In four decades of identifying, qualifying, training, consulting to, and serving as a leader, I’ve come to realize, effective, meaningful leadership, is often far more about someone’s character, ethics and integrity, than their skills and/ or aptitude! However, these characteristics, are, also, often the most challenging to identify, recognize, and appreciate. Since there are numerous challenges, and obstacles, which leaders will inevitably face and confront, it is how they proceed, and whether they are capable of behaving, with the same ethics and integrity, when there are challenges, as they do, when there are far fewer obstacles, etc. This article will, therefore, consider what is involved, in determining, if someone has the CLASS to be a real leader.
1. Character; considerations; cleverness: Everything is not, always, black – and – white. There are often several paths to choose from, and determining the best course to take, often requires a high degree of cleverness, etc. Will you be capable of comprehensive considerations, rather than expedient and/ or simplistic ones? Much has to do with an individual’s true character, and how he will behave, when challenged, to decide, whether to do the right thing, or the most expedient one!
2. Listen; learn: Why do you believe we were born, with two ears, but only one mouth? Classy leaders understand, it is far more important to listen, than to express one’s opinion. Remember, the favorite sound, for most people, is the sound of their own voices. Most people become attracted to people who listen effectively, and with respect, and avoid interrupting! The individual who focuses on listening intently, and, then, learning from everything he hears, and experiences, is, invariably, potentially, the best, possible leader!
3. Attitude; attention; appreciation: Great leaders appreciate what others do, and tell them so. Saying thanks, for someone’s effort and/ or commitment, is a requirement of being a CLASS leader! Will you proceed with a positive, can – do attitude, which, remains intact, through challenges, and, thus, attracts others? Where is your primary focus, and attention?
4. Sincerity: One must realize and understand, you will consistently be measured by your level of absolute sincerity! You might be able to fool some of the people, some of the time, but only, if you are truly sincere, and consistently demonstrate and prove it, others will see, right through you!
5. Strengths: How will you exhibit the strengths, needed to make a consistent difference? Will your organization become truly stronger, as a result of your leadership?
Do you possess the CLASS, to be a quality, meaningful, relevant leader? Will you make the necessary commitments?