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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 answers question with challenging observation that character can actually drive leadership results.
Character: Is It Necessary In Leadership? (Part Two) By Brent Filson
In first part of this two part article, I talked about importance of character in leadership. After all, best leadership involves people bonding with leader in deep, human, emotional ways. The passive way of looking at character is that bonding won't happen if people are confused about or disdain your character. But there is also an active way of looking at character: You can use aspects of your character to actually promote results. Your best character traits can be turned results-multipliers. Here's how.
By way, results I'm talking about don't necessarily have to be organizational results. Many leaders have used my processes in their lives outside their organizations, with teenagers or with their spouses, for example, and not simply as a "leadership" process. Who you are as a leader should be intertwined with who you are as a person. If your leadership is not your life, you diminish both your leadership and your life.
To begin with, select any one of character traits you identified in Part One. We will focus on ways to use that trait to get increases in results, however you define those results.
For example, trait "always ready to forgive" can be a results driver, because it enables you to clear air with people you need to help you get results. After all, if you're always ready to forgive slights and perceived slights, you avoid blame shifting and finger pointing — both impediments to organizational results.
Epictetus (AD 55–135), another stoic philosopher, said, "Small-minded people habitually reproach each other for their own misfortunes. … Those who are dedicated to a life of wisdom understand that impulse to blame someone or something is foolishness. … The more we examine our attitudes and work on ourselves, less we are apt to be swept away by stormy emotional reactions in which we seek easy explanations for unbidden events."
Although one's relationships in leadership are predicated on results, most effective results-producing relationships arise when these relationships ultimately have nothing to do with results, when people respond to you not just as a leader but simply and profoundly as a human being.