I am part way through Steven Sample’s book entitled: “The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership”. Among other ideas, Sample examines the characteristics/qualities of an effective leader and the difference between being “effective” and being “good” as a leader. According to Sample, the effective leader should have the following characteristics:
- A clear compelling vision.
The ability to inspire trust.
Has followers who are committed to, and willing to sacrifice for, the good of the “cause”.
He/she chooses capable lieutenants.
Keeps her/his eyes on the goal.
Perseveres to the end.
The effective leader is not necessarily a good leader, nor is the good leader necessarily an effective leader. To assess whether a leader is “good” or “bad” involves moral values. What then should be the basis of these moral values?
According to Sample, even though we would argue otherwise, “we find it impossible to completely ignore or fully suppress our concerns for the spiritual and transcendental aspects of our existence.” Across space , time and cultures, “one of mankind’s deepest and most abiding concern is our feeling for and relationship with God.” There are at least three responses to the God Question: He does not exist. He exist but that existence has no bearing on who I am as an individual. He exist an my relationship to Him is important. Sample suggests that answering the God question will help the leader find his/her moral center and help her/him become a better leader, both good and effective. What do you think?
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