What makes a Leader?
This idea has been playing on my mind as we have just set the dates for the next NLP Train the Trainer. My goal is to create leaders in the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
The leadership learning process is a lengthy one and proceeds in somewhat the following way:
- genes and early childhood experiences provide the predisposition for leadership
- a liberal-arts education lays the broad foundation of knowledge
- experience provides the wisdom that comes from putting knowledge to use
- training puts the shine on behaviour in specific areas such as communication
If you happen to be missing some genes or some early childhood experiences, if you didn’t major in one of the liberal arts, if your worldly experiences haven’t been that worldly, or if the training you’ve taken hasn’t been that good, take heart.
It doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to lead. When it comes to leadership, it’s the whole of you that matters, not the bits and pieces
Warren Bennis’s basic ingredients of leadership…
|Basic ingredient||What it means|
|Guiding vision||You have a clear idea of what you want to do-professionally and personally-and the strength to persist in the face of setbacks., even failures|
|Passion||You have an underlying passion for the promises of life, combined with a very particular passion for a vocation, a profession, a course of action. You love what you do|
|Integrity||Your integrity is derived from self-knowledge, candor and maturity. You know your strengths and weaknesses, are true to your principles and have learned from experience how to learn from work with others|
|Trust||You have earned people’s trust|
|Curiosity||You wonder about everything and want to learn as much as you can|
You are willing to take risks, experiment and try new things
Burt Nanu’s seven megaskills of leadership
|Megaskill||What it means|
|Farsightedness||You keep your eyes firmly fixed on the far horizon, even as you take steps toward it|
|Mastery of change||You regulate the speed, direction and rhythm of change in the organization so that it’s growth and evolution matches the external pace of events|
|Organisation design||You are an institution builder whose legacy is an organization capable of success in realizing the desired vision|
|Anticipatory learning||You are a lifelong learner who is committed to promoting organizational learning|
|Initiative||You demonstrate an ability to make things happen|
|Master of interdependence||You inspire others to share ideas and trust each other, to communicate well and frequently and to seek collaborative solutions to problems|
|High standards of integrity|
You are fair, honest, tolerant, dependable, caring, open, loyal and committed to the best traditions of the past
James O’Tooles characteristics of value-based leaders
What it means
You never lose sight of your goals or compromise your principles. You are simultaneously principled and pragmatic
You reflect the values and aspirations of your followers. You accept leadership as a responsibility, not a privilege. You serve.
You listen to the people you serve, but you are not a prisoner of public opinion. You encourage dissenting opinions among your advisors. You test ideas, explore all sides of issues, and air the full range of opinion.
Respect for followers
You are a leader of leaders. You are pragmatic to your core but believe passionately in what you say and do.
Stephen Covey’s eight discernible characteristics of principle-centered leaders
what it means
You seek training, take classes, listen, ask questions
You see life as a mission, not as a career
Radiate positive energy
You are cheerful, pleasant, happy, optimistic, positive, upbeat, enthusiastic, hopeful and you believe in people
Believe in other people
You don’t overact to negative behaviours, don’t carry grudges and don’t label, stereotype or prejudge people
Lead a balanced life
You are balanced, temperate, moderate, wise, sensible, simple, direct, non-manipulative, physically active, socially active and well read. You are not a zealot, fanatic, martyr or addict. You don’t brood. You take praise and blame proportionately and are genuinely happy for other’s successes
See life as an adventure
You are courageous, unflappable, totally flexible explorer who savours life
You are a productive, smart working change catalyst
Engage in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual exercise for self-renewal
You engage in aerobic exercise. You like reading, writing and creative problem solving. You are emotional but patient. You listen with empathy and show unconditional love. You pray, meditate, fast and read scripture