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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Don’t Be Sniffy About Personality Politics

In an age of complicated technical issues, British voters are wise to put great store by a leader’s character according to William Rees-Mogg, writing recently in The Times.

He says: 'So far, in the pre-campaign period, all three parties have put greater emphasis on personality politics. Even the leaders’ wives have been drawn in. There are a number of reasons for this. There has been the growth of social networking websites on the internet; personality shows on television have achieved high ratings. Equally important is the decline in public interest in political theory and in the details of party policies....Voters use the experience of their own lives in judging other people. If they do not have expertise, they have to trust someone who does. Trust will be given to those who have appropriate knowledge, but it also involves judgment of integrity. Voters are quite right to use their judgment on a politician’s character in selecting MPs...'


Don't Keep Secrets From Your Staff

Good leadership is all about communication, and the best leaders are completely transparent with their staff, says Container Store CEO Kip Tindell. Tindell shares his private boardroom presentations with all his company's employees, from top to bottom. "There's never a reason, we believe, to keep the information from an employee," he says. "I know that occasionally some of that information falls into the wrong hands, but that's a small price to pay."


Leadership is a Decision

Leadership is not something you are born with and is not an inherited trait. It's something you decide to do. 

Good leadership is a decision that builds on a combination--a synthesis--of wisdom, intelligence and creativity. According to this view, there are two differentiable elements that are really important. The first is skills and the other is attitude. To be a good leader you have to know how to do things, but attitude is at least as important or more important. The way you think about problems and your attitude toward those problems is as essential as your ability to solve them.

When you take a leadership role, whether as chairman of a company or as a leader in your family, you need ideas. You need creative skills and attitudes to come up with those ideas. You need analytical skills and attitudes to decide whether they are good ideas. You need practical skills and attitudes to put them into practice and to persuade people to listen to you. And finally you need wisdom to balance the effects of your ideas on yourself, others and institutions, in both the short and long term.

Good leadership is in a large part a decision. It's something you can decide to do; something we can all decide to do.

For more, see - http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/22/robert-jeffrey-sternberg-leadership-managing-varghese.html?boxes=Homepagechannels