What do a warrior, a doctor and a priest have in common? This is not a joke! In fact, they have little in common in terms of background and training. Each of them, in their own distinctive way, is an accomplished leader and share their thoughts on the elements of leadership.
On April 12, CBS Sunday Morning interviewed three leaders from different walks of life to talk about their views on leadership. Stanley McChrystal is a retired United States Army general best known for his command of Joint Special Operations Command in the mid-2000s. Penny Wheeler, MD, is the president and chief executive officer of Allina Health. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., is president of Fordham University in New York.
General McChrystal spoke to the need for leaders to be brutally honest with themselves. Leaders should be extraordinarily candid with their followers. Leaders need to be genuine. Lastly, when things get hard, the leader needs to “stand up.”
Dr. Wheeler spoke about the need for leaders to get barriers out of the way for their people. It enhances their opportunities for growth and effectiveness. She stressed the need to learn collaboration skills. Always, always, lead with transparency.
It was Father McShane’s comments that resonated the most with me. In response to a question from special correspondent Ted Koppel, Father McShane named four important elements of leadership.
“You have to begin with self-knowledge. Number two, you have to know what your priorities are. Number three, you have to be wise enough to ask for advice. And four, you have to be humble enough to accept it. If you are able to do those, you’ll be a leader. A good leader? Maybe. A great leader? Possibly.”
I encourage you to watch the CBS Sunday Morning interview. Let me know what you think. How can you take your leadership skills from good to great?