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Character and Traits in Leadership Managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who

do the right thing. Becoming a Leader

Warren Bennis, Ph.D. On

Building Excellence Leaders do not command excellence, they build excellence. Excellence is being all you can be within the bounds of doing what is right for your organization. To reach excellence you must first be a leader of good character. You must do everything you are supposed to do. Organizations will not achieve excellence by figuring out where it wants to go, then having leaders do whatever they have to in order to get the job done, and then hope their leaders acted with good character. This type of thinking is backwards. Pursuing excellence should not be confused with accomplishing a job or task. When you do planning, you do it by backwards planning. But you do not achieve excellence by backwards planning. Excellence starts with leaders of good and strong character who engage in the entire process of leadership. And the first process is being a person of honorable character. Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one. Marcus Aurelius

Character develops over time. Many think that much of a person's character is formed early in life. However, we do not know exactly how much or how early character develops. But, it is safe to claim that character does not change quickly. A person's observable behavior is an indication of her character. This behavior can be strong or weak, good or bad. A person with strong character shows drive, energy, determination, self-discipline, willpower, and nerve. She sees what she wants and goes after it. She attracts followers. On the other hand, a person with weak character shows none of these traits. She does not know what she wants. Her traits are disorganized, she vacillates and is inconsistent. She will attract no followers. A strong person can be good or bad. A gang leader is an example of a strong person with a bad character, while an outstanding community leader is one with both strong and good characteristics. An organization needs leaders with both strong and good characteristics, people who will guide them to the future and show that they can be trusted. Courage not complacency is our need today. Leadership not salesmanship. John F. Kennedy

To be an effective leader, your followers must have trust in you and they need to be sold on your vision. Korn-Ferry International, an executive search company, performed a survey on what organizations want from their leaders. The respondents said they wanted people who were both ethical and who convey a strong vision of the future. In any organization, a leader's actions set the pace. This behavior wins trust, loyalty, and ensures the organization's continued vitality. One of the ways to build trust is to display a good sense of character composed of beliefs, values, skills, and traits (U.S. Army Handbook, 1973): Beliefs are what we hold dear to us and are rooted deeply within us. They could be assumptions or convictions that you hold true regarding people, concepts, or things. They could be the beliefs about life, death, religion, what is good, what is bad, what is human nature, etc. Values are attitudes about the worth of people, concepts, or things. For example, you might value a good car, home, friendship, personal comfort, or relatives. Values are important as they influence a person's behavior to weigh the importance of alternatives. For example, you might value friends more than privacy, while others might be the opposite. Skills are the knowledge and abilities that a person gains throughout life. The ability to learn a new skill varies with each individual. Some skills come almost naturally, while others come only by complete devotion to study and practice. Traits are distinguishing qualities or characteristics of a person, while character is the sum total of these traits. There are hundreds of personality traits, far too many to be discussed here. Instead, we will focus on a few that are crucial for a leader. The more of these you display as a leader, the more your followers will believe and trust in you. Managers need to be leaders. . . their workers need vision and guidance! On the other hand, leaders need to be good managers of the resources entrusted to them. Setting Long Term Goals Before you say "my goal is to retire to the Caribbean" it is important to take stock and analyze your situation from a different perspective. While you may truly be able to retire to the Caribbean, HOW will you do that? A new job? A higher income? Less responsibilities?

Long term goals are excellent motivators. They help you see beyond today s work and remind you that there is a greater purpose for the time you are spending today. If you find a task tedious you should think about how doing it fits into your goals. Making your daily tasks become choices can ease some of the burden because we are in control of our day rather than having it control us. On the other hand, if we realize many of the time consuming activities we do have no bearing on reaching our goals perhaps we have to take them out or at least reduce the time we spend on them. Your long term goal may be to spend more time with your family. Make your goal specific and give it a date to be accomplished. Perhaps you determine to work part time. Write down the date this will take effect and put it on your calendar. It may be that you anticipate it will take two years to achieve this goal. Pick a date and put it where you can see it every day. Administration is one of the most important gift-ministries given to the church. Without it few of the other ministries would be able to function. Yet, there seem to be few who fully understand this gift, or utilize it properly. Regardless of the anointing and the other gifts in your church or ministry, the gift of Administration will have a significant influence over how fruitful you actually are, and how much of the fruit remains. Without fruit, and without being able to keep the fruit, our efforts are being wasted. Like all of the gifts given by the Lord to His church, this gift must be recognized and developed. Having visited numerous churches and ministries, I have observed that most have people in administrative positions that do not have the gift of Administration, while those who do are seldom recognized, or used. This usually happens because many leaders are more prone to gather those around them who have like doctrines, or who have similar or compliant personalities, rather than those who have the calling. The Administration should be made up of both leader-types and manager-types. There are many differences between these orientations which can easily cause conflicts. Leader-types tend to think in concepts and are bored with detail. Manager-types usually want cold details and are bored with concepts. It is difficult for leaders and managers to work together, but it is a difficulty that must be overcome for the effective Administration of the church or any other venture. An Administration that does not have both types, properly recognized and given authority for their different perspectives, will be either like a ship with sails and no rudder, or one with a rudder and no sail. One may be able to catch the wind and move, but it will usually be precariously out of control. The other will have plenty of control but will be unable to move. A leader is "a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal". A leader by its meaning is one who goes first and leads by example, so that others are motivated to follow him. This is a basic requirement. To be a leader, a person must have a deep-rooted commitment to the goal that he will strive to achieve it even if nobody follows him. >To have as a quality, characteristic, or other attribute >to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole >The smallest identifiable and essential piece of a job thatserves as a unit of work, and as a means of differentiating between the various components of a project. >A project in business and science is typically defined as a collaborative enterprise, frequently involving research or design, that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim. Projects can be further defined as temporary rather than permanent social systems that are constituted by teams within or across organizations to accomplish particular tasks under time constraints. > a feeling of satisfaction at having achieved your desires>Long-term goals are ones that you will achieve over a longer period of time (e.g., one semester, one year, five years, or twenty years).>Long-term goals often are our most meaningful and important goals. One problem, however, is that the achievement of these goals is usually far in the future. As a result, we often have trouble staying focused and maintaining a positive attitude toward reaching these goals.