Important to the Boss
I teach leadership at Troy
University-- one of the most exciting and forward-looking universities
in the nation. Troy is a global university that equips students
for life now and in the future by helping them develop intellectually,
emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Last week I met an undergraduate
leadership class on the main campus for the first time. Most class
members are bright enthusiastic young people attending Troy on
On this first day, I asked: "What
are some important characteristics of good leaders?”
The answers were on target: “honesty,”
‘competence,” “other-centeredness,” “confidence,”
“commitment,” “strong communication skills.”
Then one upperclassman said, there are six important
characteristics,” and he proceeded to list the six things that I wrote
about in my November 2003 column.
I asked, "How did you come up
with that list?”
The student replied, "I heard you
make those points in a speech last semester. I wrote them down
knowing that I was going to take a course from you.
I decided if those characteristics are important to you, then
they are important to me.”
I was flattered; but
more than that, I thought, "Here is a young man who understands the
wisdom of knowing what those in authority over him think is important.
Now it’s his teacher; sometime it will be his supervisor or his
boss.” This young man has
learned a lesson that some people never seem to learn.
He knows what’s important to the boss.