Thursday, 8 August 2013

The qualities of authentic leadership.

I believe that we acknowledge individuals as leaders far too generously.  That is not to suggest that true leaders do not exist.  Rather it is to suggest that leadership ought to be a position that is jealously and rigorously defended so as to retain the esteem that authentic leadership embodies. 

Too often we are quick to designate,or someone is too quick to claim, this role.  Sometimes it is due to the void of a legitimate leader and our natural inclination to be led.  At other times we make assumptions of competency based on the academic credentials or seniority of an individual.  But lets be clear.  Leadership must have both a skill set and a character set for there to be authenticity. 

We all have different ideas as to the character set that we want to see in our leaders.  I want to start a dialogue to see what you think.  I will start the conversation with a few that come to my mind.  With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy...

1.  If you have met company payroll with your credit card, you have leadership qualities.

2.  If the prospect of having to lay off staff members makes you want to vomit, you have leadership  

3.  If you would rather have TBSH than MBA on your business card, you have leadership qualities.
     (The Buck Stops Here)

4.  If you have the confidence to state your role as Leader rather than Owner or President on your
     business card, you have leadership qualities.

5.  If you know more about your staff members families than the stats of your favourite team, you
     have leadership qualities.

6.  If you would rather be known as being too honest than too successful, you have leadership

7.  If people would rather work for you and make less money than work for the competition and
     make more, you have leadership qualities.

8.  If your goal is to be known in your community before being known at your club, you have
     leadership qualities.

9.  If you want others to always know where you stand, even without asking you first, you have
     leadership qualities.

10.  If doing right is more important than being right, you have leadership qualities.

You all have thoughts on the matter based on your own experiences.  Add to the conversation by posting a comment to this blog.  In the end we can develop a grass roots definition of leadership that we can communicate to those who aspire to be leaders.  The first step of getting what we need is by expressing our expectations.  Join the conversation.


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