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FCW : January 2014
as a duty, obligation or burden? Are you motivated for the right reasons? While leadership is a chance to make your mark, the opportunity comes with even greater respon- sibility. You have a responsibility to the organization and to your team to accomplish your task, using resources wisely, making good decisions and identifying new opportunities. You are also responsible for maximizing your team's abilities, motivating them to be resourceful and innovative, and recognizing their achieve- ments. Leaders also must be problem-solvers. They are respon- sible for managing risks and are accountable when mistakes are made. If you're not willing to accept this responsibility, then you better think again about taking charge. It may not be your calling! Leader- ship is an opportunity --- even a privilege --- that you must sincere- ly embrace and want to take on. Some contend that leaders are born, not made. I believe that the mechanics of leadership can be learned, and skills improved, but character can't be compro- mised. U.S. Army General Norman Schwarzkopf said, "Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strat- egy." Stormin' Norman was spot on. Character is the most impor- tant component of leadership. It starts with why you want to be a leader and how you take on the responsibilities. Four intangibles of leadership My experience suggests that lead- ership is all about character. By working with several inspirational and effective leaders, I've identi- ed four intangibles of leadership that distinguish the best leaders --- and all four intangibles are based on character. Integrity. The rst attribute is integrity. Leaders should be trust- worthy and dependable. As Peter Drucker once noted, "Manage- ment is doing things right; leader- ship is doing the right things." What's the difference? Integrity not only shows where you stand, but also where you expect everyone else to stand. The best leaders don't try to install integrity --- they instill it, inspire it, exemplify it, model it. Integrity means moral leader- ship --- doing the right thing no matter what and inspiring every- one else to do the same. Courage and conviction. The second interlocking leadership intangible is courage and convic- tion. Courage is not allowing your actions and decisions to be con- trolled by fear, doubt or uncertain- ty. Conviction is the belief in what you're doing --- and the strength to get it done. It's also the willing- ness to take risks. This does not mean that you don't have a fear of failure. What it does mean is that you aren't easily frightened away. Former British Prime Minister James Callaghan once said, "A leader must have the courage to act against an expert's advice." Commitment. The third leader- ship intangible is commitment --- being persistent and determined. Pat Riley, who won eight NBA championships ( ve as a head coach and one each as a player, assistant coach and team execu- tive) once said, "There are only two options regarding commit- ment: You're either in or you're out. There's no such thing as life in-between." Coach Riley is right. Champi- onships are never won by teams [that] practice occasionally or give 50 percent. The same goes for all goals. Success in anything really important is never achieved with- out commitment --- unrelenting commitment. In my experience, commitment is made up of two things. First, determination is the emotional energy that a leader possesses to establish goals and get moving toward them. Second, persistence is staying power. It's easy to get energized and sprint into action. Maintaining momentum and reaching big goals, however, is not easy! Achieving major goals can be a long-term effort, but great leaders get it done! So leadership starts with integ- rity, is revealed through courage January 2014 FCW.COM 27 It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse. --- Adlai Stevenson