Post 2 by: Sherri K Baldwin Leadership
To work, to think, to take away something
Leaders constantly strive to achieve excellence. Leaders know that if they continually improve themselves, they will leader to others better, having conviction to do the right thing and do things right leads to respect from the team and being able to sleep soundly at night, and it takes courage to do both of the above. Leadership takes courage. The three C’s that lead to excellence are ongoing, not something we achieve once and can check off the list.
Leaders achieve excellence through 3 C’s:
1. Continual learning – Perhaps the single most important attribute that Abraham Lincoln possessed was his ability to challenge himself to continually learn. He was passionate about self-improvement. As a boy, he was greatly inspired when he read the biography of George Washington. And he didn’t stop learning when he moved into the White House. During the first few years of the Civil War, from 1861 to May 1863, the Union army lost most of the battles it fought. Frustrated by this lack of success, Lincoln borrowed a book from the Library of Congress entitled, “Elements of Military Art and Science” and studied it deeply.
Lincoln went to work every day with the attitude of a learner, and the result was that he continued to improve his leadership skills. The times demanded that he be good, and he made himself great. (excerpt taken from an article by Kevin Davis, author of two books on sales effectiveness)
2. Conviction – “I do not seek unpopularity as a badge of honor, but sometimes it is the price of leadership and the cost of conviction.” Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of the UK. The reality is leaders make the final call. We can delegate and empower others with a task or project but ultimately the responsibility and accountability to the outcomes lay with the leader. That could mean sometimes making a decision that is contrary to the team or what would be considered popular. Leaders have a standard of ethics and morals that guide their decisions and lead to strong convictions when necessary to do what they believe to be “the right thing.”
3. Courage – The worst thing that can happen to an elite swimmer is to place 3rd in the qualifying round for the Olympics. Why? Only the top 2 get to compete in the Olympics. That is exactly what happened to Haley McGregory in 2008. During the pre-qualifying round in the morning she broke a world record in one of her events and yet, later that afternoon in the qualifying round she came in 3rd, being outperformed in both of her events by less than one second. Haley McGregory did not let that define her future. She had the courage to jump back in the pool and work to cut that precious second off her time, leading to a national championship the following year. Leadership is not always easy and it certainly takes courage to persevere in the face of adversity.
We can all benefit from the three C’s that lead to excellence. May excellence continually be in your future.
Contact LeadAdvantage for more on our leadership processes for your management teams and high performers that will lead to continued success! To think, to act, to take away something real…
Other interesting posts: http://www.effectiveconnecting.com/blog
Sherri Baldwin is Principal of LeadAdvantage, Inc., a leadership and team training and development company, and is a registered Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB). Sherri and her team use a unique blend of businessrelevant, engaging and high-energy approaches to create an environment where leaders are individually equipped to navigate successfully through their specific business challenges to achieve a desired objective.