Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. --Abraham Lincoln
Many times, leadership has been classified based on the factors floating on the surface, such as gender, age, ethnics, status/title, segmentation, party, nationality., etc, however, such categorization may only divide the clear understanding about substance of leadership, what are the critical traits in great leadership, not from out look, but from within, not about style, but in essence, how to group leaders to well reflect the positive difference or unique influence they can make, or the synergy they can create, that also being said, how to perceive commonality in heterogeneous leaders; also see colors and cognitive difference in seemingly-homogeneous leadership team?
More inspiring way to characterize the types of leadership need dig deeper, hunt for character, look inside charisma, verify the authenticity, as well as pursuit the purpose, It’s about brainstorming the management/ leadership innovation based on scientific analysis as well as artistic visualization.
Character-based leaders are usually inspirational & motivational, as such leadership is based on who you are inside, leading from within, with at least three “C” characteristics: it takes courage to make transformation; it need be consistent to follow leadership principles, it also takes unique competency to convey, empathize, unify and harmonize, as leadership is all about influence.
Both difficulty and power test one’s character. Courage is crucial ingredient in character-based leaders, courage is required at every step on the journey toward authenticity.
As it takes courage to break though barriers, prejudices, and difficulties; it takes courage to be egoless or have thick skin in order to lead fearlessly; it takes courage to make right decisions which may impact many people’s life; it also takes courage to know your authentic self, be an independent thinker, without surrounding self by “Yes” men only.
- Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. --Winston Churchill
It takes courage to be resilient: stand up and keep running after falling down; It takes courage to right wrongs or break down the bias.It takes courage to face challenges in front of you, also be challenged by others; It takes courage to voice out or keep quite at the right time; And it takes courage to ask questions and lead via influence.
Character-based leaders are also more consistent with their thinking, saying and doing, to become the authentic leaders they were born to be.
Character-based leaders define their values and follow the leadership principles with consistency; they understand trust is two-way street, win respect via their character, and such trustworthy leadership will motivate team to perform better and keep open-minded, trust like glue, makes leaders and teams act as a whole.
Consistency doesn’t mean to keep static, Change is only constant, however, the leaders with consistency can make better balance, capture the leadership substance and trace the root at the heart of change dynamic; They are consistent in the habit of learning, de-learning and relearning, not only do they keep consistent on themselves; but also they look for consistency in their teams, in their organization as well as in the eco-system, as consistency harmonizes humanities.
Character and competency are two-sides of same leadership coin for character-based leaders: as character is based on who you are inside, and competency comes from sharpening your strength, competent leaders present the ideas with confidence, pursue the goal with persistence, and practice the leadership discipline with openness.
- A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops --John J. Pershing
Leadership competency will make team of common people to achieve uncommon result; as competent leaders unleash team’s potential, coach with empathy, lead via the power of pull.
Every person has uniqueness, leader’s competitive uniqueness will attract divergent thoughts and diversified talents, also unify and bridge the difference. At the age of information explosion and abundance of social influence, the new talent mantra is more on: Compete with Uniqueness, rather than always compete for the best.
Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think. --Ralph Waldo Emerson
Read more leadership blogs here:
Three "C"s in Character-based Leaders
Three Trends of Future of Leadership