I scan the environment every day in many ways. I scan people, events, specific media sources, my internal environment, the environmental sectors I work in-Nonprofit, For Profit, Education, Governmental, Community, etc. Why? Because I don't want to miss events or occurrences that might impact me in either a positive or, more importantly, a negative way. I also want to protect those in my charge, because they depend upon me to do so. 

I've noted often that Leadership is a paradox, meaning that it doesn't have a finite definition. It can be many things, even things that contradict each other, while at the same time making sense in a given situation. So, when people ask me what it takes to be a leader, I answer by telling sharing these 5 characteristics or behaviors leaders have that people gravitate towards. 

As devastating as the events of the past two decades have been, from the 2008 Recession, today's anniversary of 9/11 and the coronavirus pandemic era of today, they've all raised the bar for leadership. The days of delayed responses from leaders who can't answer the questions of what's next, why it's important and what to do about it, are over. Leaders today must be able to make decisions in an era of unpredictability over an indefinite period of time. 

I've talked before about young people with leadership potential being marginalized because the person they report to recognizes that potential and is threatened by them. It flies in the face of a fundamental principle of leadership, which is that any leader's success is a product of how well they treat their people. There are ways to recognize that potential quickly and there are ways to nourish it, as well. 

Despite everything that’s been written, translated, interpreted, clarified or defined, there are still no set rules or formulas for leaders to follow. You’ll find many guidelines, concepts, perceptions, ideas, abstractions and generalities from as many sources. It’s why the art of leadership is so difficult to master and to teach. It’s also why there is such a shortage of role models for others to follow, especially younger generations.

I learned recently that there are 5 types of political leaders, If you study the definitions of each, you'll find they're really not much different than those in the private sector. They just happen to be in government. The one point of significance here is that all of the definitions of politics for the most part imply negative connotations in terms of divisiveness, confrontation, power and status. Given today's environment, no surprises there! :)

In most leadership training, apologizing is not encouraged or even taught. Often, people think of apologizing as a sign of weakness or, worse, indecisiveness or a lack of confidence or courage. This couldn't be further from the truth.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blessed:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and wonders in a life to come.

-Alexander Pope,
An Essay on Man, Epistle I, 1733

With globalization, technological innovation and the growing number of linkages among people, activities and events, today’s pace of change is relentless. The people of the world mix and mingle as never before, forging new partnerships and creating more culturally diverse workplaces. Increasingly, groups collaborate to investigate new opportunities and and technology brings new surprises every day that can shake up entire communities of thought in a matter of days. With the Internet and the rise of social media, all stakeholders have gained incredible power. They can use that power to reward or punish leaders at lightning speed, especially those depending upon power more than influence.

Profanity is language that communicates our deepest emotions, whether it be anger, fear, surprise, joy, whatever. It also says a lot about who and what we are. We're being assaulted with it every day from every angle--TV, Social Media, the Internet, Movies--you name it, it's coming from everywhere. Unfortunately, Politics is driving probably about 85-90% of what we're hearing. This is just my perspective, but when obscene profanity becomes the language of the day, then forget about any kind of resolution, agreement, or compromise about anything.  

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