Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » "Listen to me."


I recently read a list of leadership no-nos. Actually, I would suggest these are acts against leadership. I understand leadership as a virtue rather than a title. Of course, many would disagree. However, my research suggests that most people want certain things of leaders like honesty, goodness, trust, general likeability, and many more. I began to see the consensus that people desire leaders to have virtues. If a leader-by-title/position did not have virtues, then they soon lacked true followers, which is the other half of the coin.

Dan McCarthy, Director of Executive Development Programs of the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at U. of New Hampshire, posted “20 Signs That You Can’t be Trusted as a Leader.” Though I would re-phrase the title, he presents a pretty good point, followers seem to want a good person to be there leader. Though in a different age, “The Prince” captivated the thoughts of those seeking political power, a free person would choose grants followership to those with no duplicity. A friend of mine about 2000 years ago mentioned something similar in regards to another person with no guile.

One of the listed signs is “You won’t listen.” Where does listening come from? Is it a born trait? Where are the courses on listening in colleges? How do you train adults to listen? Would you attend a conference to increase to leadership skills that revolved around listening?

These questions sound silly don’t they? Yet I doubt McCarthy would mention it in a top 20 list if it was not a problem many leader-by-titles face. This is even an issue in marriages. But where does this skill come from? I have some ideas, but I want to hear from you first.