Three Cs of leadership

Some of you probably thought I was going to go over the old ‘character – competency – chemistry’ thing about bringing people onto your leadership team, but actually this is about something else.

By the way, it’s funny how much leadership-related stuff can be talked about in terms of the letter C. My own research is interested in crucibles and contours of leadership journeys. More of that at some point in the future.

Here are three Cs for leaders to reflect on:

  • Courage
  • Clarity
  • Collegiality

I’ve been reading notes from one of my interviews and the person I was interviewing was describing a well known Christian leader who headed up the college where he trained for ministry.

Courageous in his leadership, clear in his direction, and able to gather the right leaders around him.

It’s a short, simple and yet rich description – that’s where my three Cs are coming from.

  1. Courage – ‘courageous in his leadership’. Bill Hybels wrote a (very good) leadership book called ‘Courageous Leadership’. The biblical leader Joshua was specifically commanded to be courageous. Leaders may be called on to make tough decisions; they are unlikely to be popular with everyone; they may face major obstacles.
  2. Clarity – ‘clear in his direction’. While there may be different styles and types of leadership, people need to experience leadership that has an ability to know where it is going.
  3. Collegial – ‘able to gather the right leaders around him’. It’s hard to describe someone as a leader if they have no followers, but beyond that, good leaders are able to build teams that include other leaders.

If you are a leader, how are you doing on these three C’s? What can you do to help strengthen and sharpen each area?

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