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Leadership Plain and Simple – Part Two

“Out of chaos, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony.” – Bruce Lee

Imagine a team with seven simple character traits being “all in” with placing others first for the greater good, utilizing personal assessments* Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of all personnel.

As a leader, you identify those whose strengths are in your areas of weakness, empowering, and equipping them to excel where they’re strong and improve in the areas of their weaknesses. I do not doubt that character-based leadership will continue increasing due to the value it adds to our organizations and our customers/clients.

“Character-driven teams develop personal and corporate fortitude.” – JSP

Collins Dictionary defines fortitude as: a. strength and firmness of mind; resolute endurance. b. the strength to bear misfortune, pain, etc. calmly and patiently, firm courage.

Counselor Elaine Mead says, “Listing your strengths and weaknesses is a beneficial exercise that helps to motivate a range of positive cognitive and behavioral changes.” Organizations gain a psychological edge when operating from these seven simple character traits:

1. Accountability

“Accountability is a statement of personal promise, both to yourself and to the people around you, to deliver specifically defined results.” – Brian Dive

When accountability is one of your areas of strength, it means you are willing to accept responsibility for what you say and do. Taking responsibility for your words and behavior means you understand and accept the consequences of both. Catherine Pulsifer says, “What if we had to give an account each night before we went to sleep of the one thing that we did to make life brighter for someone else?”

2. Collaborative

John C. Maxwell writes, “Great challenges require great teamwork, and the quality most needed among teammates amid the pressure of a difficult challenge is collaboration. Notice that I didn’t say “cooperation” because collaboration is more than that. Cooperation is working together agreeably. Collaboration is working together aggressively. Collaborative teammates do more than just work with one another.

Each person brings something to the table that adds value to the relationship and synergy to the team. The sum of truly collaborative teamwork is always greater than its parts.”(1)

3. Effectiveness

Modern technology brings both help and pressure into our businesses; to maintain optimum effectiveness is no longer an option but a necessity. Striking the balance of stable character traits and sustained productivity is the sweet spot for any growing company.

Stephen R. Covey writes, “To maintain the P/PC Balance, the balance between the golden egg (production) and the health and welfare of the goose (production capability) is often a difficult judgment call. But I suggest it is the very essence of effectiveness.”(2)

4. Flexibility

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” – Michael McGriff

Flexibility enables leaders and their teams to quickly shift gears in ever-changing economic and work environments when people have this kind of flexibility; they tend to be more secure than those who are intimidated by such uncertainty.

In changing environments, flexibility gives us the psychological advantage of choosing our behaviors anchored in healthy personal values. In the face of negative thoughts, unpleasant emotions, we can remain focused on our responsibilities concerning the tasks at hand.

5. Perseverance

Perseverance allows us to succeed because we’re determined, not destined to do so. Former Green Bay Packer Head Coach Vince Lombardi said, “The difference between a successful person and others is not lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of determination.”

High achievers never wait for success on the grounds of being deserving; their determination drives them to persevere until they achieve it. If you are relentless in the pursuit of excellence, perseverance will drive you across the finish line.

6. Reliability

Merriam-Webster defines reliable as: a. suitable or fit to be relied on b. giving the same result on successive trials

Reliability engenders trust if you’re reliable, you’re trustworthy. The foundation of any working relationship is trust, and people must be comfortable with relying on you. Dependable leaders earn the trust of their teams and vice versa.

Reliability gives others the confidence that what they delegate is in good hands. Wherever you establish trust, a degree of stability and certainty is evident. Reliability provides a cohesiveness that allows leaders and team members to work together. We earn reliability based on our track record of competency.

7. Teachability

“He who stops being better stops being good.” – Oliver Cromwell

I decided early to become a lifelong learner; maintaining an inquisitive mind keeps me teachable. Educate yourself on your strengths and weaknesses. Learn all you can about your strengths and weaknesses from your experiences.

How intentional are you about knowing your interests and abilities. Who do you know that adds the most value to you? Do you have a reading list? You can learn from anyone and build your library at the same time. Teachability requires humility.

When examining these seven character traits in the context of teamwork, we see the balance and the potential that such synergy brings to our organizations.

* Utilizing personal assessments, we highly recommend you take our PRO-D assessment. Learn more here

(1) John C. Maxwell, “The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player” Becoming the Kind of Person Every Team Wants (p. 13, 14). Thomas Nelson Publishers.

(2) Stephen R. Covey, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***


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