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The 3 “C’s” of Effective Leadership (To Help You Get Ahead)

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Effective Leadership

Do you know what you need to change?

What do you look for in your leaders? What are the most compelling attributes that are needed and yearned for in today’s effective leaders? What do you want to see so you can believe in him or her?

No longer willing to simply nod and agree? No longer wanting to be a by-standers without speaking up? No longer behaving like a small child who needs care-taking?


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The world is demanding, so we all demand and also become powerful leaders. Whether it's leading an organization, a team, or a family, leadership is an art and a craft for all of us to master.

There are 3 leadership qualities that every leader needs to address in this age of speed and social media responses. Think of it this way, there’s nowhere to hide. And even more, why would you want to hide in a corner? Master the 3 "C's" and take your place in today’s ever-changing world:

1. Confidence

What happens when you are around someone who has that "can do" attitude? Does it make you step up with more belief in yourself? Does it make you take risks that look tough? Do you hear the call to action loud and clear?

One of my leadership heroes is a man, small in stature and quiet of voice. Yet, Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, is a man of great confidence and belief in himself and what he teaches.

During the Vietnam Wa,  when people were sparked to violence and there were dark forces all around, he led marches in Manhattan that were slow and thoughtful walks, not rabble-rousing infernos. When asked if he was for the north or the south he said in his calm, gentle voice, "I am for the middle."


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2. Communication

What does it take to be clear and concise when you speak? How can you motivate others to do their best? How able are you to share information and not play games to make others feel insecure and confused?

Leaders who use words effectively and know what needs to be said are in short supply. Too many of today’s leaders either read from a monitor and simply spill out the words of others or get too into the grove of talking too much from an egotistic place about themselves.

An important model of deft communication was President John F. Kennedy. He had a skill of saying just enough to cause people to envision a better world and challenged us to go to the moon. And we did!

3. Character

What does it take to be self-aware? How can you consider the welfare of others along with your own personal needs? When can you stand up and do the right thing rather than appeal to the crowd and be a people pleaser?

It takes character to consider long-term goals and not simply get the goodies from short-term results.

Abraham Lincoln showed depth in character through one of the worst times in American history. He called together his team of rivals to find ways to go beyond the divineness of the day and point a way to new beginnings. Not easy with so many contentious issues to be considered.

These three and a bonus (courage) are the keys to what it means to be an effective leader of purpose.

What other attributes would you add to this list? It doesn't have to be a word that begins with C. It just needs to be the opposite of "not see"!


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Sylvia Lafair is a noted authority on leadership and a consultant to family firms, Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs, her message is unique and timely; her insights universal and relevant.

This article was originally published at Sylvia Lafair's website. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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