The quintessential leadership articles being recommended this week are not tightly related, but I think as you read through them you will see some common threads and connections.

Four Pillars of LeadershipIn Mike Myatt’s article, “Four Pillars of Stable Leadership,” he discusses the four elements of the quintessential leadership trait of stability. Stable leadership is critical to building trust and being trustworthy.

I think this paragraph summarizes very well the benefit of stable leadership: “Few things positively impact an organization like a stable tone from the top. A humble and resolute confidence, a sure hand, and a steady calm inspire belief in a leader’s competence and capability.  Stable leaders not only know where they stand, but they also leave no doubt in the minds of others as to what matters, and what will and won’t be tolerated.”

Unfortunately, stable leadership is a rare commodity in most organizational structures today. This includes our personal lives, our work lives, our social lives, and our religious lives. As quintessential leaders, though, we must be the exceptions to the rule in society where it seems now that ego, the big “I,” and situational ethics and relativity predominate the top-tier positions in most organizational constructs.

We must always be the ones to hold fast to humility, to absolute right and wrong, to consistency, to fairness, and to remember that each of us is part of a bigger “we” and not the solo big “I.” 

Why Leadership Training Doesn’t Work,” by Erika Anderson, is a thought-provoking article about the way quintessential leaders build future quintessential leaders versus the way most organizations approach leadership.

Her point is that true leadership building is involved, interactive modeling and mentoring in the course of work, not sitting in a classroom and telling the same old hackneyed stuff – that, by the way, has never worked and still doesn’t work because it has nothing to do with the real world – and expecting people to know how to be leaders.

Mentoring and modeling is the best way to train and learn in the area of leadership. I’ve learned what quintessential leadership is and isn’t by experiencing it and doing it and helping build future quintessential leaders in the process in the real world. And those lessons could have never been taught  – or learned – in a classroom.

Dan Rockwell’s article, “How to Be Humble Without Being a Loser,” contrasts the characteristics of haughty (unquintessential) leadership and humble (quintessential) leadership. The traits of a humble leader include many of the same traits that build trust and make us trustworthy. The humble leader traits list is simply who we, as quintessential leaders, are striving to be and become.

The 5 Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace and What You Can Do About It” by Cy Wakeman may, on the surface, seem like an odd choice in this list of articles, but quintessential leadership is dependent on what he discusses here. In fact, these rules that Wakeman identifies apply equally to life, so they’re important for everyone to know. 

In my post, “The Quintessential Leadership Balance Between Facts and Feelings,” I talked about how quintessential leaders do not allow emotions be the engines of their decision-making. Wakeman comes at this same conclusion from a different angle: emotional expensiveness and how it affects a person’s overall value to an organization (he lists some of the traits of being “emotionally expensive”). 

And although I’ve never thought about the formula he uses in concrete terms, it is the exact formula I tend to use in hiring new team members and giving more responsibility to existing team members.

The formula is: YOUR VALUE = Current Performance + Future Potential – (3 x Emotional Expensiveness). Look at how heavily emotional expensiveness affects the result of this equation. As quintessential leaders, we cannot afford to be emotionally expensive nor we can we afford to have team members who are emotionally expensive.

In Umair Haque’s article, “How and Why to be a Leader – Not a Wannabe,” he contrasts the characteristics that separate quintessential leaders from everyone else (the wannabes). While I don’t agree with some of the words he chose to show the contrasts, the information contained here is solid.

I hope we as quintessential leaders are constantly and consistently questioning and transforming every step of the way, as well as having values, truth, architecture (quintessential leaders build; wannabes hit numbers and quotas targets), and enjoyment/passion.

I hope you’ve all had a productive week and the quintessential leadership journey has been forward-moving. Thank you, as always, for sharing some of your time with me and allowing me to share some of mine with you.

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