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Winning Leadership

Updated on February 15, 2013

Society is Desperate to Find Winning Leadership


The world currently is facing an epidemic of incapable leadership. When my parents and grandparents grew up, they could easily identify leadership figures that they admired and made an impact in their lives. Today, for my generation, such an experience is becoming less and less common. In fact, in all my years of life, I have yet to come across effective leadership. However, people can learn what makes effective leadership from those who have failed just as well as from those who have succeeded.

When a person cannot find examples of real life figures that have demonstrated admirable leadership, it doesn't hurt to look at fictional characters to help inspire us. Growing up, a few fictional characters come to mind as ideal leaders. One was Captain Jean Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise. Another was John Sheridan of Babylon 5. Babylon 5 was a hot science fiction TV series back in the 90's. Here is a little video excerpt of his "work". Now tell me, after hearing this video, what isn't there to like about the guy? Can you imagine how much of a better world we would have if there were more John Sheridan's in this world?

John Sheridan, Babylon 5: We Declare Independance Speech

Women Can Play the Winning Leadership Game Too

Here is one of my favourite and most memorable leadership moments, from a female character, in the same science fiction series. Enjoy this little video clip from the President of Earth Alliance, in the movie Babylon 5: In the Beginning.

Earth President, Battle of the Line Speech

The Ingredients of Winning Leadership

However, being a winning leader is more than just delivering solid speeches. What these fictional characters did well was they understood there are certain ingredients to being a winning leader. Let's go over what I call the one-hundred ingredients to cook a soup of winning leadership:

1. A winning leader is honest.

2. A winning leader isn't afraid of being unpopular, yet gracefully accepts popularity when due.

3. A winning leader inspires loyalty rather than uses fear.

4. A winning leader demands nothing, yet quietly expects everything.

5. A winning leader has a sound judgment of character.

6. A winning leader must enjoy the role of being a leader rather than simply viewing it as a career end goal.

7. A winning leader demonstrates his/her leadership through actions and merits, not just through experience.

8. A winning leader understands that titles are meaningless and fleeting.

9. A winning leader respects his/her childhood imagination, while simultaneously seeking out practical applications to such an imagination.

10. A winning leader knows when to speak and knows when to shut up.

11. A winning leader is a good listener.

12. A winning leader puts people first.

13. A winning leader remains diplomatic, yet firm.

14. A winning leader is NOT a people pleaser.

15. A winning leader has the wisdom to realize how little he/she knows.

16. A winning leader realizes were all mere mortals.

17. A winning leader isn't afraid to ask questions.

18. A winning leader isn't afraid to deliver bad news.

19. A winning leader has a reasonable level of doubt to keep him/her in check.

20. A winning leader is always willing to continuously learn.

21. A winning leader values justice, fairness, and compassion.

22. A winning leader always keeps his/her subordinates informed.

23. A winning leader knows how and when to have fun.

24. A winning leader never berates people.

25. A winning leader is a natural born problem solver.

26. A winning leader jumps gleefully at the chance to deal with a crisis when others would simply run away.

27. A winning leader never quits, but knows when to quit.

28. A winning leader can see the whole picture and refuses to narrow him/her.

29. A winning leader sees the value in educating the next generation and has a planned successor.

30. A winning leader embraces change, but only changes when necessary.

31. A winning leader respects everyone's differences and allows his/her subordinates to work in the fashion that produces the best results for each individual.

32. A winning leader values results over fame or fortune, because fame and fortune without results will surely not last. . .

