Lee Iacocca initially listed nine points he calls ‘Nine Cs of Leadership’ – clear obvious qualities he says that every true leader must possess. But then, he added a tenth C, separately. Reason is, he doesn’t want to be seen as issuing his own Ten Commandments. Here is how he puts it:
- CURIOSITY. A true leader should listen to people outside of the “Yes, sir” crowd. He also has to read voraciously, because the world is a big, complicated place. If a leader never steps outside his comfort zone to hear different ideas, he grows stale.
- CREATIVE. A true leader has to go out on a limb, be willing to try something different. Leadership is all about managing change – whether you’re leading a company or leading a country. Things change, and you get creative. You adapt.
- COMMUNICATE. A true leader has to communicate and real communication starts with telling the truth, even when it’s painful.
- CHARACTER. A true leader has to be a person of character. Abraham Lincoln once said, “If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Character means knowing the difference between right and wrong and having the guts to do the right thing.
- COURAGE. A true leader must be courageous. Courage in the 21st century doesn’t mean posturing and bravado. Swagger isn’t courage. Tough talk isn’t courage. Courage is a commitment to sit down at the negotiating table and talk.
- CONVICTION. To be a true leader, you’ve got to have fire in your belly. You’ve got to have passion. You’ve got to really want to get something done.
- CHARISMA. A true leader must have charisma – that is not being flashy, but the quality that makes people want to follow, the ability to inspire. People follow a leader because of their trust.
- COMPETENCE. A true leader has to be competent – know what he is doing and surround himself with people who know what they are doing, solving problems.
- COMMON SENSE. You can’t be a true leader if you don’t have common sense – understand the real world.
Plus CRISIS – the one Iacocca adds separately, the true leader’s Reality Check: In a crisis situation, what’s the duration of the reaction time? Does he set up a committee or take smart decision?
Source: WHERE HAVE ALL THE LEADERS GONE by Lee Iacocca
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