Robert Staub’s The Heart of Leadership provides a simple and elegant way of thinking about leadership. “Leadership, like the heart, receives input, ensures that it is enriched and focused, and then orchestrates functional and energetic flows out to the body of the organization or enterprise.” Similar to the chambers of the heart, he outlines the major components of leadership into four chambers: Competence, Intimacy, Passion, and Integrity.
o Competence: Made of three components.
o Knowledge of the Business and Sound Management Practices
o Good Strategic Thinking and Planning
o Awareness, Sensitivity, and Skill for Interpersonal Contact
o Intimacy: Deep knowledge if customer, the people engaged in the work, and one’s self.
o Passion: Refers to the drive to make a positive contribution and to create something meaningful and worthy.
o Integrity: Includes honesty and principled behavior as well as self-awareness and honest self-appraisal.
Competence includes personal traits and technical skills. “Competence can be divided as knowledge of the topic at hand, intelligence, expertise, skill, or good judgment.”
o Technical Skills: Are needed to understand activities, operational processes products and services, technology, and legal requirements.
o Cognitive Skills: Are necessary to analyze problems, develop creative solutions, identify patterns and trends, understand complex relationships, and develop effective mental models.
o Interpersonal Skills: Such as listening, persuasiveness, social sensitivity are needed to influence people, avoid unwanted influence, develop cooperative relationships, establish and maintain networks, understand individuals, facilitate teamwork, and resolve conflict constructively.
o Personality Traits: Seam less important that technical skills. Nevertheless, individual needs, core values, and temperament are clearly relevant to effective leadership.
Intimacy refers to the leader’s ability to build and maintain relationships. All too often we expect people to buy into the position of leadership and be loyal to the title rather than to the person that fills that fills the position. “The first thing a leader must declare is not authority because of rights, but authority because of relationships.” Building relationships through interpersonal skills is important for several reasons”
o Effective Management: Social skills help to understand the feelings of others and the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.
o Cooperative Relationships: Skills such as empathy, social insight, charm, tact, and diplomacy are essential to developing and maintaining cooperative relationships with subordinates, superiors, peers, and outsiders.
o Influencing: Empathy and social insight is the ability to understand motives, values, and emotions. Understand what people want and what motivates them is necessary for effective influencing strategies.
o Resolving Conflict: Being able to listen to people with problems, personal complaints, or criticism is necessary for resolving conflicts in a constructive manner.
“Your passion for something is an indication of what you find worthy in and of itself. It’s a clue to what you find intrinsically rewarding.” Passion refers to the drive to make a contribution and to create something meaningful and valuable – a sense of worth. It’s sometimes referred to as enthusiasm, hope, or aspirations.
o Enthusiasm: (Greek: enthousiasmos) Originally meant inspiration or possession by a divine afflatus or by the presence of a God. Today the word simply means intense enjoyment, interest or approval.
o Hope: An emotional belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances within one’s personal life. Hope implies a certain amount of perseverance such as believing that a positive outcome is possible even when there is some evidence to the contrary.
o Aspirations: The Apostle Paul encourages leadership: “This is a true saying, If a man desires the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.”(1 Timothy 3:1). Providing a climate where people feel free and motivated to cultivate and implement constructive ideas is the challenge of talented leaders.
Most people can manage when things go well, but true leadership is how we cope with people when times are tough. Integrity is what drives us regardless of our situation or position. Too many leaders are ready to assert their rights but not assume their responsibilities. They are looking to the organization to make people responsible to follow. They look for a new title, another position, sometimes a new job. They never come to realize that they lack authority because they lack integrity. “Integrity means that a person’s behavior is consistent with espoused values, and the person is honest, ethical, and trustworthy.”
o Honesty and Trust: “If people anywhere are to willingly follow someone – whether it be into the battle or into the boardroom, the front office or the front lines – they first want to assure themselves that the person is worthy of their trust.”
o Courage: “The strength to lead in these difficult circumstances, meaning that courageous leaders are strong and unlikely to quit.” This kind of courage displays itself in an organization when a leader is willing to admit his mistake, when she is willing to stand up for her beliefs, or when he must challenge others.
o Self-Discipline: “People have to know themselves and understand their environments in order to adapt and learn.” The most basic defining moment demands that leaders resolve the issue of self-discipline. “The higher leaders climb up the corporate ladder the greater their burden of responsibility and their need to reevaluate themselves and their whole self.”