With great power comes great responsibility?! 

Money, fame, fortune, and power…  From time to time we meet someone who is gifted with one or more of these things. However, most often they cannot use these so-called gifts effectively in the right way, wasting the unique opportunity because simply they are not ready to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders or either a small part of it.  
You could be gifted from the moment of your birth, but it is not your luck, money or power that really matters but rather your character. What, when and how you do things, for others or for solely your own benefit defines who you really are. The type of personality and the way (why and how) you say and do things makes the real difference. It is true that results are key, but we must place equal or greater stress on how we got those results, how that leader has reached others, and how they have acted and behaved — both publicly and privately (Shore, 2020).  
Great leaders..

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“A boss has the title, a leader has the people.” 
Simon Sinek 
 
Look at some of the greatest leaders: Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Warren Buffett, or Elon Musk – at first sight, it may look like they were already born with these gifts as well as with the talent to manage them effectively. But the actual truth is that most of these “heroic” leadership skills and character traits can be learned and sharpened with time and practice (see also our previous article). Today we label these idols, our modern day heroes usually with the title of “CEO“, “Manager” and/or “Boss” – among others. To tell the truth, we are far more fascinated by them as people than by their accomplishments and the impact they have had on society. Our interest has more to do with how they conducted themselves over a lifetime. In most of the cases, leaders reached those heights by building the right combination of expertise, charisma, enthusiasm, connections, and self-assurance, and yes; an extra dose of luck and being at the right place at the right time cannot hurt (Forbes, 2017). As most of us might have always wondered what we need to have or do to have at least a slight chance to become “The Boss” one day. In the next section(s) we will go through what key characteristics predict a bright future and a possible way to the real world “Iron Throne”. 

 

Character and Leadership 

Usually, people immediately associate leadership with a certain catchy title. Nevertheless, we do not necessarily need to be CEOs to lead effectively others, and we can have several almighty titles next to our name and still not to be able to become a trustworthy leader (Shore, 2020). 
 
“Good character powers responsible leadership (…) 
Character enables leaders to join aspiration to action, furthering good in the world.” 
(University of Oxford, 2022)
 
A leader’s character can be either good or bad; for instance, a gang leader is a strong person with a bad character, while an outstanding community leader is one with both strong and good characteristics. It all comes down to ethics” – the secret of success in life and business (Beebe, 2011).  Authentic leaders tend to have a strong, personal, moral compass that has a profound impact on the people they lead (Agarwal, 2020). 
 
We live in a decade when our society is in an urgent need for competent, values-based leaders all around the world as today’s challenges require the cooperation of leaders with both strong and good characters who act on the responsibility to further the well-being of others, strengthen the communities and organizations of which they are part not for their individual goals but for a brighter future for everyone. 
 
We inevitably look up to people with a strong character 
 
Despite we admire leaders with a great character, we hardly ever mention how to develop it in ourselves and/or in others and one day may reach those heights as well. It must be mentioned here that always character can be further developed, however, it takes intentional awareness and action. Our society is usually quick to recognize a person (not to mention a leader) with a weak character (CCL, 2021), but how can we identify someone with a strong one? What makes a leader a good leader?  

 

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Author:

Griszbacher Norbert

Article Writer & Content Contributor

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The opinions expressed in this article/publication are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of GiLE or its members.

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