Have you ever thought about your role models and what they are teaching you? Once I started thinking about it, I have had a lot of people in my life, in addition to my dad, who were good role models for me.
My dad’s best friend was like an uncle to me. In elementary school, my math teacher was a role model. Starting when I was a teenager, there were two men at my church who particularly influenced my life.
In high school, there was a certain businessman who took interest in me. In college, there were a couple of professors and vice presidents who took me under their wing.
When my dad died suddenly and I took over running the small family business, a CPA, a banker, and few businessmen helped me along the way.
Then there was Jim Lundy who mentored me for over 20 years. He took my raw leadership abilities and patiently showed me how to be the most effective leader.
One way to improve and strengthen your own leadership effectiveness is to emulate qualities or techniques you admire or appreciate in other leaders.
Every leader can become a role model by embracing two paradoxical traits.
The evidence from the extensive research done by the best-selling author, Jim Collins, in his book, Good to Great, revealed that enduring, great visionary companies were led by effective leaders that he called “Level 5 Executives”.
“Level 5 Executives” are great role models who had two paradoxical characteristics…personal humility AND professional will.
Contrary to the commonly held notions about top-performing leaders, Level 5 Executives are undeniably humble. These great role modeled executives had…
- Ambition for the company and not for themselves
- Set up their successor for even greater success
- Displayed modesty and were never boastful
- Acted with calm, quiet determination on principled standards and not relying on charisma
- Gave credit of the company’s success to other people, external factors, and good luck
Though humble, these leaders were marked by an intense professional will. These great role model executives…
- Were driven to produce sustainable results
- Had unwavering resolve to do whatever must be done to make the company great no matter how difficult
- Settled for nothing less than the standards set to build a great company
- Blamed themselves when things went poorly (not other people, external factors, or bad luck) and took full responsibility
Only a few leaders become a “Level 5 Executive”. And those who have, have become great role models.
They have learned to integrate the ability to maintain and enhance relationships (how they say and do) with the drive for results (what they say and do).
They experience exponential effectiveness in their leadership. Their effectiveness through other people is multiplied…not just added.
They experience not only more results and success, but also, better results.
In my next blog post, I will show the exponential impact an effective leader has on an organization…And you will see for yourself the benefits of an effective leader.
Who are your leadership role models? How have they had a positive impact on your life? Please share your comments by clicking <here>.