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LEADERSHIP

Are true leaders perfect people?

The good, bad, and crazy make up what I have termed The Triple Effect Theory

In Summary
  • Excellent leadership is not automatically acquired at birth
  • The good is the leader’s strengths. The bad is the leader’s weaknesses.
Leadership lessons learnt in 2017 as CEO
Leadership lessons learnt in 2017 as CEO

The ancient belief that leaders should be saints is still prevalent, but this belief does not paint a complete picture of the leader.

Every leader is a person. This is a vital principle. The concept of the person is a factor in their leadership perspective and style.

It is easy to focus on high-level leadership thoughts, ideals, and what effective leadership should look like, but the person of the leader must grow into these ideals.

Excellent leadership is not automatically acquired at birth. It is learned over time by the person of the leader.

Now, the concept of the person eliminates perfection in leadership, and here is why: every leader has three parts – the good, bad, and crazy.

The good is the leader’s strengths. The bad is the leader’s weaknesses. The crazy is the leader’s complexities – the messy, complicated aspects of the leader’s life.

The good, bad, and crazy make up what I have termed The Triple Effect Theory. You get one part; you get all and every leader comes with all three. This theory rules out perfection in leadership.

How do you lead effectively if you are not a perfect person? It is simple: know, own, and manage your good, bad, and crazy.

It is not sustainable to focus only on your strengths because if you are bad and crazy are left uncheck and run amok, they could mess up all the good that you try to do in the world.

Hence: Know, Own, Manage, form an effective framework that can help you lead with your imperfections. Here is how it works.

Know: Do not be ignorant of what makes up your personality. Study yourself and ask the hard questions. Be self-aware of the elements of you. This makes managing yourself easier.

Own: This means taking full responsibility for the good, bad, and crazy that you identify in yourself. Here, making excuses or passing on the blame is a waste of time.

When you take full responsibility, it empowers you for the next step. But first, you must own what you know about yourself.

Manage: Now that you know and own your good, bad, and crazy, what systems do you have in place to manage them? What practices or daily routines do you engage in? The real question is: do you have an effective self-management system?

This is vital because the person of the leader must be managed to lead effectively. When you effectively manage yourself, you do not need to be perfect to lead.

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