April 4, 2019 - Issue 19-14

Good Afternoon  ,

Effective leaders are key factors in the success of any organization. We use the term "lead", in contrast to "manage". To be effective in the employment of human capital, we must pay attention to this distinction:

We lead people.
We manage things - money, machines, inventories, etc.

The techniques are very different. Those who try to manage people lose them or demoralize them. Treating people like things fails to recognize personalities.

Leadership is a massive and wide-ranging topic. Huge books have been dedicated to it. I find its study to be fascinating - I hope you find it similarly so.

So how would we define leading, or leadership? It's probably impossible to do it in one comfortable sentence.

Here's a definition from Sun Tzu, a Chinese general, military strategist, writer and philosopher. Sun Tzu lived a few centuries B.C. You may be familiar with his work.

"Leadership is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and discipline...Reliance on intelligence alone results in rebelliousness. Exercise of humaneness alone results in weakness. Fixation on trust results in folly. Dependence on the strength of courage results in violence. Excessive discipline and sternness in command result in cruelty. When one has all five virtues together, each appropriate to its function, then one can be a leader. - Sun Tzu

That captures a lot of it. To better identify effective leaders in modern times,  Marcel Schwantes discusses three things to look for in potential leaders. Marcel is a speaker, coach and syndicated columnist who often contributes to Inc. magazine.

Not to steal too much of Marcel's "thunder", the three strengths he looks for in a leadership candidate are:
  • Patience,
  • Humility and 
  • Compassion.

Some of these strengths might be defined by some to be weaknesses, or "softness". Hence, humility (the willingness to put one's ego aside) is especially important in exercising the others. Referring to Sun Tzu's definition above, any of these strengths can be harmful if carried to an extreme. 

Check out Marcel's deeper discussion of these traits. His description of a leader he worked for who exhibited similar strengths helps to personify them.

John Stevens

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here.

Have you experienced a leader who embodied patience, humility and compassion? (I have - it was a great experience!) Or a "leader from Hell"? (Been there, too - no fun!) 
Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome.

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Your Best  Coaching Prospects -  Where are They?

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About John

Throughout a career spanning over 45 years my management style has been one of building teams to bring several competent people together to focus on a common objective. I noted early in my career that, in most organizations, there is an enormous amount of time, energy, and effort wasted by people working at cross purposes.

As I transition to life in the Argentine outback, my focus shifts from coaching to helping other business coaches and advisers get their message out to their prospective clients. With my first-hand knowledge of the benefits of effective business coaching, I am uniquely qualified to help business advisers of all stripes convey their message.

Contact Info
John B. Stevens, Freelance Copywriter

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