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Friday, January 30, 2009

Leadership Training

A recently publicized set of events revealed that the people, who had experienced workplace stress and negative emotional behavior were to receive a day of ?leadership training? in an effort to correct the situation. Whether the term is an oxymoron or not, the truth is that leadership cannot be trained in a person, like so much historical or mathematical knowledge is disseminated, because leaders become leaders as the result of a desire to make the lives of the people they lead happier and more productive. Leaders are people who have the ability to create a vision for an organization or a team and then to motivate those involved to achieve the objectives associated with the vision.

Consequently, leadership skills, such as integrity of character, can be developed over time in a context in which the ?leader? is exposed to desirable experiences that form the foundation of a person?s ability to build trust and empower those who are lead. A good case in point from Good to Great is Jim Collin?s examples of Level 5 leaders, who are totally committed to the success of the organization and not to their personal self-aggrandizement.

The significance of character is so impactful that people, like Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines require that character be paramount in the hiring process, with skill development to follow. A personal acquaintance, who served as a union mechanic for eighteen years, was trained to acquire the skills for a job usually requiring a degree in electrical engineering. While this person has only a GED, his character caused others to take their time to ensure his success in achieving the necessary certification.

Leaders subordinate their ego needs to develop the self-esteem of those they lead because their joy comes from knowing that their ideas and commitment are directly related to the success of an individual, a team or an organization


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