The vast majority of leadership training available to managers focuses primarily on skill and behaviors: how to delegate, how to communicate, how to manage conflict. These skills are unquestionably important and necessary. However, we maintain there is another important ingredient that has been severely neglected in leadership training, that ingredient is ??character.?? Leadership character and its qualities is the focus of our new book and workshop: ??Qualities of Leadership.??
In 340 B.C. Aristotle began describing a series of principles that have been embraced in both western and eastern cultures. A thorough understanding of these ideas enables a leader to think and act with greater clarity and effectiveness causing people to voluntarily follow the leader??s direction and example. We believe that sound character has the greatest impact on leadership success. Leaders simply attract people, ideas, circumstances, opportunities, and resources that are in harmony with their core thoughts and being.
A leader can never achieve greatness and success on the outside unless he or she has developed fundamental qualities on the inside. Behavior decisions and choices are all a reflection of our inner world. Unfortunately managers can unintentionally get caught in the competitive ??win at any cost?? mentality or the greedy ??more for me?? line of thinking. This can derail the careers of most intelligent people. We read all about it every day in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Forbes, manager who abused their trust of the community, customers, regulators or employees.
It happens in the sales, research, or in operations from the executive suites to the front lines. Successful business thrives on sound character, values, and principles more than laws, regulations and fines.
Most leaders would never plunder their company, rip off investors, cook the books, or ride on the safety of others by taking short cuts. But leaders can violate character principles in smaller ways like:
?X making a commitment and not seeing it through
?X not honestly saying what you really think
?X shying away from ??bad news?? that need to be shared with employees
?X not telling your boss or peers the whole story
?X not accepting accountability
?X not giving employees full credit for a success or idea
?X Playing games and manipulating rather than straight up negotiating
Leadership Training that focuses on character, values, and principles help bring balance to the practice of leadership. It helps leaders build lasting and productive relationships that unleash employee motivation and help leaders who want to bust down the status quo and build an innovative culture.