Leadership Character

Based on recent articles pertaining to corruption within government and business I was compelled to write this article on leadership character.

A person’s value system and character elements can be likened to an old knot in a rope.  It cannot be undone.  There are six elements of character.  Leaders really need to come to terms with these six elements if they are to grow the economy and improve societies and communities.

  1. Courage is the ability to be consistently genuine and to act passionately to help others and therefore sacrifice something personal. You can have courage but still feel fear.  Courage gets an individual to act in a difficult situation and courage drives every other virtue.  It also means that the individual knows right from wrong and will always take the high road. The road less traveled.  Courageous leaders inspire others and help others achieve their full potential.
  2. Loyalty is the very essence of society. Without loyalty one cannot have trusting and genuine relationships.  Loyalty requires two to tango.  True loyalty means you will deflect praise, admiration and success onto your team. Loyalty means you may have to take the blame occasionally.
  3. Diligence requires consistent hard work. The easy way does not create success nor does it produce the greatest return on assets.  Diligence means the leader accepts accountability and will follow through on his obligations. Diligence allows leaders to work in harmony with their team and to seek feedback for continuous improvement.
  4. Modest leaders are confident but they are not aggressive or arrogant. Modest leaders do not abuse their power by thinking they are better than everyone else.  Modest leaders consider all opinions without bias and with an open mind.  This allows great leadership that makes effective decisions for the greater good of all.  Modest leaders know their strengths and weaknesses and can moderate themselves to be more effective. A modest leader has self-awareness, has self-control and is therefore more easily adapted to managing issues and impediments. These very issues can be converted into opportunities.
  5. Honesty allows for transparency. Transparency allows for effective communication. Effective communication creates success in all spheres of life. Leaders who are honest, build trusting relationships and a positive work environment.  Showing up for work late, leaving early, inflating expenses, fixing the rand, inflating a salary are all forms of dishonesty. Dishonesty creates rot in the team, in business, in communities.
  6. Gratitude in today’s society is very difficult. We live in a society where everyone wants instant gratification, without effort, without pressure, without giving. If people cannot obtain instant gratification then they blame external factors. Leaders without gratitude cannot face stressful situations and issues. Leaders who have experienced the highs and lows of their work life and built up their work experience appreciate themselves and others. Leaders with gratitude have self-respect, intrinsic self-motivation and empathy. Leaders with gratitude are appreciative when their team delivers. They demonstrate gratitude in their praises.  These great leaders build exceptional teams and foster relationships through their capability, commitment and connectedness.

The nine core leadership competencies required in business are predicted by the nine personality traits and the level of maturity of these traits. Leaders need to start doing a little more introspection if they want to create greater returns on investment, that are sustainable, for all concerned and to leave a lasting legacy.

If you are a leader of a team in any organisation and in any industry and you want to be that great leader that inspires your team to be more successful, creative and innovative in order to build a successful organisation; then contact me at info@executive-counsel.co.za    Great sportsman have coaches. Why shouldn’t you!

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