Leadership Development: The heart of a leader

November 16, 2016 by Wally Bock

Leadership development is getting more and more scientific. We can test aptitudes and we can test intelligence of all kinds. That’s the science of it all and it helps. But we make the wisest choices about who should pursue leadership when we also assess our potential leaders’ hearts, and I’m not talking about the condition of their mitral valves.

Leadership development and the heart of a leader

Don’t worry, I’m not going to go all New-Age-mushy on you. I’ve been involved in leadership and leadership development for several decades and there are two things I know for sure. Leadership is a kind of work and the transition from individual contributor to leader is one of the hardest in business. To make that transition effectively and do that work well, you need a passion for the work.

Leadership development and choosing the right people for the job

Leadership work involves two things that most people find hard. In fact, for many people they’re terrifying and distasteful. I’m talking about the work of making decisions and, especially, the work of confronting people about their poor performance and unacceptable behavior. Choose people for leadership who want to do the work enough to do those hard tasks promptly and well.

The best leaders take great joy in helping other people succeed. People either show up with that passion or they don’t, but without it they won’t have the heart of a leader. Find it and you find leadership potential.

So, keep those tests and matrices and analytical tools. But use your judgement too. Choose people with the passion to do the hard things and that passion for helping others succeed. That’s how you’ll find men and women with the heart of a leader.

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Leadership Development

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