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‘‘Character may be manifested in the great
moments, but it is made in the small on es.’’
Leadership is the single most important factor in the success or
failure of a company or business. Your ability to step forward and
lead your enterprise to success in competitive markets is both
essential and irreplaceable.
The better you become as a leader, the better you will be in
every area of your enterprise. Fortunately, leaders are made, not
born. As Peter Drucker wrote, ‘‘There may be such a thing as a
natural born leader, but there are so few of them, that they make
no difference in the great scheme of things.’’
Leaders are primarily self-made, self-developed. They work
on themselves continually, learning, growing, and becoming
more capable and competent over the years.
Leaders usually emerge to deal with a situation that requires
leadership skills. A manager can work successfully at fulﬁlling his
responsibilities and getting the job done for many years. Then a
HOW THE BEST LEADERS LEAD
crisis occurs, and leadership is required. At that time, the leader
steps forth and takes charge of the situation. He or she becomes
a different person and fulﬁlls a different role.
Follow the Rules
General Norman Schwarzkopf tells about his ﬁrst experience of
leadership at the Pentagon. His senior ofﬁcer told him that to do
his job well, all he had to do was to ‘‘Follow rule 13.’’
When he asked, ‘‘What is rule 13?’’ his commanding general
said, ‘‘When placed in command, take charge!’’
When then Colonel Schwarzkopf asked, ‘‘But after I have
taken charge, how do I make decisions?’’
His commanding ofﬁcer said, ‘‘Simple. Use rule 14.’’
When Colonel Schwarzkopf asked, ‘‘What is rule 14?’’ he was
told, ‘‘Do the right thing!’’
These are excellent ideas for you, as well. When placed in
command, take charge, and if ever you are in doubt about what
to do, simply do the right thing.
Leadership Requires Character
Leadership is more about who you are than what you do. Your
ability to develop the qualities of effective leadership, the essence
of what it takes to be a leader, is more important to your success
as an executive than any other factor.
One of the great principles of personal development is,
‘‘Whatever you dwell upon grows and expands in your experi-
ence and personality.’’
You become more effective, day by day, when you think and
act on the basis of the key qualities of effective leaders through-
out the ages. You program these qualities into your personality
THE HEART OF A LEADER
and behavior by dwelling on them continually. You learn these
qualities by practicing them in your daily activities as a person
and as a leader in your organization.
The more of a leader you become in the inside, the more ef-
fective you will become in all your leadership activities on the
outside. You become more of a leader by thinking the same way
that top leaders think.
The Seven Qualities of Leadership
There have been more than three thousand studies conducted
over the years aimed at identifying the qualities of successful
leaders, especially successful military leaders who have won im-
portant battles against great odds in turbulent theaters of war-
fare—which very much describes succeeding in the marketplaces
More than 50 qualities have been identiﬁed that are impor-
tant to leadership. But there are seven qualities that seem to
stand out as being more important than the others. The good
news is that each of these qualities can be learned, and they must
be learned by practice and repetition.
1. Vision: The Most Important Single Quality
Leaders have vision. They can see into the future. They have a
clear, exciting idea of where they are going and what they are
trying to accomplish. This quality separates them from manag-
ers. Having a clear vision turns the individual into a special type
This quality of vision changes a ‘‘transactional manager’’ into
a ‘‘transformational leader.’’ While a manager gets the job done,
a true leader taps into the emotions of his people.