Leadership – Values and Charisma
In the last decade I have dedicated quite a lot of time to interchangeable application and transfer of the knowledge gained in Martial arts to Leadership and vice versa. A very similar value-driven system is the binding issue in both, Martial arts and leadership, as I see it. The deep insight of martial arts’ system should be well understood no matter if it is about protection (self or others) or the competition: to master a complete self-understanding on the way to master oneself, a true martial artist always strives to be in harmony with the nature. This claim alone points to the similarities between leadership and Martial arts: fears that we face and are aware of while in a fight are quite similar to those in a leadership process when leading, for example, organizational structural changes.
Martial arts and leadership have values. What about charisma?
BusinessDictionary.com’s (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/charismatic-leadership.html) defines ‘a charismatic leader’:
“The guidance provided to an organization by one or more individuals seen as heroic or inspiring and who have therefore been granted the organizational power to make dramatic changes and extract extraordinary performance levels from its staff. For example, a business manager imbued with charismatic leadership could be enlisted to orchestrate a turnaround or launch a new product line.”
My first dilemma with the above definition is how one can mix up two different roles, namely business management and leadership? It looks like many people interchange and mix up two very important roles in any organization. Both roles are needed and necessary to an organization. Both bear the burden of being defined by employees to be good or bad.
But is it about good or bad?
I have already written that it is not about the definition of a good / bad leader. It is much more about how he/she should behave and what he/she should aim for in order to be the successful leader. Therefore, the question here is not about charisma but rather about what kind of personality a good leader (martial artist) has?
When talking about personality we immediately hit ‘the values’. Unfortunately, people mostly tend to mix virtue, morals and ethics due to not having a clear idea which term to use and when. We are asked for an ethical behavior or moral business and at the same time are explained that values have changed in last decades.
Values are the principles we use to define that which is right, good and just. Morals are values which we attribute to a system of beliefs. Ethics represent our actions and decisions.
Let’s return to values: values exist, whether we recognize them or not. Personal values most probably determine our priorities and are our measures. For a company, to define itself and to guide the behavior of employees, it is very important to have clear values. When values are shared by all members of an organization, they are extremely important tools for making decisions, judgments, assessing probable outcomes of contemplated actions or choosing among alternatives. If martial arts teachers or leaders and/or executive teams do not lead by them, the values become a responsibility of each employee (or martial art student). As such, they become a differing and not a binding element of a company (or a martial arts gym).
Do we want that to happen?