Leadership Starts with 9 C’s

Photo: Karsten Petersen
Photo: Karsten Petersen

On rough, stormy seas you want a captain who can steer you out of troubled waters. Today’s troubled environment, workplace and markets require nothing less. A seasoned leader who will steer us between the rocks of doom and peril are what businesses, organizations and governments need.

In his book Where Have All the Leaders Gone the author Lee Iacocca indicates there are 9 C’s of leadership. They are:

1. A leader has to show CURIOSITY. He has to listen to people outside of the “Yes, sir” crowd in his inner circle. He has to read voraciously, because the world is a big, complicated place.
2. A leader has to be CREATIVE, go out on a limb, be willing to try something different. You know, think outside the box. Leadership is all about managing change — whether you’re leading a company or leading a country.
3. A leader has to COMMUNICATE. I’m not talking about running off at the mouth or spouting sound bites. I’m talking about facing reality and telling the truth.
4. A leader has to be a person of CHARACTER. That means knowing the difference between right and wrong and having the guts to do the right thing. Abraham Lincoln once said, “If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
5. A leader must have COURAGE. Swagger isn’t courage. Tough talk isn’t courage. Courage is a commitment to sit down at the negotiating table and talk.
6. To be a leader you’ve got to have CONVICTION — a fire in your belly. You’ve got to have passion. You’ve got to really want to get something done.
7. A leader should have CHARISMA. I’m not talking about being flashy. Charisma is the quality that makes people want to follow you. It’s the ability to inspire. People follow a leader because they trust him.
8. A leader has to be COMPETENT. That seems obvious, doesn’t it? You’ve got to know what you’re doing. More important than that, you’ve got to surround yourself with people who know what they’re doing.
9. You can’t be a leader if you don’t have COMMON SENSE.

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