Monday, 26 March 2018

Leadership Fundamentals - Who not What

“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”.

So much is written, spoken and lectured about what constitutes a good leader.

Article after article reference the things good leaders do that separate them from the rest.

The Men’s cricket related events in South Africa have me thinking most of what is written and discussed is peripheral to what truly separates the good Leaders.

It is not about what they do that makes a leader good, or great, it starts with who they are.

Leaders I have experienced and Leadership peers I have worked with in business have included the good, the bad and at times, the indifferent.

The qualities the good Leaders have possessed are not learned, copied or cultivated.

They have possessed the fundamental qualities of credibility, honesty, courage and integrity.

I recall Leaders who displayed all these qualities and practiced them at all times.

I have experienced leaders who may have slipped from time to time in some areas, but were also honest, consistent and uncompromising in their business principals.

Then again, I have worked with the less than truthful and perhaps worst of all, the tell tales, those who lack the integrity or courage to address a matter or concern with you directly.

I could always deal with the less than truthful Leader or the tell-tale colleague and sadly, version of these behaviours are all too common.

As much as I may have lacked respect for them, and I assume they lacked respect for themselves, they never stooped so low as to have any subordinate breech a rule or regulation in order to advance their own cause or the cause of the area(s) under their span of control.

Further, during a career in Financial Services spanning 5 decades, I have never once been asked or instructed by a Leader to do anything that would breach the rules.

Ultimately good leadership is only about who you are not about what you do;

Written across the top of the blackboard in the craft room at my Primary School were these words I have always remembered.

“A measure of a man’s character is what he would do if he never thought he would be found out.”

When taking the decision, he did, and by the instructions he issued The Australian Men’s Cricket Captain believed he would not be found out and such is the measure of his character.

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