12 Most Victorious “V” Virtues of Great Leaders
“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.” ~ Sun Tsu
Gotta love a leadership post that starts with a Sun Tsu quote, right? I once wrote a paper applying Sun Tsu’s principles from The Art of War to modern sparring and self-defense. Of course, you can apply many of those same principles to business strategy as well as relationships. I suggest you do not let your significant other know you are taking relationship lessons from a book called The Art of War, though!
What other valuable “v’s” can we add in this installment of the 12 Most ABCs of Leadership? Here are my Vickery picks…
English dramatist, Phillip Massinger, once penned, “He is not valiant that dares die, but he that boldly bears calamity.” Here is my take on this quote — it can be a “cop out” for leaders to set themselves up to become martyrs. Great leaders “boldly bear calamity” and keep their organizations going strong through all circumstances.
When is the last time you spontaneously complimented a teammate or employee (or a loved one for that matter)? I know I can always improve in this aspect of leadership and relationship. Great leaders validate the strengths and efforts of their people — even when the efforts fall short.
This is one of those traits that can go either way: an asset or a liability. To be “vehement” is to be earnest, fervent — perhaps even fiery! If you’ve followed my thought process throughout this ABCs of Leadership series, you know I favor the passionate!
“People do not care what you know until they know that you care.” Give me an earnest, fiery leader who cares about the people and the company versus just a bottom-line. Good leaders care about the bottom-line. GREAT leaders achieve bottom-line results by caring.
I was part of a Google+ Hangout recently with the Influence Marketing boys (Sam Fiorella and Danny Brown), and we had a lively discussion around influence scoring in general — and LinkedIn endorsements specifically! Some people are gamifying endorsements to the point they are endorsing connections without firsthand knowledge that those connections have the endorsed skill set.
A great leader’s expertise is verifiable and organizations should do due diligence versus relying on something as simple as LinkedIn endorsements and +K’s in Klout.
Speaking of LinkedIn, I do think the “Skills and Expertise” section is ideal for displaying the versatility of leaders (if you set aside the gamified endorsements). Great leaders are not one-trick wonders when it comes to talents. That allows them to adapt to volatile circumstances when “Plan A” doesn’t work and they have to rely on other strengths in order to succeed.
Young leaders are our future, but we would all be best served if those young leaders rolled under the tutelage of the great leaders of today. These young leaders need to cultivate their own versatility, and overcome struggles when “Plan A” fails before assuming the mantle of huge responsibility.
High energy attitudes are contagious. Great leaders bring vibrant vitality, and they foster that attitude throughout the organization so that it becomes a sustainable part of the corporate culture.
Losers do not keep a following for long, right? Great leaders are ultimately victorious and we want proof of past victories before tying our fortunes to leaders regardless of how charismatic they may be. And great leaders cannot rest on past accomplishments! They need to get up each morning with the intent and drive to be victorious.
Colin Powell said, “Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.” Great leaders must remain doubly vigilant — especially during successful times when our common sense may become dulled.
Throughout this ABCs of Leadership series, I’ve talked about words such as chivalrous… honorable… integrity… knightly — virtuous fits in this list of traits that I personally value the most. Great leaders need competence and the true ability to lead others. However, I’ll compromise some natural leadership ability in my leaders if I know they are uncompromisingly virtuous.
Good leaders are capable of executing on a corporate vision statement. Great leaders are truly visionary when preparing vision statements and corporate goals. They move past the “lip service” frequently associated with vision statements and they help us BELIEVE.
Another common theme in this series is how energy and eagerness are contagious. Voracious leaders not only lead — they are also eager participants in all aspects of company life: strategy meetings, community outreach, company parties and activities.
The word “voracious” is also used when describing “voracious readers.” Great leaders are always learning and improving, so many of them are voracious readers and “students of the game” when it comes to leadership.
So there is a Vickery perspective on the Victorious “V” Virtues of great leaders! What do you think is the most important quality of a good leader? What is your strength — and what is your weakness? Like I said above, I could improve by becoming more validating!
Meanwhile, do not be a vampire sucking the life out of your organization with these non-virtues: vacillating, vacuous, vain, vanishing (when things heat up), vapid (dull or spiritless), venal (mercenary or able to be bribed), vengeful, venomous, vexing, vile, vindictive, and volatile.
Featured image courtesy of aldrin_muya licensed via Creative Commons.