Character: Is It Necessary In Leadership? (Part One)

Written by Brent Filson

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Summary: One element of leadership that many leaders ignore or neglect is character. Is it a necessary ingredient in leadership? The author answersrepparttar 136917 question withrepparttar 136918 challenging observation that character can actually drive leadership results.

Character: Is It Necessary In Leadership? (Part One) By Brent Filson

We know character when we see it, but what exactly is it? How do we define it? What role does it play in our getting results as leaders? What role does character play in our careers? In this two part article, I'll explore these questions and give tips on using character to get results and build your career. A key function of character in leadership is to engender trust in people, andrepparttar 136919 function of their trust is to have them take action for results. Few leaders come to grips withrepparttar 136920 challenges of character and so miss great job and career opportunities. Let's start with its root, which comes from a Greek word, "kharakter", a chisel or marking instrument for metal or stone. Our character, then, is our mark engraved into something enduring. We can mold mannerisms, but we must chisel our character. Of course, we don't carry around a stone or a sheet of metal marked with our "character". The enduring thing isrepparttar 136921 aggregate ofrepparttar 136922 traits and features that form our apparent individual nature. "Apparent" isrepparttar 136923 operative word. Our character exists not only in and of itself, but also as an appearance to others. The fact that character exists both in us and inrepparttar 136924 minds of other people holds a powerful leadership lesson. To begin to understand what character is all about in leadership, describe five ofrepparttar 136925 best leaders in history. Then, list three to five character traits that made each onerepparttar 136926 best. Describe five ofrepparttar 136927 worst leaders in history, and list three to five character traits that made each onerepparttar 136928 worst. Now makerepparttar 136929 same lists forrepparttar 136930 people in your industry and your own organization. Did you learn something new about leadership and character? What did you learn? I emphasize new because, in identifying elements that compose character, we come to understandrepparttar 136931 thinking processes that help us form character judgments. Because we commonly make snap judgments about people, we must be aware of how and why we make those judgments, so we can clarify and make better use of them in our leadership. The ultimate character we must be concerned with, of course, is our own. Our character influences our leadership, and through our leadership, our careers. Few leaders makerepparttar 136932 connection between career and character in this way, let alone do something about it. Your doing so will give you a tremendous advantage in your career. We know that it's much harder to see our own character than for us to seerepparttar 136933 character of others. At this point, however, it's unnecessary to try to understand what your character actually is. You need only realize that, for purposes of leadership, your character is forged in values and manifested in relationships. Values arerepparttar 136934 qualities that spur action. Moreover, values are tied to emotions. We feel strongly aboutrepparttar 136935 values we hold and look to others to hold, and because of such feelings, we're usually acting on our values in one way or another.

Leadership Success and Its Greatest Barrier: the Law of Administrivia

Written by Gerald Czarnecki

Years ago, a very wise, and often cynical boss of mine asked me for a definition of management. After reflecting onrepparttar question I proceeded to give him an intellectually careful and, I thought, accurate definition. He allowed me to completerepparttar 136788 answer and then came back with his definition which was, “Management is just one darn thing after another.” After having a good laugh, I thought about his remark and concluded that he had basically identified what makes life so challenging for those in leadership positions. The flow of “things to do” never seems to stop.

How often have you gone home atrepparttar 136789 end of a day feeling frustrated because you had accomplished far less than you had planned? How many times has your “To Do” list grown by more items in one day than you marked off in a whole week? For most of us, this has happened far too often.

The larger problem is thatrepparttar 136790 “To Do” list we make for ourselves gets longer because somebody else adds to that list…more often than not, our boss. Frequently that list seems to be growing by an endless number of tasks that have more benefit to someone else, and very little benefit to getting our jobs done. Whilerepparttar 136791 list grows longer with these less critical items, our own list of critical, mission essential items seems to get more and more delinquent.

Most leaders are faced with conflicting priorities and almost invariably somebody else is makingrepparttar 136792 decision as to what our priorities must be. It could be a boss, but it can also be a customer, a vendor or even an organizational peer. In short, demands on our time come from many places, and all too often those demands appear to be less essential than our own priorities. The real tragedy, however, is that most of us also opt to completerepparttar 136793 priorities of others before we accomplish our own. This is not irrational, but it is oftenrepparttar 136794 wrong choice.

One ofrepparttar 136795 long-standing principles in economics is called Gresham’s law. It states that if two currencies are circulating in an economy—one a high-quality currency that everybody trusts and believes in andrepparttar 136796 other a poor-quality currency that everybody thinks has substantial risk—then “the bad currency will drive outrepparttar 136797 good currency.” This means that everybody will want to hoardrepparttar 136798 good currency and giverepparttar 136799 bad to other people whenever they can.

In leading,repparttar 136800 same principle applies. I call it “The Law of Administrivia.” That Law postulates that… Required or less useful activity drives out desirable and useful activity. In other words, people will dorepparttar 136801 tasks that they think are easy, trivial, and required first, in order to get them out ofrepparttar 136802 way. Then, withrepparttar 136803 time left over, they will do what is desirable or useful but not required. In short, people will do trivial administrative tasks (what I term “administrivia”) first just to avoid trouble withrepparttar 136804 boss. Then they concentrate on that which they know to be useful. Unfortunately this creates a dilemma sincerepparttar 136805 amount of administrivia grows oncerepparttar 136806 boss concludes you are able to handle what you have already been given to accomplish. That boss continues to pile onrepparttar 136807 work.

Eventually you do less and less of what you want or need to do and much more ofrepparttar 136808 administrative work. Worse still, since administrivia is usually easy work, while being a leader is hard work, guess which work you end up spending more time on? The easy jobs. After a while, all that gets done isrepparttar 136809 required,repparttar 136810 trivial, and maybe evenrepparttar 136811 useless.

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