Leadership is a very important topic, even though a lot of us think we don’t need to learn more of it. This is probably because many believe they are born leaders, while others believe leadership is not meant for them. But whether you think you are a leader or you think you are not, you lead in some way – in the family, your home, your church, or even at your job. You are a leader in some way!
In their HBR article, Crucibles of Leadership, Bennis and Thomas (2002) argue that great leaders are processed in the crucible i.e., events they go through which changes their view of leadership or transforms their thinking. They believe that these leaders usually emerge better and stronger than what they were before they faced that daunting challenge.
According to them, great leaders possess four essential skills:
1) Ability to engage others in shared meaning;
2) Distinctive and compelling voice;
3) A sense of integrity (including a strong sense of values);
4) Adaptive capacity (i.e, applied creativity) which is composed of the ability to grasp context, and hardiness – perseverance and toughness that enables people to emerge stronger.
They believe that “these attributes allow leaders to grow from their crucibles, instead of being destroyed by them – to find opportunity where others might find only despair.”
Well then, don’t give up because of that small challenge, face it squarely and come our stronger.
Bennis, W. & Thomas, R.J (2002) Crucibles of Leadership, Havard Business Review, September 2002 Issue.