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The Leadership Equation: Final Thoughts

We have now looked at Truthfulness, Integrity, Faithfulness, Humility, Servanthood, Charity, Justice, Wisdom, Understanding, Learning, Self-Control, Excellence, Worthy Vision, Motivation, and Counsel. All of these characteristics help leaders influence others.

    \[ l_i = \left ( i_1 + t + f + h + \frac{s_1}{s_2} + c_1 + j\right )\left ( w_1 + u + l + \frac{s_3}{a} + e \right )\left ( w_2 + \frac{m_1}{m_2} + c_2  \right ) \]

where l_i = leadership/influence

When considering these characteristics, my tendency is to compare myself and other leaders against the high bar that has been set through the course of the series. My conclusion is that I often fall short of this bar and I am hard pressed to find any person who could clear the bar. As a result, I am ready to move onto a different topic – too intense, too much reflection.

However, I do have a few final thoughts:

  1. All leaders face failure. Sometimes the failure is beyond their control but usually failure is a direct result of a leader’s action and weakness in character. When dealing with failure, good leaders always respond appropriately. Jim Collins, in Good to Great, observes that the best leaders (the “level 5″ leaders) look in the mirror at such times and take responsibility; they don’t blame others. We see repeatedly that history is kinder to those leaders who accept responsibility for their actions than those who don’t.
  2. Leaders are made, not born. Our greatest opportunity for growth is through our failure. You should never stop learning and continuing to grow as a leader. In addition, remember leadership does not come from your status, title, position, or upbringing. It is about influence. That influence comes from building respect with others over time.
  3. The three legged stool. In spite of character weakness, good leaders are still able to have a measure of influence over others. To some degree, a leader must possess some amount of trustworthiness, competency, and vision in order to be effective as a leader. Without trust, people will turn on you if the vision changes. Without competency, people will become frustrated with you and leave. Without vision, people will unlikely follow you in the first place.

In the next series, I plan to switch gears and focus on productivity and getting stuff done. Thanks for sticking with me through the leadership equation.

In Leadership (competency, failure, leaders are made not born, Leadership, trust, vision)
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