The Backside of Leadership…

I asked a question about leadership competencies the other day and got a thoughtful response from a reader, worthy of sharing with you here in a new post. I’d like to stimulate your thinking on this topic — leadership competencies and values — and perhaps hear from you as well in the comments section.

In a post called Leadership is Changing, Are You? I wrote:

“Leadership competencies are evolving but they remain consistent. The contexts may change, but the need for strong core values remains even more crucial. What do you think?”

Elijah Lim responded:

“Agreed. Personal values that are not only espoused but lived-out, and are consistent with universal, non-negotiable principles, form the bedrock of character so essential for great leaders, regardless of so-called ‘leadership styles.’ The main reason for the apparent confusion and cries for help coming from the ‘ocean of change” is a lamentable dearth of solid character competencies/ values. Develop inward character consistently, get quantifiable results in self and others!”

My response:

“Thanks, Elijah. As you read, I find the same in most of the work I do. However, I want to comment on the ‘lamentable dearth of solid character competencies/values…’. I am a student of history, and at just about every juncture in history, there is a comment about the lamentable dearth.

The real issue is that things change. Things just aren’t the same as when my parents grew up…in the fifties, sixties, etc. What changes is our perspective. For instance, if you walk by the front of a statue and the only thing you ever see is the front, all you know of the statue is the horses nostrils and the generals face. However, one day you decide to walk around the statue. You see a whole different side of the statue…you may lament the loss of what you knew for sure…and how things have changed….but all you have done is add to your knowledge base for comparison purposes.

If there is a difference with the younger generation, it is that they are looking at the front of the statue and haven’t taken the time to walk around it. Those of us that have spent time looking at the horse’s behind have a different perspective. Thoughts?”

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