10 C’s of Leadership
“Yes, sir” crowd in his inner circle. He has to read voraciously, because the
world is a big, complicated place.
A leader has to be CREATIVE, go out on a limb, be willing to try something
different. You know, think outside the box.
A leader has to COMMUNICATE. I’m not talking about running off at the
mouth or spouting sound bites. I’m talking about facing reality and telling
A leader has to be a person of CHARACTER. That means knowing the
difference between right and wrong and having the guts to do the right
thing. Abraham Lincoln once said, “If you want to test a man’s character,
give him power.”
A leader must have COURAGE. Swagger isn’t courage. Tough talk isn’t
courage. Courage is a commitment to sit down at the negotiating table and
If you’re a politician, courage means taking a position even when you know
it will cost you votes.
To be a leader you’ve got to have CONVICTION — a fire in your belly.
You’ve got to have passion. You’ve got to really want to get something done.
How do you measure fire in the belly?
A leader should have CHARISMA. I’m not talking about being flashy.
Charisma is the quality that makes people want to follow you. It’s the ability
to inspire. People follow a leader because they trust him. That’s my
definition of charisma.
A leader has to be COMPETENT. That seems obvious, doesn’t it? You’ve got
to know what you’re doing. More important than that, you’ve got to
surround yourself with people who know what they’re doing.
You can’t be a leader if you don’t have COMMON SENSE. I call this Charlie
Beacham’s rule. When I was a young guy just starting out in the car
business, one of my first jobs was as Ford’s zone manager in Wilkes-Barre,
Pennsylvania. My boss was a guy named Charlie Beacham, who was the East
Coast regional manager. Charlie was a big Southerner, with a warm drawl, a
huge smile, and a core of steel. Charlie used to tell me, “Remember, Lee,
the only thing you’ve got going for you as a human being is your ability to
reason and your common sense. If you don’t know a dip of horse crap from
a dip of vanilla ice cream, you’ll never make it.”
THE BIGGEST C IS CRISIS
Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It’s easy
to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone
else’s kids off to war when you’ve never seen a battlefield yourself. It’s
another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.
by Lee Iacocca