Friday, April 13, 2012

Healthy leadership 01: Guard your character or lose your vision

"The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It's got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion." --Theodore Hesburgh, President of the University of Notre Dame

Leaders have vision. They share a dream and direction that other people want to share and follow. The leadership vision goes beyond your written organizational mission statement and your vision statement. The vision of leadership permeates the workplace and is manifested in the actions, beliefs, values and goals of your organization’s leaders.

The problem is often leadership do not realise that their sight and vision have become “blurry”. As is the case with medical cataracts, the chances that they will pass unnoticed are virtually none.  The effects of cataracts are devastating: eighteen million people worldwide are blind because of cataracts.  Unfortunately such statistics are not available for managerial cataracts, and neither is the cost of a ‘blind’ manager to an organisation.

Practical implications – To be in a management position comes naturally to some, and to others it is a skill that can be developed.  Whatever the case may be, a manager could become insensitive to the environment and others in that environment as well as his own character development or flaws.
Inability to focus properly can lead to poor goal setting or setting impossible goals, poor quality of work outputs, loss of clients and poor company performance.  Causes include being tired, bored, stressed, and trying to do too many things at once (Graham & Bailey, 2006).

From insisting on doing too much alone to avoiding confrontation, leadership cataracts (or as we call them character flaws) are common and can be toxic for business. Let's not kid ourselves. We all have blindspots or character flaws.  Our behavioral blind spots create dire and unintended consequences: They corrupt decision-making, reduce our scope of awareness, create enemies, silos, and camps, destroy careers, and sabotage business results.

In good times your character flaws are annoying and frustrating; in tough times they can be lethal.
Ask yourself: What is the true focus of your heart right now?

Remember: If you remain on the same track, pursuing the same types of things you are pursuing today. Where will you end up?

Start developing your character today and do a character flaw (cataract) assessment on yourself and your organisation today.

Find out more about the character flaws (blind spots) that persistently knock people off the career ladder, undermine organizational performance as well as family relations


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