Leading with Character and Competence
Moving beyond Title, Position, and Authority
“Leadership is an applied discipline, not a foamy concept to muse about,” says three-time CEO, Oxford-trained scholar, and consultant Timothy R. Clark. “In fact, it's the most important applied discipline in the world.” The success of any organization can be traced directly to leadership. And leadership can be learned. But too many books and development programs focus exclusively on skills.
In reality, performance and ultimate credibility are based on a combination of character and competence. As Clark puts it, character is the core and competence the crust. He shows how greatness emerges from a powerful combination of the two, although in the end character is more important. A leader with character but no competence will be ineffective, while a leader with competence but no character is dangerous.
Clark spotlights the four most important components of character and competence and offers a series of eloquent, inspiring, and actionable reflections on what's needed to build each one. Fundamentally, he sees leadership as influence—leaders influence people “to climb, stretch, and become.” You need character to influence positively and competence to influence effectively.
This is a book for anyone, no matter where he or she is on the organization chart. Because today employees at all levels are being asked to step up, not only can everyone be a leader, everyone has to be. Clark's insights are profound, and his passion is infectious. “Leadership” he writes, “is the most engaging, inspiring, and deeply satisfying activity known to humankind. Through leadership we have the opportunity to progress, overcome adversity, change lives, and bless the race.”