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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Essential Attributes for Leadership

Annise Parker

Annise Parker, mayor of Houston, identifies three essential considerations regarding the choice of leaders (NPC Luncheon, Dec 10, 2013 – C-SPAN):
    1. What are their core beliefs and will they defend them?
    2. What do they value and how do they show it? How do they make decisions and will they stand by their decisions?
    1. Are they anchored in the community?

    I think all will agree that these are major factors regarding choosing an effective leader. A certain level of identity must be shared between leaders and those they lead. For example, one would unlikely ascribe to the leadership of one who does share your core beliefs with adamancy. Core beliefs are another way of describing values held—the repeat of the matter in this way serves to emphasize its fundamental importance. “How one makes decisions” is not a matter of determining some arbitrary decision model so much as fundamentally ascertaining that the leaders values and beliefs do in fact serve as a loadstone of the process—an indication that the process itself will be a natural expression and extension of shared core values. Finally, being anchored in the community serves to inspire confidence for it underlines the leader’s congeniality with extensive human interaction and the leader’s reliable dedication to the commonweal. All these are important for the leader will need support during difficult times in which the course of events will generate all sorts of noise and interference. The leader will need support that is steady during this turbulence. In short, the operative dynamic of shared values is continued invested support for the primary “Why” during times of reluctance felt as to the secondary “How” (things are done).

    Now it’s interesting that this template of effectiveness will apply equally as much to able leaders as disastrous ones. For example it can be seen that Christ and Hitler equally meet these qualifications given the matrix of values preeminent in them and their followers.

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