New Age Leaders Need Greatness, not Just Goodness

by John A. Vardallas, CAE, CUDE

With all the recent events unfolding in the American business and political sector, perhaps the most concerning isn’t so much the competency of leadership, but rather its ethics. The economic inequality in America is being blamed on the greed of corporate leadership!

What makes a leaders has always sparked interesting discussion. Are leaders born with innate qualities or can effective leadership be taught and learned? This is a very important business issue since recent American employee surveys indicate that half of workers are unhappy because of “not being valued” due to weak organizational leadership.

Are you as good a leader as you think you are? If so, how would your people rate you on some of the following traits or characteristics of effective CEOs. Are you perceived as great or just good?

  • a powerful business and people acumen;
  • an embracing of diversity;
  • the ability to inspire (not motivate) people to achieve;
  • a clear vision of the possibilities and the preferred future for their organization;
  • ability to build partnerships and alliances;
  • being servant leaders to their customers/members;
  • a curiosity about the world and a facilitator of change;
  • leading more by actions than words;
  • ability to utilize technology to achieve business results;
  • a risk taker who doesn’t fear innovation or failure;
  • the ability to convert the learning of ideas into practice;
  • willingness to hire to your weakness;
  • ability to develop goals and execute plans; and
  • a developer of people–a “human horticulturalist.”

I offer the following action steps to inspire you to strive for greatness, not just goodness, in your leadership practices for your credit union:

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