What makes a Leader

 By: Jason G. Williams

What makes a leader?

When you first come in contact with a person, usually, the first thing that you notice is their appearance. Nowadays, with the advent of social media its harder to notice appearance.

Therefore, you have to use all of your perceptive qualities to determine the type of person with whom you associate with. Once you’ve gathered all the information, you need to eventually classify this new person you’ve encountered, then you will make a judgement on what type of person you think they were, and are going to become.

But what do you do when you have to be around this person on an everyday basis? Well, I begin a more detailed breakdown of who I think they were, are and who I think they’re going to become. I begin to look at some of the things they do or say, paying close attention because after a period of time these mental notes become a collection of facts or what I also like to refer to as character.

Websters dictionary defines character as: distinctive quality, a distinguishing feature; attribute, the complex of mental and ethical traits marking a person or a group, moral excellence; reputation.

To reach excellence you must first be a leader of good character. I don’t know Jerry Jones but at first glance he, to me, doesn’t seem to be a person of “good character”. This is only my opinion but let’s do some further analysis of my point, lets strip away the billions of dollars he has and just look at the man.

“Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right things”. -Warren Bennis, Ph. D., American scholar, organizational consultant and author.

We can’t argue that he’s a leader, but we can argue if he’s a “good leader”. His first moves as an owner told the fans and the World the type of leader he is and was going to become, but if you put the dollar signs back on him everyone overlooks character. We all know the story well, he purchases the Cowboys from then owner Bum Bright and is given the single most monumental task in sports history. Deciding the fate of the most recognizable face in sports and in Dallas Cowboys history. Jerry Jones fires, Tom Landry, within 24 hours of signing on the dotted line. Is this “good character or leadership?” No, it’s an eccentric egotistical man hell-bent on making himself the face of the Cowboys instead of putting his character & leadership first.

With all do respect to Jerry Jones, he did show “good leadership & character” in the hours and days to follow by hiring Jimmy Johnson, bringing the long, starved Cowboys back home to where they rightfully belonged, Super Bowl Champions. However, since those early moments of owning the team, his iconic status as the man who returned the Boys back to prominence has slowly deteriorated, leaving us with a shaky future. Leadership starts at the top and should cascade down through the entire organization, if there is no leadership there is no direction. With the recent playoff history, scattered success with draft picks and constant salary cap issues the future doesn’t look bright.

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.” – Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD

Part 1 of a 10 part series.


One comment

  1. You make a great point about social media affecting the way we process first impressions! I think our intuition has to become more in tune to other cues that are available like who they’re friends with, how do they present themselves in their profile, etc. to determine if they’re someone we want to associate with.


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