In the previous two articles, we discussed the importance of character and why it is important in order to be a great leader. In this article, we will discuss five important leadership objectives and how character impacts those objectives.
As we stated before, your principle actions come from your character. Your actions are what will ultimately determine your success or failure as a leader. To develop good leaders, start with a good foundation. Then, add traits that leaders will need as they increase in responsibility and mature in their leadership.
To that end, we have developed the Character Driven Leadership Development Triangle. Think of this as a way to view leadership objectives in an order that corresponds with what leaders need to master as they develop their leadership.
There are five leadership objectives on the development triangle:
- Be Honorable – This is the foundation of leadership and is required by all leaders. If there is a crack in this block, it is only a matter of time until your leadership suffers the consequences of this flaw. On the other hand, an honorable leader is easy to follow.
- Get Things Done – At a very basic level, all leaders have tasks that must get done. If they cannot complete their own goals and objectives, they will have a hard time leading a team to accomplish team goals.
- Engagement – As a leader begins to mature, they will have to master the skill of engaging others. Far too many times, it is the lack of a leader’s ability to engage with others that causes friction, frustration or failure in a relationship. Leaders must learn to effectively engage with their employees for the employees to effectively engage in their work.
- Motivation – Good leaders know how to stay motivated and motivate others. The more people you lead, the more important it is to gain this skill.
- Make Good Decisions – This skill is the backbone of any leader responsible for creating and executing an overall strategy. Poor decision making ability can cost a company or organization dearly. Good decision making can reap huge rewards.
Each of these five leadership objectives can be successfully accomplished if the correct character traits are employed. As you can see on the following illustration, different character traits will drive each of the leadership objectives.
Character Trait Pyramid
Graphic showing the 12 character traits that make up a good leader.
During one of our two-day Character Driven Leadership workshops, we spend time studying and applying each character trait required to master the five business objectives. It is amazing how easy it is to track down the root cause of some of the issues that corporate America is dealing with today.
For example, managers that have difficulties engaging others are usually a function of a lack of selflessness and/or respect for others. They either have narcissistic tendencies, treat others with a lack of respect or a combination. By understanding the leadership development triangle, it becomes easier to pinpoint deficiencies in leadership and allow leaders to improve their core character related to that deficiency.