for any individual to be perceived as a strong leader.
Some of the individual capabilities are:
-Problem-analysis and problem-solving skills
-Professional skills (e.g., ability to write an intelligent, concise report; ability to make a compelling presentation in front of a group; ability to organize one’s work in an efficient manner)
-Innovation (e.g., ability to have a fresh outlook in approaching a problem, to shake loose of old methods and processes and see new possibilities
-Effective us of information technology”
The authors list “some” of the definitions for character. This is a good list, and reminds me of those that were difficult to observe in “leaders” where I worked. The most difficult to witness were:
-Making decisions with the organization paramount in their mind
-Keeping commitments that are made
-Being receptive to, and specifically asking for feedback from others
-Working collaboratively with others, versus seeing everyone as a competitor
-Practicing self-development; constantly learning
More applied, and I do believe that many of these characteristics were missing due to the actions/behavior of the president/CEO/Owner. As does the dressing to match the bosses attire, so does behavior. Those of us that balked at bad behavior were considered to be untrustworthy/weird/not a team a team player; me, especially when I promoted individual and team development. That really sent them into a tizzy!
Being a Lone Ranger, in a good way, was more important to me than being a “good old boy”, and not “rocking the boat”. Life had no meaning, for me, with “going along to get along” as my priority. Employees always came first, not the bosses.
Next: The Extraordinary Leader
Turning Good Managers Into Great Leaders
MAKING A LEADER, continued (Focus on Results, Interpersonal Skills,
Leading Organizational Change)