The 5 C’s of Leadership

Being a leader comes naturally to some people and others have to work harder at it. These 5 skills will help you succeed as a leader.


The best communicators are great listeners and astute in their observations. Great communicators are skilled at reading a person/group by sensing the moods, dynamics, attitudes, values and concerns of those being communicated with. Not only do they read their environment well, but they possess the uncanny ability to adapt their messaging to said environment without missing a beat.


Collaborative leadership is really defined by a process, rather than by what leaders do. It has much in common with both servant leadership and transformational leadership. It starts, according to David Chrislip and Carl Larson, in Collaborative Leadership, from the premise that “…if you bring the appropriate people together in constructive ways with good information, they will create authentic visions and strategies for addressing the shared concerns of the organization or community.”


Without a foundation of trust, people in the organization may comply outwardly with a leader’s wishes, but they’re much less likely to conform privately—to adopt the values, culture, and mission of the organization in a sincere, lasting way. Workplaces lacking in trust often have a culture of “every employee for himself,” in which people feel that they must be vigilant about protecting their interests. Employees can become reluctant to help others because they’re unsure of whether their efforts will be reciprocated or recognized. The result: Shared organizational resources fall victim to the tragedy of the commons.


Your goal is to create a work environment in which people are empowered, productive, contributing, and happy. Don’t hobble them by limiting their tools or information. Trust them to do the right thing. Get out of their way and watch them catch fire.


The role of great leaders, he stresses, is to get people excited about and committed to their organization’s vision. He explains: “We need to understand about the role of the leader in employee engagement. Your leaders are either increasing engagement, or they are decreasing it. There is no middle ground. Everything a leader does that impacts on employees either increases or diminishes engagement.”

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