The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy – The Marks of a Mentor Leader: Characteristics that Matter
In this chapter of the book, Tony breaks down the characteristics into three groupings. And there are several key points to each of these groupings. Our character matters to God, it matters to those around us, and it should matter to you – as well as those you follow.
- Mentor Leaders are competent
- Mentor Leaders remain focused on integrity
- Mentor leaders are secure in their own skin
- Mentor leaders must be authentic
- Mentor leaders demonstrate courage and are willing to lead by example
- Mentor leaders keep the vision and mission out front
- Mentor leaders exercise faith
- Mentor leaders are always willing to examine and change paradigms
- Mentor leaders are accountable
- Mentor leaders understand the importance of being available and approachable
- Mentor leaders exhibit loyalty to those they lead
- Mentor leaders shepherd and protect their followers
One of my favorite quotes from this chapter was this:
“In a crisis, people crave character. But there’s no reason to wait for a crisis. You can continue to cultivate your character along the way, and it will contribute to your team’s performance long before a crisis ever comes. Character is the glue that bonds solid and meaningful relationships.”
- Review the trustworthy traits, leadership attributes, and relational qualities discussed in this chapter and evaluate whether you need to give additional attention to them in your own life.
- Are you accountable? Think hard about how those around you would describe you to others. Are you the kind of person who would be likely to “throw them under the bus”?
- Do you accept responsibility when appropriate, or do you always look to place the blame on others?
- Do you make sure that people are recognized—specifically, by name, where appropriate—when credit is to be given?
- If you are not presently accountable, look for ways in which others can see that you are willing to share the responsibility for things that go wrong.
- Do you live with integrity? Take an honest look at whether others would agree that your word is your bond. Can people take you at face value, or would they need something in writing to back up your word?
- Many people still resist the idea that leaders should be available and approachable. Evaluate your own perspective. Do you push back, hiding behind the attitude that you are too busy to hear directly from those around you? If you have too many direct reports, evaluate your attitudes about delegation, empowerment, and trust. Determine how you can begin to build strength into the people you lead.
- Are you loyal? When was the last time you went to bat for someone, especially against the tide of popular opinion? As a decision starts to gather momentum, do you shift to the winning side, or are you willing to stick to your guns? When your team is not in the room, do they believe that you will fight for them and their ideas? If not, look for small steps that will allow you to build up others’ faith in your loyalty.
- Are you comfortable with not being the most knowledgeable person in the room? Are you secure enough to teach and share with others the things you know that will help them to be better at what they do?
- Are you the same person in public as you are in private? Are you authentic? Can people rely on your sincerity?
- It has been suggested that character is demonstrated when no one is watching. Are you a person of character? Can others trust you when they’re not around? Just as important, are you helping and encouraging others to build their character as well?
- Are you shepherding those around you? your family? the people you lead? Would you place yourself in harm’s way for their sakes—either physically, as Coach Thompson did, or professionally?
- Are you willing to change? Are you continuing to develop your knowledge and skill to become the most competent person you can be?
- Do you exhibit faith in what you’re asking others to believe in?
About Shaun Worcester (125 posts)
Web geek by day (and early morning sometimes), husband, father, volunteer and friend by night. I am a self-taught web developer which has flourished into a good career, and today my focus is mostly on online marketing, project management, social media, HTML5, CSS3, and OOP PHP. I'm always reading a variety of things that will continue to feed my passions: online marketing, relationships, church leadership, and my own walk with Christ.
I've found the key to happiness (and survival) for me is to be well organized and structured so that I can do a 'good job' at everything. But one of these days I'm going to be able to withdraw from everything else and just spend my days w/ God, Gaby, family and friends.