Leader’s Character More Important Than Strategy

50 views 1:42 pm 0 Comments December 26, 2023

Great leaders obviously must possess numerous characteristics, traits and personal qualities. While there is no doubt that professionally designed leadership training is a paramount ingredient in formulating the knowledge of a leader, it predominantly addresses issues involving strategy, and is limited as to what it can do to enhance someone’s character. General Norman Schwarzkopf, a man often known as “Stormin’ Norman, because of his never – give – up attitude, explained it this way, “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” There is no doubt, and I have often spoken of, and written about the significance of strategy and its impact on strategy, but unless a leader’s character is pure and he has absolute integrity, his impact and potential accomplishments will always be limited.

1. Strategy and strategic planning is obviously essential for effective leadership. However, if someone in a leadership position cannot motivate others to buy into his vision, his goals and dreams, and understand both his actions and his reasoning, the best strategy in the world will often go by the waste side.

2. There is never any substitute for sterling character. By definition, leaders must lead others, and why would anyone follow someone who they did not believe in, or feel cared about them, and had the best interests of their organization in mind? A leader’s character is what determines his mindset, and that mindset invariably determines the actions we take. Character, especially in leadership, means putting the best interest of the organization and its constituents, supporters and donors first, and being led by providing value to those he governs. A character – inspired leader leads because he has an emotional connection and tie to his group, and that means he always tries to do the right thing.

Obviously, if a leader only has character, his decision – making capabilities can be limited by his lack of knowledge, planning, preparation, and inability to effectively or intelligently strategize. Great leaders must understand the need for strategy, but a leader with character who is not the best strategic planner, would still have the ability to surround himself with talented advisers, thus being able to implement effective strategy. On the other hand, if a leader does not possess the strength of character and integrity that is needed, his strategy may not always be value – based, and thus his organization and those involved would be adversely impacted. If one finds a leader in possession of both the proper character as well as the strategic planning essentials, cherish him!