“Positive self-regard is related to maturity, but we’ prefer the phrase ‘emotional wisdom’ to ‘maturity’. Maturity sounds too much like the point where one outgrows childish behavior. But our leaders seemed to retain many of the positive characteristics of the child: enthusiasm for people, spontaneity, imagination, and an unlimited capacity to learn new behavior. Emotional wisdom, as we’ve come to understand it, reflects in the way people relate to others, using five skills:
- The ability to accept people as they are, not as you would like them to be. In a way this can be seen as the height of wisdom.
- The capacity to approach relationships and problems in terms of the present rather than the past.
- The ability to treat those who are close to you with the same courteous attention that you extend to strangers and casual acquaintances. We tend to take for granted those to whom we are closest.
- The ability to trust others, even if the risk seems great.
- The ability to do without constant approval and recognition from others. It should not really matter how many people like leaders. The important thing is the quality of work that results from collaborating with them.
Positive self-regard may not be found everywhere or in as many places as we’d like to see it. And it’s not all that clear how it’s acquired—-although we’ll have more to say about that in our final chapter. One thing that has become clear to us is that to understand and possess positive self-regard does not blind one to the less desirable qualities of human beings; it does, however, establish standards for thinking about human possibilities. It’s a way of developing, perhaps, an atmosphere of excellence, of greatness.”
Focusing on these statements; “One thing that has become clear to us is that to understand and possess positive self-regard does not blind one to the less desirable qualities of human beings; it does, however, establish standards for thinking about human possibilities. It’s a way of developing, perhaps, an atmosphere of excellence, of greatness.”
I’ve related the story of the college student seeking a summer intern job, but was rejected because she just “didn’t fit”, and the thought of her potential or possibilities never entered the minds of those who rejected her. We shouldn’t find that so strange. It takes characteristics that are not common to the human condition; avoid pre-judging, consideration of potential, openness to consideration, behavioral adaptability, behavioral characteristics opposite of ours that could build a more effective/efficient team, and…
Leaders are not blinded by butt-kissers, back-stabbers, “stage hogs”, who show little success, but occupy way too much time of others. Two-faced, “say one thing, for various reasons, then something opposite later”, types. The list is endless.
The Strategies For Taking Charge
Personal experience with Bennis/Nanus Four Strategies
1) Attention Through Vision; 2) Meaning Through Communication;
3) Trust Through Positioning, 4) The Deployment of Self Through Positive Self-Regard