Sailing the 7 “C”s of Leadership

Seven Cs of Leadership

I am not a sailor. But I love alliteration in writing and, in addition, it helps me to remember things. So, today, I offer you the following “7 ‘C’s of Leadership”.

These are not the only things that are important to be a real leader. But, if you were to focus on just a few aspects or defining characteristics of a real leader – these would certainly be on the list.

Commitment to the Team – A real leader is committed to the team. They are committed to the entire team and do not play favorites. In fact, a leader’s commitment to the team is of more importance than the team’s commitment to the leader. A leader must be committed and willing to sacrifice for the good of the team and the mission.

Creativity and Freedom – A real leader fosters a sense of creativity and freedom of expression from those around them. Fresh ideas and suggestions are welcomed by a real leader. Long gone are the days of the “Yes Men” that have been constant fixtures of some insecure leaders.

Collaboration with Others – A real leader constantly reaches out to their team and to other leaders in search of meaningful solutions to the problems that the team is facing. A real leader acknowledges that they don’t have all the answers.

Communication to All – A real leader is able to communicate clearly, concisely and openly. There is no hidden agenda in their communication. Communication flows in both directions.

Continuous Learning – A real leader is a seeker of knowledge and learning and the wisdom that comes from those activities. This aspect is a natural outcome from the acknowledgement that a leader doesn’t know everything.

Competency in Our Tasks – A real leader works with the team to build competency in whatever tasks are assigned. A leader doesn’t have to be an expert in everything. And a leader doesn’t expect their team to be experts. But a real leader facilitates the development of competency and proficiency for every member of the team through practice and gained experiences.

Consistent with Our Purpose – A real leader is guided by the goal, mission, and purpose of the team. A leader does not waver from the central purpose and chase after the popular trend of the day. A leader knows the purpose and holds it firmly in their heart.

How do you stack up as you sail the dangerous depths of leadership? Do these ring true to your ears? Are there some that I should have included, but didn’t?

Leave me a comment with your key “C”s.

Photo credit: The Library of Congress / Foter / No known copyright restrictions

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I am the husband of a beautiful and wonderful woman. I am the father of two of the greatest kids on the planet. I am a father-in-law to a great young woman. And I am Papa to three very special grandchildren. In my spare time I am an active blogger and writer. And if there is any time left over, I work with small non-profit organizations and churches on the topics of change management, crisis intervention and leadership development.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Scott Hilton

    Competency in tasks……the statement “doesn’t have to be an expert in everything” is such a seemingly difficult viewpoint to get others to understand in a manufacturing setting. Development, development, development!

    • Kevin Bowser

      Yes, it is. And I think it is partly a senior management problem as well as ego problem at the competency level. We all want to be experts. No matter how many tasks there are out to gain competency in, we want to be an expert in each of them. That is just not realistic.

  • Billy

    During my military service, we had neither the resources or man power to be an expert at everything. Part of our on going training was to “cross train” each other so every one was “proficient” in at least two other areas. This allowed us to not only be able to assist but also be able to cover if we happen to loose a man. I say all that to say, I think the leadership point here is to have you team help each other. This not only builds stronger teams, but team continuity and the ability to cover for one another and not loose effectiveness.

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