At a recent gathering of Human Resource Professionals I was invited to lead a Senior Strategic Session on Leadership. At this State wide convention I was honored to be included in this CEU credited sleeve for the more senior of the attendees.  We had very spirited discussions and sharing in the four hours together.  In my presentation on the concepts of the Rare Leader the audience went back and forth from my podium presentation to small group study, followed by reports back to the group.

One question posed to the small groups for their discussion was simply…”What’s missing?”  I wanted to know if my growing  volumes of research and observations on Leadership were not only well received as correct, but was it inclusive?

The first group responded with a very determined argument of a missing competency of Trust.  Great point the audience agreed.  I explained the reason Trust was omitted from the list of 12 competencies required for successful but Rare Leaders.

Trust, is in fact included.  It may be one of the most important qualities of a leader at any level.  Without Trust, we have no relationship of value with those we are assigned to Lead.  Trust is not a stand alone competency.  Trust is one of the three vital common threads that must be evident in each of the 12 competencies and displayed by our daily interactions through our personal vulnerabilities.  If an omission occurred in the early discussions of the Rare Leader, it was an assumption that everyone agreed Trust, together with two other common threads were standard fare to even begin a discussion of Leadership.

The obvious take-away from this exercise resulted in a very specific inclusion of our 3 common threads as a foundational, weaving themselves throughout the personal quilt of 12 individual Leadership behaviors and competencies.

When I was asked of the other two threads, I drew from additional information I had prepared for follow-up q&a.

I truly believe the greatest Leaders I have studied, from both a distance, as well as close and personal have shared a commonality of Selflessness.  You see the same quality in our teachers who devote a lifetime to preparing others to achieve greater success.  You see selflessness in the greatest of true financial wealth.  I find it interesting that people I know who have great wealth might be perceived in one of two categories.  Those who have earned it, and those who have been entitled to it.  The greatest financial contributors to societal needs today  are form those who have worked hard to earn their wealth, and they choose to share it in a humble, quiet, selfless way.  It seems the busiest people I meet are also those most active in their community, church, school, or organizations.  Being busy at work and at home is not enough.  Giving of time and talents to others who are in greater need requires unbridled selflessness.

The third common thread, Passion is to me the most obvious of all.  Perhaps I find it to be obvious because it is not a quiet thread such as selflessness.  You might also find it so much easier to identify Passion immediately in others rather than digging deeper for insights on trust.  In coaching sessions, at some point I find myself asking my client a simple question.  “What do you want to do when you grow up?”  After they realize it is not copying the comical line from the Smothers Brothers, they search for a serious answer.  Very few are able to respond they are doing exactly what they dreamed of, or what they developed early as a barely controllable emotion to do with their life.  What holds us back from discovering our passion?  The people we lead deserve the same discovery of their passion to reach their life’s potential.  As a Leader, It’s up to you to Lead with Passion, and instill this barely controllable emotion within others through each of the 12 competencies.

Three common threads woven through twelve competencies of Leadership behaviors.  That is a rare accomplishment to do it all.  But again, that’s why you aspire to be a Rare Leader™.

If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 

or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 

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