The Qualities of Skillful Leadership
by Jim Rohn
If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people,
the key is to become
a person of quality yourself. Leadership is the ability
to attract someone to
the gifts, skills, and opportunities you offer as an
owner, as a manager, as a
parent. I call leadership the great challenge of life.
What's important in leadership is refining your skills.
All great leaders
keep working on themselves until they become effective.
Here are some specifics:
1) Learn to be strong but not rude. It is an extra step
you must take to
become a powerful, capable leader with a wide range of
reach. Some people mistake
rudeness for strength. It's not even a good substitute.
2) Learn to be kind but not weak. We must not mistake
kindness for weakness.
Kindness isn't weak. Kindness is a certain type of
strength. We must be kind
enough to tell somebody the truth. We must be kind
enough and considerate
enough to lay it on the line. We must be kind enough to
tell it like it is and not
deal in delusion.
3) Learn to be bold but not a bully. It takes boldness
to win the day. To
build your influence, you've got to walk in front of
your group. You've got to be
willing to take the first arrow, tackle the first
problem, discover the first
sign of trouble.
4) You've got to learn to be humble, but not timid. You
can't get to the high
life by being timid. Some people mistake timidity for
humility. Humility is
almost a God-like word. A sense of awe. A sense of
wonder. An awareness of the
human soul and spirit. An understanding that there is
something unique about
the human drama versus the rest of life. Humility is a
grasp of the distance
between us and the stars, yet having the feeling that
we're part of the stars.
So humility is a virtue; but timidity is a disease.
Timidity is an affliction.
It can be cured, but it is a problem.
5) Be proud but not arrogant. It takes pride to win the
day. It takes pride
to build your ambition. It takes pride in community. It
takes pride in cause,
in accomplishment. But the key to becoming a good leader
is being proud without
being arrogant. In fact I believe the worst kind of
arrogance is arrogance
from ignorance. It's when you don't know that you don't
know. Now that kind of
arrogance is intolerable. If someone is smart and
arrogant, we can tolerate
that. But if someone is ignorant and arrogant, that's
just too much to take.
6) Develop humor without folly. That's important for a
leader. In leadership,
we learn that it's okay to be witty, but not silly. It's
okay to be fun, but
Lastly, deal in realities. Deal in truth. Save yourself
the agony. Just
accept life like it is. Life is unique. Some people call
it tragic, but I'd like to
think it's unique. The whole drama of life is unique.
It's fascinating. And
I've found that the skills that work well for one leader
may not work at all
for another. But the fundamental skills of leadership
can be adapted to work
well for just about everyone: at work, in the community,
and at home.
To Your Success,