Many articles, books and journals have been written about Leadership. Individuals, organizations and governments in different nations of the world have also seen the indispensable impact of leadership. This often includes to pursue visions, empower, motivate and set the pace for the human capita to increase production which eventually leads to the growth and rise in the proceeds and gains.
Managers vs. Leaders
“Managers do things right, while leaders do the right things.”
From history till date, leaders have been known to have a unique mindset that makes them more influential than managers. For instance, managers think incrementally, whilst leaders think radically. “Managers do things right, while leaders do the right things.” This means that in an organization, managers do things by the book and ritualistically follow company policy; while leaders follow their own intuition, which may be more beneficial to the company.
In terms of loyalty, it has become crystal clear that groups are more often loyal to a leader than a manager. This happens when the leader takes the blame when things are wrong, celebrating group achievements, even minor ones and giving credit where it is due. The power of vision which the leader possesses has the ability to unite the people and influence them.
Leaders are not afraid of confrontation. They launch out in full faith because success is certain. With a strong sense of determination, they have a never-give-up attitude. They know, show and go the way.
The Character of the Leader
“Lying makes a problem part of the future; truth makes a problem part of the past.”
— Rick Patno, Basketball Coach and Legend.
In as much as we have myriads of teachings, seminars and academic programs that focus on leadership, very few address the character of the leader. Vision, talents, dynamic oratory ability, intellectual superiority, influence and other abilities are brought to the limelight while character is given a little dais.
I once read a book titled Leadership Insight by Charles Gordon. In his book, he gave a lucid survey that was carried out on more than 15,000 people to know THE MOST ADMIRED CHARACTERISTICS IN LEADERS. This was the result:
- Honest – 87%
- Forward-looking – 71%
- Inspirational – 68%
- Competent – 58%
From this result, we would discover that honesty comes before vision (forward-looking), having a motivating personality (inspirational), and being proficient or skilled (competent).
If a leader downplays the value of moral conduct, honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, kindness, courtesy and attributes that makes him to stand out as one with strong values or convictions, he may just be heading for the rocks in the realm of leadership.
No Legacy So Rich as Honesty
When the leader of an organization is not honest, what do we see? The employees begin to lose faith and trust in his vision, direction and plans. Some of them gradually withdraw their selfless devotion and commitments. At certain times, working with such a leader could get them destabilized.
Basketball coach and legend Rick Pitino captured the principle of honesty simply and profoundly: “Lying makes a problem part of the future; truth makes a problem part of the past.”
Leaders must be honest in all their transactions, day to day activities and connection within and out of the workplace. Being honest implies the absence of lying, dubious dealings, or theft. It also indicates positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness and straightforwardness. It has the potential of giving credibility, legitimacy to the leader.
In an attempt to stress the value of honesty, William Shakespeare said, “No Legacy is so rich as Honesty.”
Leaders who want to progress in leadership and make impact must be honest. They must be ready to talk about their own mistakes before talking about anyone else’s. They must quickly respond to their personal failures and acknowledge them before other people will discover and reveal them. Sincerity in all dealings and personal integrity should guide them.
I strongly believe that Honesty is the Best Leadership Policy.
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”
– Thomas Jefferson.