Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 12 June 2016





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Develop traits over skills

Today, our world is filled with skeptics. People are simply jaded, and why shouldn't they be? Over the past 50 years we've lived through disgraced world leaders, dubious armed conflicts, pilfered pensions, and 'new and improved' products and services that are clearly neither new nor improved.

We live in a world where much of what comes at us from organisations is spin, propaganda, and distorted half-truths. It should be obvious to any twenty-first-century leader that many people are reluctant to believe anything.

What we long for is authenticity. We want leaders who speak plainly and from the heart, not from talking points. We want bosses who reject corporate mumbo jumbo. We want professionals who don't cloak themselves in a blanket of buzz-speak. Growth leaders are distinctive not only in their actions, but also in their attributes. These specific attributes are more like personality traits than true management skills, and they ultimately build trust.

The obvious has no place in the world anymore.

Facing reality isn't merely a good idea; it's a leadership imperative. Your organisation depends on someone to challenge the organisation's most closely held beliefs today. 'Our product is the best'. 'Our team is superior'. 'Our customers love us'. 'Our cause is more important than any other'. Really?

Let's drop the empty slogans, take down the banners, and throwaway the T-shirts. Today, it takes a pragmatic realist to separate the true picture from the conventional group-think. Look for innovative ways of proving yourself in the eyes of customers.


Most growth leaders are a natural at skills of this sort. Others need to regularly extricate themselves from day-to-day activities to work on these leadership skills. Either way, being sensitive is a skill that gives leaders another arrow in their organisational growth quiver.


Most of the great corporate and political scandals of the modern age have had more to do with cover-ups than with the original act of wrongdoing itself.

In contrast, people and organisations that are transparent in their actions, consistently grow and come out ahead in the long run. Those who are forthcoming with information - good and bad - can more effectively lead a team to accomplish great things.

An organisation itself can and should be transparent, but to be so, it needs leaders who are transparent in their actions.

Employees, customers, vendors, and shareholders know what to expect from transparent leaders. Fostering transparency takes commitment and confidence. It can be tempting to hide problems, but the transparent leader knows that the truth eventually slips out anyway - and often looks worse than it did originally. As an ancient Eastern adage says, "Three things cannot be hidden forever: the sun, the moon, and truth".

To lead, it is critical to master authenticity. Reject the tired clichés, lose the latest buzzwords, and say what you mean and mean what you say. Know what you do and do what you know and do it the right way.



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