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Monday, 17 August 2020


“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change the end of your comfort zone.
Roy Bennett
The importance of leadership cannot be over emphasized due to the imperative of leadership and for you to lead effectively, you must understand the nitty gritty of the various Cs f leadership and propounded by Lee Iacocca.

What Is Leadership? 

Leadership captures the essentials of being able and prepared to inspire others. Effective leadership is based upon ideas—both original and borrowed—that are effectively communicated to others in a way that engages them enough to act as the leader wants them to act. 

A leader inspires others to act while simultaneously directing the way that they act. They must be personable enough for others to follow their orders, and they must have the critical thinking skills to know the best way to use the resources at an organization's disposal. 

Lee Iacocca propounded a theory on the Cs of leadership and Its key themes are summarized below in the principles below according to the write up of Roderic Yapp :


Leaders are curious by their very nature. They know that the world is more complex than they can comprehend but they work hard to understand it. They read voraciously looking to build their knowledge and their internal context so that it informs their decision-making, They also seek to immerse themselves amongst people that don’t think like them. This is the true value of diversity. If people see the world differently and are comfortable sharing their views, you benefit from another perception which you can use to inform your actions. Leaders have to get out of their comfort zone and explore new ideas. They must be prepared to be challenged. If they don’t, they run the risk of living in ‘echo chambers of thinking’ where people just agree with them. This is dangerous territory as it creates blindspots. Iacocca believes that the inability to listen is a form of arrogance, either you think you know it all or you don’t care.


Leaders have to be willing to try something different. They need to be able to take calculated risks. This is not about being reckless. It is about trying things and learning from failure. Perversely, it is risky to play it safe all the time because you don’t make step-change improvements and create anything valuable unless you are willing to take a risk. No one remembers Virgin Cola, it was a spectacular failure but anyone that has ever achieved anything, did so by taking risks. You just have to make sure you manage your risks so that losses don’t kill you and take you out of the game.


Leaders communicate well. They tell people about the vision for the future making sure that they over-communicate it so that people really get the message. It’s not good enough to tell your spouse that you love them on their wedding day and leave it at that, assuming that they know and you’ll let them know if anything changes. When leading a company or transforming one, you have to constantly communicate what you are doing and why. Failure to do so means that people will not follow you.


This is about your moral fibre. David Brooks’ book on Character could just have easily been a book on leadership. I believe that most people know the difference between right and wrong. The lessons we learn on the playground as explained in Jon Huntsman’s book are valid throughout our lives. We know the path to follow but that doesn’t mean we always follow it. I think that leaders understand this issue. They know that every decision they make has a moral and ethical component to it. They have a strong sense of what is right and in the best interests of the greater good and they’re willing to follow the right path. As Lincoln said, ‘If you want to test a man’s character, give him power’.


This relates to character but I think what Iacocca is talking about here is ‘guts’. It’s not about swagger or tough talk. This is about doing the right thing even though you know it might land you in hot water. I’ve recently been learning about the ancient Greek philosophy of stoicism. The stoics regard Seneca as a great example of a stoic, someone who demonstrated enormous moral courage. Seneca asked questions and challenged people’s thinking. It led to his trial and subsequent death. Courage is the act of sticking to your principles whatever the consequences.


Leaders have to have passion. They have to have a fire in their belly, a desire to improve the status quo and leave the world in a better place than when they found it. This is what inspires us and makes us want to follow them.


I think this also relates to character but Iacocca defined it as the ability to build trust and inspire confidence. Are your words echoed in your actions? If they don’t, you run the risk of undermining yourself. Don’t make promises that you can’t keep.


You have to know what you are doing. You have to be competent at your role as a ‘doer’ and as a leader. You also need to have the humility to realise that you don’t know everything so surround yourself with people that see the world differently and have different skills and experience.

Common Sense

I don’t think there is anything to expand on here!
Iacocca believed that the most important C, came last that is; crisis
Crisis – you have to be capable of leading people through a situation when the chips are down and the stakes are high. Churchill, our greatest Briton, led the UK through the second world war. He is regarded as one of the finest leaders of all time.

Leadership is easy when things are going well. But when the pressure is in and lives and jobs are on the line, a real leader steps up and grips the situation. Lee Iacocca is a brilliant example of a great leader. One that survived the public humiliation of being fired by Henry Ford II, picked himself up and set himself the mission of saving Chrysler.

When looking for role model leaders, look beyond the present. If you do, you’ll find examples like Lee Iacocca. Examples that you can learn from and use to shape your own leadership behaviour.

So keep the dream alive! Success shall be yours!

Never Give Up!!
See You at the TOP!!!
It is well!

Muideen Adebayo Ibrahim is an entrepreneur: the Founder, LIBRA CONSULTING; a Management Consultancy Firm and BAMIB RESOURCES (a Premium Pencil Company) based in Lagos and can be reached via [email protected] or 08037221517 (sms) only please!

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