Posted 04 April 2008 by Chris Farmer
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Six key attributes of leadership - Management development skills
A theory for effective action
In order to do well in life, we must engage in certain virtues and refrain from certain vices.
Of the many virtues required for success, six in particular are crucial. These six can be summarised in just three words.
They are clarity, reason and emotion.
I call these the primary virtues.
Clarity relates to developing internal mental clarity.
That includes being clear about what principles you stand for and why.
It means knowing what goals you want to achieve and the ability to focus your mind without distraction on them over months and years.
Clarity also pertains to communication
Once you have decided what you believe, you should be able to communicate those ideas to others in non-ambiguous terms, so that the understand you. (Others need not agree).
Consider the opposite
What happens to people with clear ideas but who lack the ability to express them?
Or people who lack mental clarity feel uncertain about their direction.
They are distracted by trivia.
They lack purpose.
Reason, the ability to think clearly and logically about the problems that continually face anyone, is the key to intelligent action.
Reason is your means of survival. It means developing the ability to integrate facts and derive true conclusions. Logic is the method of reason.
Without reason and logic, a person is forced to fall back on the "majority opinion" as a source of wisdom. And as you know, the majority opinion is not necessarily a guide to intelligent action.
There are two main aspects where you may want to use reason and logic
o Conflict resolution
"Planning" means "the ability to translate knowledge and ideas into intelligent action that is likely to result in the attainment of a goal"
Planning is a prerequisite of continued achievement.
Failure to plan is the cause of much inefficiency and anguish.
Rational conflict management
Rational conflict resolution means "The ability to resolve disagreements over fact, or principle by reference to logical principles as opposed to prejudice, anger, ego or whim".
Conflict is inevitable and even beneficial, provided conflict is resolved rationally and logically, not egotistically, with anger.
If conflict remains rational, new, better solutions often emerge.
If conflict degenerates into emotional bloodletting, the team performance suffers.
Positive emotions such as enthusiasm, confidence and friendliness are the spark that transforms logical plans into determined action.
Most people live in the hope that something outside of them will appear to inspire positive emotions.
But in truth, the world has a tendency to de-motivate, because perfect knowledge is impossible and therefore plans often do not work out first time.
In order to keep going, generate enthusiasm as an act of will.
The Ability to inspire yourself is an important skill
This is each person's individual choice: to be as happy as his or her present circumstances reasonably permit.
The ability to inspire others
That means "the conscious attempt to lift the spirits of people you work with".
If you cannot lift others, then it means, "Not accidentally, needlessly, carelessly upsetting the emotions of another".
In summary these virtues are:
- Mental clarity (purpose /standards)
- Communications clarity
- Rational planning
- Rational conflict resolution
- Ability to inspire self
- Ability to inspire others
For more information about leadership and management training visit the Corporate Coach Group website