Are you striving to become a better leader in 2024?
Maybe your job requires you to step up and guide others to do their tasks at work more efficiently. Maybe your spouse or family needs you to make clearer decisions or create a structure within your home. Or maybe you’re struggling to find your voice in your friend group and want to be able to lead others toward virtue.
Whoever you are, chances are there is an opportunity for you to lead in your day to day life. And chances are that leadership is an area in which we can all improve. Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” If you have had success in this area, and even if you haven’t, one characteristic of a great leader is the ability to adapt, to persevere, and to grow, no matter what.
If you’re looking for a virtue-focused guide to help you grow in confidence, virtue, and strength as a leader, Alexandre Havard is your man. Below are a few guiding principles in Havard’s understanding of leadership.
Alexandre Havard’s Guide to Leadership:
- Make virtue a habit. - “Leaders, no matter what their religious or philosophical convictions are, feel the promptings of the natural moral law, compelling them to do good and avoid evil. Leaders are, of course, as subject to sinful inclinations as anyone else. But they know that if they habitually practice virtue, they will strengthen their character and overcome their flaws.
- Lead with purpose. - “The sine qua non of improvement is the emotionally mature and intelligent desire to overcome oneself and to help others do likewise. This desire stems from a deep awareness of the exalted vocation of man. “Leadership,” says Drucker, “is the lifting of a man’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a man’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a man’s personality beyond its normal limitations.” This challenge applies both to the leader, and, through the leader, to the led. Leadership indeed is never an individualistic exercise. True leaders are always leaders of leaders.”
- Practice humility. - “Humility is the second virtue specific to leaders. Whereas magnanimity affirms our personal dignity and greatness, humility affirms the dignity and greatness of others. Leadership means pulling rather than pushing, teaching rather than ordering about, inspiring rather than berating. Thus, leadership is less about displays of power than the empowerment of others. To practice humility is to bring out the greatness in others, to give them the capacity to realize their human potential. In this sense, leaders are always teachers and fathers/mothers. Humility is the habit of serving others. A leader’s “followers” are the people he serves.”
These are just a few of the incredible lessons Havard offers in his literary corpus. For more like this, check out his Virtuous Leadership, From Temperment to Character, Discovering a Mission: My Way to Virtuous Leadership, Created for Greatness: the Power of Magnanimity, and Coached by Joan of Arc.