Learn how to model the framework needed for the development of leaders.
- From ancient philosophers to current day leaders, there are six virtues that characterize trusting relationships, fulfilling work and general contentment. What many would describe as a good life. Courage, wisdom and humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence. These traits are also what's required for creating conditions of trust. And these traits must be modeled as the essence of leadership when leading the organization. I was once coached by someone who said, "You need to be more measured." Which meant I needed to be calm, controlled and be marked by a predictable rhythm. In hindsight he of course, was right. I could be my authentic energetic self, or I could make an adjustment to be a more effective influencer. Let's review each of the virtues as a guide to the essence of leadership for others to model as a framework of growth and development. First, temperance. Which in this context isn't about abstaining, but points to discipline. The self-discipline with regard to how you invest your time and how you control your emotional response. Our second virtue is courage, which Aristotle called the first of the moral virtues. Business leaders can sometimes struggle in explaining how they'd like to see courage manifest itself in the workplace. I think it's actually easy. It takes courage to face a real possibility of failure, and yet make a decision, which is always done with imperfect and incomplete information. Third and fourth. Wisdom and humanity. To me, they go hand in hand, because one without the other leads to imbalance. Wisdom comes from curiosity, and kindness springs from one's capacity to truly care. And to achieve this, the leader needs to balance their confidence with a healthy dose of humility. Justice is the fifth virtue, which is all about fairness. It's not easy being perceived as fair when most people in most circumstances require a situational approach to leadership. Mastering this virtue creates a trust that is the basis for a functional team. Last is the sixth virtue of transcendence. This is about taking your team beyond what might be perceived as the ordinary limits to surpass and exceed the organization's goals. Its essence is pursuing truly heroic aspirations. People are not going to make the sacrifices needed to pursue tough goals if you aren't walking the walk. The ancient philosophers really got it right and created a simple framework needed for the development of leaders. Yes, it's that simple. But that doesn't mean it's easy. It's about deliberately leading from the front, and it does take discipline, sacrifice and humility. When you model virtuous behaviors it strengthens character. That's when you can start to transfer your ambition to a large and complex organization to tackle truly heroic aspirations.