"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

- John Quincy Adams

We Hear the word leadership used every single day

But how often do we step back and evaluate what it means? Leadership is a critical ingredient to organizational success—be that in a corporation, government agency, non-profit, military unit or sports team. Leadership is often what separates the great from the good, and the best from the great. But the reality is, leadership is very complex. We expect leaders to motivate, get results, develop others, plan, set the example, institute processes, discipline, craft a vision for the future, communicate effectively, live the organization’s core values, and much more.

Acknowledging the depth and complexity of leadership, effective leadership doesn’t just happen on its own. It requires time, resources and prioritization—and organizations that do it well stand apart from the rest.

I believe in an apparent contradiction; effective leadership hinges on interpersonal relationships and on the ability to step away from the input of others—and think for yourself in solitude. Yet, there is a strong thread in this juxtaposition: Character.

Although often simplified as a euphemism for integrity or perseverance, character is deep and complex. It is a family of behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that are widely recognized and encouraged across cultures for the values they cultivate in people and society. Positive psychology—the scientific study of what goes right in life— posits that character has 24 different attributes known as character strengths.

To be a strong leader, you must truly believe that other people matter—and, therefore, understand that leadership is a relationship. These crucial relationships affect everything from employee engagement to physical health, which is why leadership is so highly correlated with job satisfaction.

And, while it is true that leadership is a relationship—the base of successful leadership is self-awareness. Leaders must know themselves, and have the discipline to think through problems away from the cacophony of other opinions. Only by carving out time for solitude and reflection can a leader develop the essential needs of clarity, conviction, emotional balance, and moral courage central to leadership.

CLC's 5 Areas of Leadership

Positive Psychology





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