Leadership Secrets

At the seminary where I am teaching we just spent a week with three representatives from Chick-Fil-A.  You know, the commercials where the cows tell you to “eat more chicken!”; the company that closes on Sunday and still kills their competition who insist on staying open 7 days a week; the business that malls will allow to close on Sunday in spite of mall rules to the contrary (because they make a profit anyway); the 3 billion dollar corporation that makes the greatest chicken sandwich in the universe.  Yeah, those guys.

Well, we spent a week talking about leadership because leadership is what matters.  You can make a great chicken sandwich but without great leadership, well, you just have a great chicken sandwich.  So we talked about the 5 secrets of great leadership that are not so secret.  It just seems to be true that the qualities of a great leader are never secrets, they just require more of most leaders than they are willing to be or do.

For the week we used the book, The Secret:  What Great Leaders Know-And Do co-authored by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller.


So, I am going to spoil the book by telling you the secrets.  Here they are.  If you don’t want to know so you can read the book, stop reading right now.  And there are actually 6 secrets not 5.

Great Leadership is 80% character and 20% skills.  You can teach new skills but character is character.

Great Leaders see and shape the future.  They can create and communicate a compelling vision of what can be and lead others toward it.

Great Leaders engage and develop others.  The future is not about the leader, it is about the leader’s ability to recruit and select the right people for the right jobs while creating an environment for those people to grow and reach their potential.

Great Leaders reinvent continually.  Status qou is not a path to the future.  Change must be anticipated and embraced as an opportunity for improvement and growth personally and professionally.

Great Leaders value results and relationships.  The trick is knowing which of these two you are more inclined to focus on and then find ways to intentionally compensate for your natural bias.

Great Leaders embody the values.  They live what they value, they walk the talk, the proofs in the pudding, you know.

Like I said, these are not secrets.  They are just characteristics of great leaders.  So why do you think we always have a shortage of great leaders?  You can’t fake leadership because it’s who you are, not the person you want people to think you are.

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