Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Thank you for following the series on the 5 C's of Leadership. We received a few posted comments on the blog and several emails sent directly to me. As always, your comments and questions are very helpful.
Just as a reminder the 5 C's of Leadership are as follows:
  • Compelling Vision

  • Competence and Common Sense

  • Communication and Collaboration

  • Creation of Leaders and Teams

  • Character and Integrity

One of the first comments I received was a reader that pointed out that these are interdependent and all 5 must be addressed by a leader. I completely agree. A compelling vision without the competence or people to execute the vision will not change the organization or achieve your goals. Similarly, great communication skills without content is hollow and again will fail. So thanks again to our blog followers.

Several others wrote to me that the 5 C's were simple, clear and right on point. Another wrote that, as always, the devil is in the detail. They pointed out that it was the detail and description within each of the 5 C's that made them useful.

Another reader pointed me to a Harvard Business Review article from January 2009 entitled Women and the Vision Thing. I read the article and recommend it to all of you. If you are an HBR online subscriber you can read the entire article. If not, you can read a recap by going to and go to back issues under January 2009 and you will find the article. The authors address a study that showed women were judged to be less visionary than men in 360 degree feedback and although it may be a matter of perception, it stops women from getting to the top. Our blog reader asked if I had any thoughts on how women could change this perception. The authors of the article put forth three theories for this perception: 1) women are equally visionary but in a different way; 2) women hesitate to go out on a limb; and 3) women don't put much stock in vision. I would like to put forth a fourth theory. In the article they show graphs of the vision question differences between men and women. The women scored higher on vision from subordinates and slightly lower on vision from their superiors. The big difference was with peers, particularly male peers, which scored women much lower on vision. While I think all three of the theories in the article are important for women leaders to be aware of and careful to overcome and for men to be aware of so they judge on content as well as perception. But what I would like to add is that I think women do not always think of their peers as stakeholders, which is a mistake. ALL stakeholders need to be considered when introducing change. Peers are stakeholders and often enablers (such as support groups) but if not on board can also be serious roadblocks to achieving the goals. Anyone else have any ideas?

In summary, Mike and I are using the 5 C's in our workshops and are glad they were interesting and helpful to you. As always, we welcome your comments and ideas. I would like to leave you with two thoughts. First, remember that we should all be lifelong learners and none of us are perfect. So give yourself a break if you don't meet all 5 C's everyday. But never give up on improving and striving to be the best leader you can become. Second, leadership is a great responsibility. Your actions impact people's lives and livelihood. But leadership is also a great privilege. You can really make a difference. Make it a positive difference.

Until Next Time,


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