After over four decades, of personal and professional involvement, in nearly everything related to effectively leading, from identifying and qualifying, to training, developing, and consulting to thousands of actual and potential leaders, as well as personally serving several times as a leader, I firmly believe, real leaders must never be willing to accept, anything – less than their personal best, because, sound – enough, does not bring – forth, the FINEST efforts! In fairness, much of that blame/ responsibility is because few organizations have dedicated themselves to customized, professionally designed leadership training and planning programs to ensure their leaders are better prepared and ready for prime time! With that in mind, this article will attempt to examine, review briefly, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and why it matters.
1. Faithful; face facts; future; fruition; fate: Groups need leaders, who are faithful to the ideals of the organization (including its heritage, history, demographics, mission, etc.), and their stakeholders, rather than any personal/ political agenda/ opinion, and, self – interests! Although a positive, can-do attitude is a needed trait and behavior, it must be, without resorting to the tendency to wear rose-colored glasses! Instead, they must face the facts and consider various options and alternatives, with an open mind, with the purpose, of creating the best path forward into the future! However, it’s never enough for one to make statements, etc., but, instead, he must effectively strategic plan, and create an action plan, which helps bring the best potential scenario, to fruition! Real leaders feel they must do the right thing because they hold themselves responsible for the fate of their organization, etc.
2. Integrity; ideals/ ideology; imagination; innovate; important; impacts: One must proceed, with absolute integrity, especially when faced with challenges, and avoid resorting to some course of perceived, less stress, etc.! What one does must align his ideals with the ideology of the specific group, and do so, with a blooming – developed, relevant images, and a willingness, and ability to innovate, when needed! He differentiates important issues from petty ones and thoroughly considers the impacts and ramifications of either acting or failing to!
3. Needs: Simply stated, actual leading must be, about needs, priorities, perceptions, and choosing the best options!
4. Empathy; emphasis; efforts; excellence; endurance: Great leaders must proceed, with genuine empathy and place, much of their focus, accordingly! Their actions must emphasize the distinction, and they need to have the endurance and persistence to go – on, when much of the rest – of – the = pack, give – up!
5. Solutions; service; sustainable; strengths/more robust; system: We need leaders, who use the group’s muscles effectively to make it stronger, and more sustainable! Their responsibility must be to introduce viable solutions and provide the finest possible service! What one’s system is and how well it is developed often differentiates between the most exemplary leadership and/ or less!
6. Truth/ trust; timely; time-tested; trends; together: One must, consistently, tell the truth and perceive, as doing so, to earn the trust of stakeholders! Ideas must be well-considered, timely, well-developed, and time-tested when needed! In addition, someone must identify, understand, and appropriately use current trends, which may be applicable, to bring us together for the greater good!
If you want to lead, never accept anything less than your FINEST efforts! But, are you up to the tasks and responsibilities?