The Four-Eyed Leader

“Four eyes!”

For many of us that grew up with less-than-stellar vision, this chant brings back less-than-stellar memories of being heckled for having an additional pair of lenses in front of our face.

But, the truth of it is, we all see the world through a set of lenses. Everything is filtered through a prescription unique to us – our worldview.

To make the philosophical simple: behind our words and actions we find our attitudes. Our attitudes are shaped by our worldview. And our worldview is an outgrowth of our first principles – the core beliefs that we have adopted.

Some people say that what we believe doesn’t really matter, as long as we’re sincere. I couldn’t disagree more. You may sincerely disbelieve in the law of gravity, but that isn’t going to prevent your fate as you launch yourself off a cliff.

What we believe determines how we view people, how we view life – and how we lead. You may try to put on a costume of leadership-correct actions, but ultimately, your worldview and beliefs will come to the surface.

So what are my core beliefs about optimal leaders? Here are a few:

1. An effective leader should be marked by positivity. Leaders need to inspire others forward. Negative people sap energy and discourage progress.

2. An effective leader should be realistic. Years of life and experience – successes and failures – will shape a leader into someone who isn’t filled with fantasy about people and progress.

3. An effective leader should be interdependent. Lone rangers and arrogant egomaniacs usually go off the rails at some point (or at many points). The leader makes the team AND vice-versa.

4. An effective leader should be restless. Any team can always do better; any business can find expanding opportunities. The leader needs to push forward continually.

There are many other beliefs – about people, business, life, money, even God – that will strongly impact how we lead. Here’s one disqualifier, however – if you believe, as Mohammed Ali used to proclaim, “I’m the Greatest!” – then you’re probably not ready to lead yet!

Join us at 8 pm ET April 3 on Twitter to discuss this LeadershipChat topic – bring your ideas and your questions (and be sure to read the prep post, Why Understanding Belief Systems is Critical for Leadership, by my lovely LeadershipChat co-host, Lisa Petrilli). We look forward to welcoming you to the lively and diverse LeadershipChat community!


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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

One Response to The Four-Eyed Leader

  1. Pingback: April Topics « Leadership Chat

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