If you asked five people to name the top quality of leadership, you’d probably get five different answers. If you asked twenty people, you’d start to notice a pattern.
Regardless of what word you’d choose to best represent your ideal leader, hopefully you and I can both agree on something.
Hopefully we can agree that true and great leadership takes work.
Are leaders born or are they made?
Well, like the perfect diamond, great leadership is a combination of both.
Personally, I think diamonds are overrated. In jewelry stores all across the country, the world even, are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of diamonds.
Despite knowing how significant Ashley’s engagement ring would be to our lives, I still felt a little duped into spending so much on something so small. If diamonds are so rare, then why are they everywhere?
A diamond is forever they say. Well, at least that’s what De Beers started telling us in 1947.
Despite my opinions on the value of diamonds, I can’t ignore the parallel they run to leadership. Just as you can ask if true leaders are born or made, you can ask the same thing about diamonds.
Just like leaders, diamonds are made. But in both cases their true value is not revealed until after they’ve been crafted, cut and refined. (Tweet that!)
Today I want to share with you…
The 4 C’s of Diamond Leadership
Before a diamond is cut, it’s just a pretty stone. Sure there is value in it, like there is in each of us, but until it’s been masterfully chiseled to reveal the beauty inside, it’s still just a rock.
As diamonds are created from raw material, so are our best leaders. While I believe that great leaders are made, I also believe there must be something to make them from.
You may have the potential to become a great leader, but you won’t become one unless you cut the waste in your life to reveal your purpose.
Did you know there are different colors of diamonds?
When I was twenty-six and standing in the Robbins Brothers in Dallas, Texas, I had no idea. They sure don’t want the young men of the world to know there is anything but what they want you to buy.
However, the fact remains that there are different colors and types of diamonds. They’re not all created equal.
By the same token, not all leaders are created equal. While we each have our flaws, as do diamonds, we’re each unique.
Different leaders and different leadership styles are needed to help us through different struggles.
While it could be said that leaders rise to the occasion, it could also be said that the right leaders rise to the occasion.
The clearer the diamond the higher the quality.
I think this is the best parallel to leadership that diamonds provide. The clearer the leaders the higher their quality.
In the world of leadership, a buzzword is “transparency.”
People don’t like being lied to or having information withheld from them. Trust goes both ways. If you want your team to trust you, you have to trust them. You accomplish that by being clear with your expectations, your vision for the team, and yes, with your challenges too.
Your team knows when things get tough; don’t insult them by acting as if everything is fine.
The final C of diamond leadership is Carat.
In The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (affiliate), John Maxwell wrote,
It’s not the size of the project, it’s the size of the leader that counts.”
As we begin to read about, practice, and prepare our leadership, we increase its size. Similar to how not all leaders are created equal, not all leaders are of the same size.
New leaders have a smaller carat than leaders who have had more practice.
The goal I have for my leadership is to be constantly increasing its size, to practice leadership daily in one way or another.
While some diamonds are simply made larger than others, similarly, some leaders are born with more ability than others.
Our natural abilities may give us a boost in the beginning, but our real value comes after we’ve been sculpted over time. (Tweet that!)
So, are great leaders born or are they made?
I believe that born leaders who don’t go through a process of refinement are a waste of God-given ability. I also believe that anyone, even if their leadership talents are initially small, can be made into someone I’d be happy to follow.
Question: How can we apply the 4 C’s of diamond leadership on a daily basis?