Obama’s Good Call: Replacing Disrespectful Leader with One Known for Competence and Character

We teach leaders to hold “Knowledge Flow Sessions” to hear the opinions and ideas of others; doing so will help leaders make optimal decisions. We also teach leaders that disrespectful behavior is intolerable because it reduces “Human Value” in a culture, and leaders and/or individual contributors who exhibit disrespectful behavior need to be removed from the organization if they fail to change.

President Obama’s recent action to replace General Stanley McChrystal is an excellent example.   Here is an article about President Obama’s decision-making process and here is the Rolling Stone magazine article entitled “The Runaway General” that brings General McChrystal’s character into question.  Replacing McChrystal with General David Patraeus was also wise. Whereas McChrystal’s leadership style brought compliance out of fear, General Patraeus by all accounts appears to have the competence and character necessary to inspire the best efforts and aligned behavior of the soldiers he now leads.

If you are a leader or aspire to be one, ask yourself if you have developed the competence and character necessary to inspire others to follow you? In terms of character, you should reflect on whether or not your behavior reflects the following character strengths:

  • Persistence
  • Perspective/Wisdom
  • Purpose
  • Work Ethic
  • Hope/Optimism
  • Citizenship
  • Love of Learning
  • Bravery/Courage
  • Integrity
  • Prudence
  • Curiosity
  • Open Mindedness
  • Kindness
  • Love of People
  • Fairness
  • Self-Control
  • Forgiveness/Mercy
  • Gratitude
  • Humor
  • Humility/Modesty
  • Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence.

Which of these character strengths are most important to your success?  Which character strengths need more focus?  Now take action by finding a mentor or coach you respect and who will help you develop these character strengths.

For more on Knowledge Flow and Human Value see articles we published entitled “Encouraging Knowledge Flow” and “Strengthening Human Value in Organizational Cultures.”

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