Four Steps to Great Leadership Character

Leaders are often at the top of their game when reaching to a crisis. Usually during such moments leaders reach into their deepest instincts to make decisions. You may have experienced this type of crystal clear decision making as your back was against the wall with no room to continue with the normal business operation. Leaving our regular comfort zone can stimulate creative ideas.

How do we harness this ability on a regular basis?  Deliberately and initially moving our thought process from our accustomed state to the following:

Comfort-centered to results -centered

Considering the result in an honest and open frame rather than a normal and reactive state, moves us from problem solving to purpose finding.

Externally-directed to more internally-directed

Rather than conforming to the expectation of those around us, reaching within and listening to and acting on our core values. This allows us to build authenticity, integrity, and confidence.

Less self-focused and more focused on others

Placing the needs of the organization as a whole above our own. Although it is natural and normal to put our own interests over the collective good, over time such a focus leads to isolation. By putting the collective good before our own others reward us with their trust and respect. As a result, we create a more cohesive and empathetic environment, and we form more genuine and meaningful bonds.

Open to outside signals or stimuli

Incremental changes are easier to accept. We have a tendency to avoid dramatic change by denying the change and sometimes getting defensive as a method of self-protection.  However, significant growth comes from reaching inside and embracing dramatic change and acting.

Great leadership characteristics require a conscious effort. In Moments of Greatness: Entering the Fundamental State of Leadership, Robert E. Quinn reported the normal state versus the fundamental state of leadership:

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