Chapter 3—Leaders of Character and Presence
Attributes are how an individual behaves and learns within an environment. The leadership
attributes are character, presence, and intellect. These attributes represent the values and identity of the leader (character) with how associates and others perceived the leader (presence), with the mental (intellect) and social faculties that the leader applies in the act of leading. Character, a person’s moral and ethical qualities, helps a leader determine what is right and gives a leader motivation to do what is appropriate, regardless of the circumstances or consequences. Actions, words, and the manner in which leader/managers carry themselves convey presence. Keep in mind that what is “right” will vary from leader to leader and culture to culture.
1. Developing Character
The background, beliefs, values, self-development, education, and experience shape people. While individuals are responsible for their own character development, leader/managers are responsible for encouraging, supporting and assessing the efforts of their associates through counseling, coaching, and mentoring.
Doing the right thing is good. Doing the right thing for the right reason and with the right goal is better. People of character must possess the desire to act ethically in all situations.
2. Leader Identity
The ability to lead and inspire others begins with developing and maintaining a leader identity, which ultimately determines a leader’s character. Identity refers to one’s self-concept. People possess many self-definitions, such as male or female, strong, smart, or team player. Leader identity refers to an individual’s awareness of self as a leader.
A leader’s self-identity forms because one:
Self-identifies as a leader.
Is perceived as a leader by others.
Is a leader in relation to followers.
The organization endorses a person as the leader or he/she is in a leadership position.
Character development affects an individual’s leader identity. Leader/managers lacking
self-awareness will have difficulty influencing others or attaining goals related to leader growth and development. Leader/managers lacking a clear sense of leader identity will not want to develop or improve their skills. If you purchased this e-book, you must have some sense that you are a leader and you want to develop or improve your leadership skills. An incomplete or inaccurate sense of identity hinders the growth of leader/managers.