33. A winning leader should keep issues as simple as possible.

34. A winning leader accepts responsibility for his/her actions.

35. A winning leader admits his/her mistakes and learns from his/her mistakes.

36. A winning leader is able to prioritize what is most important.

37. A winning leader realizes that leadership isn't the end, but the beginning.

38. A winning leader doesn't pick on the weak and helpless.

39. A winning leader wants to be respected, not liked or feared.

40. A winning leader isn't afraid of failure and actually cherishes it.

41. A winning leader must be willing to meet challenges.

42. A winning leader celebrates and shares his/her successes.

43. A winning leader celebrates and shares his/her failures.

44. A winning leader is an enabler rather than a donator or a dictator.

45. A winning leader is constantly seeking the truth.

46. A winning leader has faith in the subordinates he/she has put in place.

47. A winning leader realizes that the less systems, rules, and policies created, the better.

48. A winning leader must fulfill his/her own expectations, before expecting the same from others.

49. A winning leader should live everyday expecting the best, yet prepare for the worst.

50. A winning leader can handle both yes and no as an answer.

51. A winning leader understands that in any business there will be casualties.

52. A winning leader realizes that if he/she is comfortable, something is wrong.

53. A winning leader respects and studies his/her adversaries.

54. A winning leader must be willing to start over.

55. A winning leader understands his/her health is the top priority.

56. Rather than taking advantage, a winning leader offers opportunity to those most vulnerable.

57. A winning leader can see past appearances.

58. A winning leader takes a few minutes to show gratitude every single day.

59. A winning leader knows his/her limits, yet strives to push just a few steps ahead of such limits each day.

60. A winning leader never backs from his/her words.

61. A winning leader understands that he/she cannot complete any task alone.

62. A winning leader must be passionate and absolutely love what they do.

63. A winning leader understands that the less he/she has to lead, the better he/she is performing leadership.

64. A winning leader loves going into debt and repaying those debts.

65. A winning leader values quality over quantity.

66. A winning leader is constantly striving to make the best use of his/her time.

67. A winning leader takes nothing for granted.

68. A winning leader knows that indeed pride is the greatest sin.

69. A winning leader cares if he/she is a positive influence.

70. A winning leader isn't afraid to ask for help.

71. A winning leader always pays themselves first.

72. A winning leader works within his/her strengths, and hires people more intelligent than him/her to cover the weaknesses.

73. A winning leader has a sense of humour.

74. A winning leader learns from his/her mistakes, but doesn't dwell upon them.

75. A winning leader is willing to do what it takes to get the job done.

76. A winning leader understands that any suggestion is a gift.

77. A winning leader realizes that nothing lasts forever.

78. A winning leader has the wisdom to know what goes up, must come down, and go back up again.

79. A winning leader must pay no attention to petty jealousy.

80. A winning leader rewards rather than punishes.

81. A winning leader instinctively smells opportunity all around him/her.

82. A winning leader grows to get ahead rather than cuts.

83. A winning leader isn't above saying the words: thank you.

84. A winning leader should never have to apologize if they have done their genuine best.

85. A winning leader must be themselves rather than somebody else.

86. A winning leader must be able to laugh off his/her own flaws and the flaws of others.

87. A winning leader wants everyone around him/her to succeed.

88. A winning leader has the wisdom to know those who constructively criticize him/her are his/her best allies.

89. A winning leader respects people's personal space.

90. A winning leader DOESN'T try to change the world; instead he/she brings the world to him/her.

91. A winning leader should hire all people gunning for his/her job.

92. A winning leader gives credit where credit is due.

93. A winning leader has neither a superiority nor inferiority complex.

94. A winning leader must take calculated risks.

95. A winning leader has a good night's sleep.

96. A winning leader doesn't play favourites and evaluates according to competency.

97. A winning leader must have a love with making decisions.

98. A winning leader never places diplomas, portraits, or erects statues of themselves around their given office or their given country.

99. A winning leader knows that God's position is not up for grabs.

100. A winning leader knows that winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.

Winning Leadership is Hard Work

As you can no doubt see, being a winning leader is hard work. The list of one hundred items is what I see as the minimum mental requirements in order to be an effective leader. None of this puts into consideration the knowledge or technical skills the leader must have in his/her given field. Now let's say we were to put a 1000 dollar value on each attribute (they're worth at least that amount, possibly more), add that up, and we get a total of 100K dollars just to meet the psychological requirements.

So, when people ask me are leaders overpaid, my answer is always no, provided they're meeting the standards. The problem that exists today is most leaders are barely meeting even half the checklist. In such a case, yes, they’re overpaid.

Ending on a Winning Leadership Note

Now I'll finish this hub with Captain Jean Luc Picard in leadership action. I remember watching this episode when I was a child. The episode is called Damok, from the hit TV series Star Trek the Next Generation. Enjoy!

Picard Demonstrating How Diplomacy, Compassion, Understanding, and an Appreciation of Sacrifice Can Win the Day

-Donovan D. Westhaver


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