A Quality that Can t Be Trained …

Getting Things Done Without AuthorityI view leadership training as skills training. There are a few skills that, when performed before an audience, are perceived as charisma.

Here is the one skill that can’t be trained; character. It takes leadership with character to build an effective organization, and while I can tell you how to have (or acquire) that character, I can’t come up with lectures or exercises that will enable you to do it. The way to demonstrate character is to put yourself on the line for the good of your followers. The modern corporation does not encourage that, which is why truly effective leadership is so rare.

It is often said that the military give medals to people who are willing to sacrifice themselves so that others may gain, but in business, we give bonuses to people who are willing to sacrifice others so that we may gain, which is backwards. This is exaggerates to make a point, but leadership training isn’t going to make an outstanding leader of someone who is not willing to sacrifice himself or herself for the good of the team.

Personal sacrifice builds the kind of tribal commitment that creates a truly transcendent organization by creating a deep sense of trust and cooperation. The problem is that trust and cooperation are feelings and not instructions.

When a leader makes the choice to put the safety and lives of the people inside the organization first, to sacrifice their comforts and sacrifice the tangible results, so that the people remain and feel safe and feel like they belong, remarkable things happen.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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