When you think of exceptional leaders, your mind normally runs to qualities like charisma, integrity, self-discipline, executive presence, exemplary communications skills, and so on. But this rarely discussed quality is arguably as essential as any of them. The one surprising quality every leader needs? The hide of an armadillo.
Why? Because at high leadership levels the winds of protest, criticism and potential attack from many directions can be gale force. Thus the armor-plated hide of an armadillo… the ability to stoutly deflect criticism and keep making progress undaunted by it… is always valuable.
Senior management is no place for delicate flowers, for the overly sensitive. A good tough impregnable hide helps in many ways.
It helps you handle criticism – Criticism in the business world can come from all quarters. To start with, let’s try your board, your shareholders, your customers, your sales force, your competitors, your regulators… not to mention a possible phalanx of executives within your own organization who’d like your job. Your armor helps you accept criticism without letting it weaken you or drag you down. Some criticism may be fair and thoughtful, but much will be politically motivated or nonsensical. A few relevant lines from Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem, “If.”
If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you…
Kipling didn’t write this for the business world, but he might as well have; it’s sound counsel.
It helps you handle self-doubt – A tough outer shell helps keep the demons of doubt at bay.
If your board of directors are doing there jobs, and you are doing your job there will be a shake up before it has to be ordained from on high: The almighty customer. If you’d like me to visit your firm and pick my brain on how to improve your bottom-line click here. The link will take you to my contact page on my website. Thank you. Jim
Jim Woods is a leadership development and training consultant deploying his unique abilities in character based training and strategy.
Jim is president of InnoThink Group a human resources and leadership management consulting firm | Skype ID – jim.woods79 http://www.innothinkgroup.com Click here to schedule an appointment.m. He has an absolute passion for people development and are constantly refining and adapting his programs in order to ensure that they have the maximum impact on those we serve.