While so many things have changed in our world, particularly in the last couple decades given technology; there are ideas that remain relevant over thousands of years. Whatever your religion or belief system, most have guiding principles for how to behave and treat others. Over 2,000 years ago the Buddha created a set of guidelines for kings. These were outlined in a recent Kansas City Star article and I agree that they remain relevant for today’s leaders.
The 10 Royal Qualities are:
- Charity – willingness to sacrifice one’s interest for the good of the people. Too often in the last decade we’ve seen business leaders who seemingly care about themselves and their fat compensation packages and not the thousands of employees they lay off.
- Morality – maintaining a high moral code in one’s personal conduct. In my experience, the most revered and respected leaders live by a strong moral code which guides their actions.
- Altruism – Generosity toward people, avoiding selfishness. While I believe in a free market and competition as the best economic model, sometimes is leaders’ competitiveness shoves altruism to a lower concern.
- Honesty – handling one’s duties with loyalty and integrity. Need I say more?
- Gentleness – Being kind and gentle, never arrogant. The best leaders I’ve known are confident, not arrogant. We learned in kindergarten to treat others with respect and kindness. Gentle may be a bit of a stretch for leaders.
- Self-Control – performing one’s duties with dispassion. This quality and the next 3 all fall into what we now term “emotional intelligence” or EQ. Research shows that more than 90% of high performers in leadership roles today have a high EQ. Buddha used different words for the same concepts!
- Non-Anger – remaining calm in the face of chaos. This is a foundational skill in EQ. The best leaders are able to control their emotions and harness them for effectiveness. They remain calm and step up during times of crisis. Think about many of the great military generals, or Abraham Lincoln. Steadiness and calmness can be crucial during tough times.
- Nonviolence – not persecuting people. To me this isn’t as much about physical violence but the way leaders treat their team. Using non-abusive words even when correcting or providing feedback for improvement is much more effective.
- Forbearance – practicing patience in one’s duties. Probably the hardest of the qualities to maintain in the age we live in now where speed is of the essence.
- Uprightness – respecting public opinion and promoting harmony. I personally believe that collaborative teams and leaders deliver the best results. We don’t always have to agree when we are on a team – we can disagree respectfully and really listen to other’s perspectives rather than winning our own point. I’ve found this usually leads to better ideas and solutions.
All of these certainly stand the test of time and are terrific qualities for us to develop in our leadership tool kit. For more information, visit our website at makinglifecount.com or contact Joni Lindquist – firstname.lastname@example.org, (913) 345-1881.