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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Great Leaders: Good Will (Final Post of Three on Great Leaders)

The third and final characteristic of great leaders is good will. Along with good character, and good sense, great leaders must also have good will toward others. Simply put leaders should have the best intentions for those with whom they are working (colleague or client). What’s more, to have complete trust, great leaders MUST have all three: Good Character, Good Sense and Good Will. Only having one or two will not work….you MUST have all three to be a great leader.

When it comes to good will, I call upon what I call the 5 H’s, based on the word “honor.” Note that I use the word honor and not just respect…one of my favorite leadership words. I think honor implies a degree of humility in respecting another (servant leadership). And the great leaders have that in their DNA.

1.Honor yourself: Staying true to who they are (having personal integrity), is the hallmark of great leaders. They honor themselves by only doing things and making choices consistent with their values, who they authentically are as leaders. Here’s the test: Would what you’re doing make you proud or blush if it ended up on the evening news. This test is called the “red-face” test.
2.Honor others: Leaders get what they give. It’s the simple but ancient rule of reciprocity. Not only do people return what they get, but it happens for both good and bad. That’s not only how great partnerships start but also how wars start. It’s how we can have on the one hand a Martin Luther King or on the other an Adolf Hitler. Honor given first to another always begets honor back. Give before you get and see the results.
3.Honor the company: Honor given to the organization for which you work is both smart for you and the company. While companies need to do the right thing, employees who honor the mission, vision and values of a company will always have a good day at work.
4.Honor the community: We work, live and play in a community that has to be honored and supported if we’re all to be successful. Community is the social glue, just above family, that’s always critical.
5.Honor the country and the world: We are all part of a global society and need to honor both our own county and the greater world. We’re all seeing every day how the environment and the economy are interdependent. By honoring our country and the world, we not only insure our freedom and health for ourselves but for our children and grandchildren alike.

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