[January 1, 2018] It is common for folks to hail the New Year as a time to look forward to better and greater times. I like this optimism and those with a positive attitude for that is one of the key attributes of good leadership. Leadership, however, is not something to be taken lightly since it is about taking responsibility.
Responsibility is an historically element of what leaders do and their success is measured on how well they accomplish those tasks linked to their responsibilities. This means they must have the moral courage to do the right thing, the strength to step up and confront bullies (whether on the playground or on the international stage), and to take care of those in their care.
Leaders recognize that leadership qualities rarely change. Technology and some of the complexities of life may change but leadership remains the single, enduring element of glue that holds society together. Debate is good. Disagreement is good. But in the end, a society will be judged by how united it is and how well it supports what is good and calls out what is evil.
Over the past few years I listed challenges/obstacles that leaders can expect to see. There is commonality each year as I put together the list so I will skip it this year. What I must do is reiterate those most likely to present a social problem. Today, I only need list the top three.
First, the disrespect and lack of caring about others is as fundamental to good leadership as cold is to ice cream. Without it, there is no leadership.
Second, the lack of moral courage to do the right thing, especially when everyone else is going in the opposite direction. Our biggest challenges are created when good folk refuse to stand up against evil.
Third, failure to gain and maintain the trust and confidence of others. Society is built upon trust. There is no denying either its importance or its part in the smooth operation of any human group.
I’ll bet that 2018 will be a year where the lessons of leadership will be on display and ripe for the picking. In my leadership blog, we will discuss many of the key events and how great leaders tackle those problems.
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