From Lee Iacocca's Where Have All The Leaders Gone?
A leader has to show CURIOSITY. He has to listen to people outside of the "Yes, sir" crowd in his inner circle. He has to read voraciously, because the world is a big, complicated place. If a leader never steps outside his comfort zone to hear different ideas, he grows stale. If he doesn't put his beliefs to the test, how does he know he's right? The inability to listen is a form of arrogance. It means either you think you already know it all, or you just don't care.
A leader has to be CREATIVE, go out on a limb, be willing to [do] something different. You know, think outside the box. Leadership is all about managing change—whether you're leading a company or leading a country. Things change, and you get creative. You adapt.
A leader has to COMMUNICATE. I'm not talking about running off at the mouth or spouting sound bites. I'm talking about facing reality and telling the truth. Communication has to start with telling the truth, even when it's painful.
A leader has to be a person of CHARACTER. That means knowing the difference between right and wrong and having the guts to do the right thing. Abraham Lincoln once said, "If you want to test a man's character, give him power."
A leader must have COURAGE. Swagger isn't courage. Tough talk isn't courage. Courage in the twenty-first century doesn't mean posturing and bravado. Courage is a commitment to sit down at the negotiating table and talk.
To be a leader you've got to have CONVICTION—a fire in your belly. You've got to have passion. You've got to really want to get something done. How do you measure fire in the belly?
A leader should have CHARISMA. I'm not talking about being flashy. Charisma is the quality that makes people want to follow you. It's the ability to inspire. People follow a leader because they trust him. That's my definition of charisma.
A leader has to be COMPETENT. That seems obvious, doesn't it? You've got to know what you're doing. More important than that, you've got to surround yourself with people who know what they're doing. A leader has to be a problem solver, and the biggest problems we face as a nation seem to be on the back burner.
You can't be a leader if you don't have COMMON SENSE. I call this “street smarts” which can be more powerful than “book smarts”.
In today’s mentality, our Biggest C is Crisis....let’s lead the world to change this back to the C’s that matter!
9. COMMON SENSE