Hi, Rick Crossland with A Player Advantage LLC here.

What we will talk about in this video are seven leadership characteristics. We call them the 7 C’s of Leadership that are critical but maybe not always talked about leadership characteristics. Characteristics essential to achieving what the great John Maxwell calls that Level 5 leader.

Let’s go through these leadership characteristics. We’re going to spend some time on each of the seven. Here we go.

The first one is Challenge. And when I talk about challenge what we’re talking about is making something better. And the definition of making something better should be the definition of leadership. You as a leader, is the situation better than when you found it? Are you making whatever situation, whatever organization challenge you were in better than you found it?

That’s just really easy to comprehend when you’re in a turnaround situation when things are tough. Many people say, “That was easy. They had a crisis.” Well, how do you challenge the status quo when there’s not that immediate crisis? And that is the hallmark of a great leader, is motivating the team to understand what a better future looks like.

Transitioning from vision, what is the Clarity around that vision? How good is your plan? Is it crystal clear and step-by-step, so everybody on your team has that consistent and clear view on where they must go. We’re talking about clarity, but also as you think about clarity, you need to be very consistent with your team on that leadership message, so they have absolute crystal clear point of sight on where the business or the organization is going.

The next one is Credibility. People only follow credible leaders. I’d like you to think about those best leaders that you followed in your career, and I would hazard to guess that those absolute best ones were super credible people. They knew their craft. They knew their skill set. And they’re also very credible at leadership.

And when you think about that–leaders eat last. Who is credible and walks the talk in their leadership game? Which brings us to our next point which is Congruence.

There’s a lot of folks when you look at self-development, when you look at bettering yourself; they’re quick to point the finger at someone else. But the best leaders, and if you look at the best performers, whether it’s an industry, whether it’s a nonprofit or in sports, they’re always working harder on themselves than they are on others. And that is congruence. People who walk the talk. When they recommend a book, for instance, they’ve already read it. When they’re getting up and doing extra work they’ve done it. Those people can demand a lot because they’re there in trenches with you. They’re congruent, top-notch leaders.

And the next leadership trait is Character. We’re talking people of impeccable character, people who understand that as human beings we’re flawed, and we’re not perfect, and are self-aware and come to grips with that, and are always working to improve their character. Because let’s be frank, we can all improve our character. One key point about character we like to raise is integrity. And integrity is defined as doing what you say you will do. And I’d like just to challenge you, think about your interactions this past week. Who were those people of high integrity who said they would do something and they didn’t?

And that’s my challenge to you as a leader, is be that person of high integrity. Do what you say you will do. Leadership is not about notions. It’s about doing!

The next leadership competency is Courage. In this era we live in, often, courage is lacking. It’s far easier to blend in, to not stick our necks out, to not say the right thing, to not challenge enough. Where are we actually courageous? Often with our team that means making very tough and courageous personnel changes. Back to challenging the status quo, that means risking being unpopular to do the right thing. And again, that would be a whole day’s video on digging into courage.

But I just like to challenge you, how courageous are you, how courageous are your managers? And look at that as a point of opportunity to even be more courageous in challenging the status quo and doing what’s right for the customer, for your employees, and in making those tough personnel decisions.

And on personnel let’s talk about the final point which is Caring. That is caring as leadership. There’s a famous adage, and it’s a truism, which is people don’t care what you know until they know how much you care!

And back to caring, think of your team and who’s on. Do employees feel like you care for them? As you’re bringing new people onto the team, do you care about their success? Are you vested in their success? Are you doing everything possible once you select them to make sure they’re successful?

Caring is a two-way street. Your employees also must care about you. They must care about the organization. And once you’ve opened up this dialogue, if they don’t care back it’s time to be courageous and make that decision, and sometimes that tough decision to cut bait, because you just simply cannot lead somebody who doesn’t care.

This is Rick Crossland with A Player Advantage. Stay tuned for more topics on how to produce that high-level business; that one that produces exceptional returns and abundance for your team, and is just a joy to work in! We’ll be back soon.