For Peter Drucker, leadership is about communicating with people, uniting them behind a shared mission and values, and mobilizing energies toward accomplishing the mission or purpose of an organization. An effective leader leads followers with dignity, and inspires them toward achievement. That means that leadership is a means to an end--the mission it serves is the end.
Goals convert vision/mission into energy. When you lay out exactly what you want to do in detail, you immediately start feeling the room move and the earth shake.
“Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification,” by Martin Seligman, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania who helped establish the Positive Psychology movement, and Christopher Peterson, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, is a scholarly, 800-page reference book. The book was intended, according to the authors, as a “manual of the sanities,” an attempt to inaugurate what they described as a “science of good character.”
Seligman and Peterson consulted works from Aristotle to Confucius, from the Upanishads to the Torah, from the Boy Scout Handbook to profiles of Pokémon characters, and they settled on 24 character strengths common to all cultures and eras. The list included some we think of as traditional noble traits, like bravery, citizenship, fairness, wisdom and integrity; others that veer into the emotional realm, like love, humor, zest and appreciation of beauty; and still others that are more concerned with day-to-day human interactions: social intelligence (the ability to recognize interpersonal dynamics and adapt quickly to different social situations), kindness, self-regulation, gratitude.
In most societies, Seligman and Peterson wrote, these strengths were considered to have a moral valence, and in many cases they overlapped with religious laws and strictures. But their true importance did not come from their relationship to any system of ethics or moral laws but from their practical benefit: cultivating these strengths represented a reliable path to “the good life,” a life that was not just happy but also meaningful and fulfilling.
What does it take to transfer character and vision/mission into an action plan?
For educators, it is using this "Character Strengths and Virtues" handbook to generate lesson plans.
For career women, it is using the Workbook Edition of "When Doing It All Won't Do" self-coaching guide to create and implement your personal career plan to get to where you want to be.
Source: The New York Times Magazine, September 18, 2011
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