Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Leadership Jazz – 3

Max DePree has the following to say about leading from beliefs, values, and vision in his excellent work titled, “Leadership Jazz.”

“From a leader’s perspective, the most serious betrayal has to do with thwarting human potential, with quenching the spirit, with failing to deal equitably with each other as human beings.

“Beliefs and values are the footings on which we build answers to the questions, “Who matters?” and “What matters?”  The promises we make as leaders must resonate with our beliefs and values.

“It behooves us, then, to find our voices.  Leaders must speak to followers; we must let them know where and how we stand on the important issues.

“Vision is the basis for the best kind of leadership.  A vision exists somewhere when teams succeed.  Instinctively, most of us follow a leader who has real vision and who can transform that vision into a meaningful and hopeful strategy.

“Another fragile facet of a leader’s character is what I call an eagerness for the fray. The best leaders I know are always anxious to get to the job at hand, to do what they are there to do.

“Real preparation consists of hard work and wandering in the desert, of much feedback, much forgiveness, and of the yeast of failure.

“Moving up in the hierarchy does not confer competence.

“The only appropriate response to a promotion is ‘Good grief, have I got a lot to learn now!’

“Success tends to breed arrogance, complacency, and isolation.  Success can close a mind faster than prejudice.”

A leader’s communication, both verbal and written, will focus those around them on various issues.  Pick and choose your communication topics to ensure that your influence is focused on those issues that are most strategic and important for the mission at this time.

What are you communicating about?  What are your followers focusing on as a result of your communications?

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