The Care and Feeding of Any Heart: Leadership is Huge! Part 2

servant-leadershipFor the next several Training Table feasts of the heart for those “running the good race” (2 Timothy 4:7) we will chow down on some meaty issues surrounding the attributes of great leadership—and some problems of sub-par or no leadership as well.

Today’s Training Table menu on leadership consists of, a) an appetizer of some quotes on the vitally important topic of leadership and, b) nine attributes of leadership from Stephen Covey—and some GREAT leadership resources I recommend to inspire, transform behavior, and change the world!

I had the great privilege of getting to know Stephen Covey when he first published Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I spoke with Mr. Covey on many occasions about the parallels between his writing, his own personal principles, and the bible. Stephen told me right from the start, “There’s nothing I could ever write about that could refute the bible. It’s the basis of all Truth and Love.”

I wholeheartedly, a bazillion%, agree!

Appetizer Leadership Quotes

Practicing Visionary: Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. <Warren Bennis>

Secure: I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody. <Herbert Swope>

Values: Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy. <Norman Schwarzkopf>

Humility: He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander. <Aristotle>

Loving: If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. <John Quincy Adams>

Teamwork: Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. <Henry Ford>

Polls: The nation will find it very hard to look up to the leaders who are keeping their ears to the ground. <Sir Winston Churchill>

Tempered: A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. <Douglas MacArthur>

A Principled-Centered Leader Is One Who…

1. Believes in other people. [See:  “What Is Your Church’s (or organization’s) Personality?”, by Dr. Philip Douglass]

Don’t label, don’t overreact, don’t carry grudges or prejudge people.

2. Balance your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual characteristics.  [See:  “The Speed of Trust”, by Stephen M. R. Covey]

Engages in exercise, reading, writing, creative problem solving, you pray, meditate, and watch what you eat.

3.  Invests in other people. [See: “The Leadership Challenge”, by Kouzes and Posner]

Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.

4.  A continuous learner, promoter of learning.  [See: “Principled-Centered Leadership”, by Stephen Covey]

Seeks training, taking classes, active listening, teachable, and asks questions.

5. A service, selfless orientation. [See: “On Leadership”, by John W. Gardner]

Sees life as a mission, not as a career.

6.  Sees life as an adventure. [See: “Building Highly Effective Teams”, by Michael Nir]

Courageous, unflappable, a totally flexible explorer.

7.  Radiates positive energy. [See: “Servant Leader: The Four Dimensions of Leadership”, by Ken Blanchard]

Cheerful, pleasant, happy, optimistic, positive, enthusiastic, and hopeful.

8.  Synergizes. [See: “The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done”, by Peter Drucker]

Productive, “smart working”, and wiser.

9.  Acts in a humble yet intentional way. [See: “The Book on Leadership”, by John MacArthur]

So it’s a healthy thing to be humbled by any crisis, to realize that we have to take an inside-out approach in learning to be humble, to focus on integrity and character and on making a contribution, to serve other people, and serve worthwhile causes.

[Source: “Principle Centered Leadership” by Stephen Covey.]

Covey also wrote a great deal about the essential issue of TRUST—and, in particular, how great, enduring leaders are always trustworthy individuals by exhibiting the following character PLUS action traits:

1. Talk Straight

2. Demonstrate Respect

3. Create Transparency

4. Right Wrongs

5. Show Loyalty

6. Deliver Results

7. Get Better

8. Confront Reality

9. Clarify Expectation

10. Practice Accountability

11. Listen First Before Speaking

12. Keep Commitments

13. Extend Trust

Get a Little… To Change You, the World, A Lot! 

Beloved race runners, there’s a ton a great content here—and within the marvelous leadership books I’m recommending. Regardless of the specific content, please try to, a) grab a hold of just a few really important and seminal concepts, b) share them with another person or small group of people who care deeply about you and will help you internalize them and make them your own, c) begin to live them out in doable yet challenging ways, d) try and be explicit about the sort of impact your change of leadership has, and e) report back to your community of change agents and encouragers to help keep your vision of leadership vital… on track… and impacting lives and organizations for the good!

You… YOU… can have an leadership influence in a world that needs GOOD TO GREAT LEADERSHIP more than ever before!

Next week we will chew on some characteristics of poor leadership.

‘Till we chow down and change in order to please God and bless others again, “Lead On!”

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