Recently we looked at Healthy Leadership. Now let’s look at characteristics of The Healthy Leader. How would you define "Healthy Leader"?
Gratefully, I’ve been in some form of formal leadership for over 15 years. I’ve heard a lot of varying definitions for “Leader”. However, within the last 5 years or so I’ve landed on a less than conventional take on what "leader" means. Ultimately, I don’t believe that you can be “a leader” and pass the test of time without being a "healthy leader".
A healthy leader is first and foremost a servant.* Therefore we're talking about a servant-minded person who has unmatched character, clear competence, and significant capacity. In other words, a healthy leader is a man or woman who knows what they know, knows what they don’t know, knows the difference and can bridge any gaps.
Okay, Alan, given your definition of a healthy leader, what are the concrete attributes or virtues that I can look for in a person?
Great question! I love Chuck Palahniuk’s quote, “Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I've ever known.” That is true of all of us! And I use this quote as a segway to “tip the cap” to some of my favorite models of healthy leaders.
I’ll start with Patrick Lencioni and Michael Hyatt. I love Hyatt’s formula, which I believe is initially based on Lencioni’s The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: A Leadership Fable.
Hyatt's Formula is H3S. Your Job is to Attract people that are:
Humble. A humble person has a good sense of himself. He doesn’t think more highly of himself than he should (pride), nor lower of himself than he ought (poor self-esteem)
Hungry. A hungry person is intellectually curious. He reads constantly—newspapers, magazines, and books. Lots of books. He loves learning new things and sharing what he is learning with others.
Honest. At the most basic level, an honest person does not lie. He does not exaggerate or misrepresent the facts.
Smart. A smart person is a quick study. He can “connect the dots” without a lot of help. He has a natural ability to “think laterally,” that is, across disciplines.
Now there are several other influential, healthy leaders that we can observe. However, our main priority is to distill out all of the correct ingredients to retain the right mix of needed knowledge. So however you slice and dice being a leader and the practice of leadership, I encourage you to consider this.
The essence of engaging and motivating people to productive action has its roots tied to influence.
Let us continually consider how we can mature into a healthy, influential human.
Pulling for you!