Four Pillars of Leadership“Leadership is defined not by the scale of the opportunity but by the quality of the response.”  Chris Lowney

There is one promise you MUST make as a leader, and it is the promise to lead.  That may sound strange, but many leaders have abdicated their primary responsibility of leading and have become self absorbed, self serving, and, dare I say it, unloving.

In 2003, Chris Lowney, a former Jesuit turned investment banker, wrote a great book titled Heroic Leadership.  A principle that showed up early in his book and continued to be a theme throughout was that “we’re all leaders and that our whole lives are filled with leadership opportunities.”   He goes on to say “We can be leaders in everything we do–in our work and in our daily lives, when teaching others or learning from others.”

If leadership is something we can all do and it is not just for those “atop companies” or “on stage at work,” then we all need to understand what it is, and we all need to make a promise to the people in our lives that we will be that kind of leader.

Chris Lowney’s “Four Core Leadership Pillars,” those principles that become the heart of our promise to lead, are as follows:

  1. Self Awareness: I will understand my strengths, weaknesses, values, and worldview.
  2. Ingenuity: I will confidently innovate and adapt to embrace a changing world.
  3. Love: I will engage others in a positive, loving attitude.
  4. Heroism: I will energize myself and others through heroic ambition.

You can never promise certainty.  However, you can always promise to live your values, and you can make the promise to be a leader.  Make that promise to your team, or your students, or your family today.