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:
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,
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:
- Humility and
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.
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.
Reply to this message, or go
if you'd like to chat on the phone.
I encourage you to comment on
The Unity Community and its contents. Please tell me what you like and your suggestions for improving it.
Would you like to propose a topic for a future issue, perhaps
including something you write? I'll give you ample credit for your contribution if I use it.
Would You Rather Receive
The Unity Community Monthly?
Send an email from the address where you receive it. A simple "monthly" in the subject line or message will suffice.