Posted on February 24, 2017 by Michael Kelly
What qualities do successful families, companies, schools, clubs, churches, governments, and other institutions have in common? This question is important to answer because if such qualities can be discovered then taught, learned, and practiced, society would benefit from a network of more successful institutions.
I have the good fortune of working with many successful people, so I asked them to help me answer the question. Their responses included: good communication, being empathetic or caring, acting ethically, and working as a team. Others cited being committed to a common goal or vision, understanding other peoples’ points of view, and striving for quality. These qualities and more are important for success.
Interestingly there are qualities mentioned less frequently or not at all. These include: being intelligent, athletic, rich, or having an important title. If we are looking to build a successful family, company, or society then looking toward the first set of qualities – those of communication, teamwork, understanding - seem most significant.
Also important is how someone defines success. Joyfulness, reaching a goal, freedom, seeing children or employees succeed, and being healthy topped people’s self-definition of success. There were those individuals who mentioned money, cars, houses, and other material possessions; but, possessions were mentioned less often or only in jest.
If there was one word to encompass all the qualities prerequisite for success, what would that word be? I think the word would be leadership - a common element for successful families, companies, governments. That is not overly surprising I suppose.
What is surprising perhaps is the lack of energy some people place into learning and teaching leadership. Maybe they believe that leaders are born, not made. Do not tell that to U.S. Military Academy at West Point. This is because their mission is to educate, train and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character. West Point, along with many other institutions agree that we can and should train leaders; not only leaders, but leaders of character. There may be a few people who are natural born leaders. But, most individuals must learn leadership.
Because building leadership is essential for the success of the El Paso region, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation developed the REALIZE Leadership Experience. REALIZE is a world class leadership development experience, custom designed by international leadership experts and Foundation staff, for top-level and emerging top-level management within the Paso del Norte region. The purpose of this leadership development experience is to inspire already capable leaders to become transformational leaders for the community and within their respective organizations. The experience includes leadership assessments, executive coaching, out-of-town experiential learning, seminars by national leadership experts, and much more. Only twenty people are accepted into the experience every two to three years and nominations are currently open. To learn more about the Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s REALIZE Leadership Experience, click here.
For the sake of successful families, companies, and community I encourage us all to pause in reflection of the importance developing our own leadership skills. Then, with input and help from trusted others, take steps to address those qualities that predict success – whatever success is for you.
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April 21, 2017
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