Conclusion: Becoming a
Principled, Diplomatic Leader
This book has been about how leaders develop insight into themselves and their environment and use this knowledge to regulate their behavior and set a course for development. Along the way, they get some help from organizational support systems, such as 360-degree feedback survey results, executive coaches, and training courses and workshops. They muster their inner strength to overcome career barriers and become continuous learners.
The book began by highlighting dimensions of effective leadership behavior and performance that serve as a guide for assessing skills and knowledge in relation to organizational requirements, setting development goals, and seeking developmental experiences and feedback. Leaders need not only leadership skills, but also emotional maturity to be resilient and maintain their motivation. Leadership skills can be learned easily in comparison to emotional maturity, which is harder to grasp and may take years to acquire. This concluding chapter explores more deeply how leaders can be guided by solid values and be effective. In particular, the focus is on how to be a principled leader, especially when problems arise. It also suggests ways leaders can develop their health and creativity and, in the process, gain acclaim for their overall wisdom.
PRINCIPLES IN TOUGH TIMES
Self-interest and profits are not the main motives behind an executive's success. Solomon (1999) argued that business is primarily a social enterprise. Therefore, success requires awareness and promotion of mutual interests and concerns. This requires cooperative effort, trust, and personal integrity. Executives may be pulled between doing what is ethically right and doing what seems expedient for short-term gain. This tension can be resolved by holding to the belief that busi-