A Leadership Paradox…


By J. William DeMarco

We have been spending a large amount of time as of late…pondering what qualifies a person to be a leader? We are consulting with leadership coaches, RAND and other think tanks…and it is indeed interesting that this question is so hard to pin down with a solid answer. Can we predict who will be a leader in the future? Can we use SAT scores? GPA? What do we offer that is predictive?

On a real sense… there seems to be a paradox here… most natural leaders don’t aspire to be great leaders…they aspire to be great people. No, no, no…not in a sense of being GREAT, but in being wonderful, helpful, influential people…leading great lives. Personal qualifications lead to leadership qualifications. When leaders lead their own lives well….others will naturally want to follow. What does that look like on a score card?

If we want our leadership to last…mature, endure…John Maxwell offers four personal qualifications or crucial elements:

Character: enables us to do what is right even when it seems difficult.

Perspective: enables us to understand what must happen to reach a goal or vision

Courage: enables us to initiate and take risks to step out toward that worthy goal or attain that vision

Favor: enables us to attract and empower others to join us in the cause or vision…

So now, how to make that into a repeatable, measurable, leadership identification and development program…thoughts?

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