July 29, 2005
Vol. 2, No. 30

Published Weekly on Fridays
By Leadership University

A Note from the Founder – Mike R. Jay, Master
Business Coach

Leadership & Conviction

“Convictions are necessary because, without them,
leaders would not be able to sustain the energy
required to persevere.  Leadership is so
devilishly difficult - constant battering of pride
and ego, two setbacks for every step forward, the
burdensome responsibility for the welfare of
others, the cross of unpopularity, the manifold
risks- that only those who believe passionately in
what they are doing can muster the will to get up
morning after morning and resume the often
thankless task.” - O'Toole, J. (1999). "Leadership
A to Z: A Guide for the Appropriately Ambitious",
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc.

I suspect I wanted to write this particular
“leadercast” to use the quote. In our coach
training with leaders, we often talk about three
core competencies: connection, clarification and
commitment. Yet, over time, one thing that has
become clear is that there are a variety of stages
of each of those competencies and more
specifically conviction is a stage of commitment
that is often lacking in leadership circles.

As the quote states: "…leadership is not something
that weighs lightly on the soul of a person."

Today, I’m especially concerned with the
complexity of leadership and the lack of
conviction in a lot of leadership. I suppose
conviction often gets confused with dominance.
However, dominance and control are means not ends,
therefore should not be confused with conviction
in the end.

O’Toole goes on to say:
"Abraham Lincoln believed fervently in the
preservation of the Union and in the principles
found in the Declaration of Independence. Winston
Churchill was passionate in his hatred of fascist
tyranny. Margaret Thatcher was equally vehement
about her abhorrence of communism. And, on a less
lofty plane, Bill Gates believes down to his nerdy
core everything he says about the future of
technology and Microsoft's role in making it

Such zealous certainty about the rightness of
one's cause is neither a luxury nor a nice-to-have
leadership characteristic: it is a necessity.
Convictions are necessary because, without them,
leaders would not be able to sustain the energy
required to persevere. "

In studying conviction I find that there are
levels of commitment which lead up to conviction
that are important for leadership. The levels are
based on the following five characteristics of
commitment from least to conviction:


In a nut shell, in order to establish conviction
through leadership we need all of the levels of
commitment. In a longer expose located here:
http://www.coachingedge.com/news2/commit.htm I
attempt to explain how we can create efficient,
effective and sustainable leadership through
understanding how commitment and thus conviction
form over time and effort.

It’s not enough for the leader to have conviction;
it’s the ability to extend the conviction into
followership that will provide the necessary
energy for an organization to remain resilient in
these complex times.

Are you interested in learning more about these
methods? Join us in LeadU for action, security,
strategy, collaboration, evolution and spirit in

From the desk of Mike R. Jay, Master Business Coach
Founder, http://www.leadershipuniversity.com 

P.S.  Please visit my blog at 
http://www.integraleader.com    to comment on
this and other articles about leadership.

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W E E K  O F  A U G U S T   1

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W E E K  O F  A U G U S T   8

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