Learn, apply, teach; keep these in mind as we go forward through this blog. Those of you who know me or have heard me speak are familiar with the 4Cs of Leadership: Character + Competence + Critical Thinking = Credibility. It’s the foundation of everything I do. You are also aware that I am no idealist when it comes to human nature; therefore, I’m always screening and assessing people. Here are some things I have learned that may help you. First of all, when you begin a worthwhile venture, you must have the right things in place to assess people. Subterfuge is all around us. It is defined as “something designed to deceive: a plan, action, or device designed to hide a real objective, or the process of hiding a real objective.” (Bing Dictionary) People are experts at this. In fact, the model came out of a period of frustration I was having with people I was partnering with. I saw the deception and broke away. Unfortunately, other people did not and in time, it cost them. In fall 2008, I discussed this with my friend who gave me the opportunity to talk about what a leader should be and what qualities they should possess at his church. After the service, I knew I had something. I could have been bitter but I decided to be solution-oriented. I believed if I could teach folks what type of leader to become and what to look for in others, and they acted on the counsel, progress would take place.
Defining the Model Further
The first part of the model is character. Character is defined as the sum total of all the positive virtues you possess. Are you patient, kind, courageous, devoted, loving, respectful, and accountable toward others? Although there are too many character traits to name, we can add as many as we want under the rubric as they come to mind. Character covers all the virtues people possess and cast a wide net. One individual insisted that I add compassion to my model. I told him, “I don’t need to add compassion and character together in the model; compassion is already covered in the first C – to say otherwise conveys a lack of logical reasoning.” Competence is next. It’s easy to define. Competence is your abilities. Are you working within your abilities or are you over or under qualified? Competence is important. People don’t trust incompetence, nor should they. Our third C is critical thinking. I don’t define this as ability or skill set but rather an approach. I have worked with severely mentally disturbed and cognitively impaired people who are able to think critically due to their limitation. I marveled at the stuff they came up with. I learned that critical thinking is a dexterous approach to problem solving that produces desired outcomes. It’s more than thinking outside the box – a critical thinker avoids the box altogether. Our last C is simply credibility. It’s the product of the previous three, a person of high credibility – one people listen to. The more you hone the 4Cs and screen for it, the less problems and issues you will have with the teams you build and the subterfuge people use as they seek to become a part of what you are doing
In sum, we have all made poor choices about people. We have listened to the subterfuge and in turn projected quality traits toward them that they never had. Learn, apply, teach.
Hakim Hazim is the founder of Relevant Now Consultancy and L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST Intervention Specialist. Hakim has been immersed in research for at risk populations since 1993. His successful results confirmed first-hand that: “The price of incarceration in terms of expense for housing offenders is too much for society to consistently pay, and the future grows darker. Bluntly put, we can’t sustain the cost in lives or resources. It is my fervent belief that a productive tax-paying citizen is a far better option. Given the right tools, young people can change and lead positive lives.” As a certified Crisis Prevention Institute Senior Trainer and Behavior Intervention Specialist he specializes in the following various areas of security: counterterrorism, radical religious sects, gangs, juvenile delinquency and law enforcement approaches for mentally ill or challenged individuals. Hakim is also the creator of the 4Cs of Leadership trainings and MC2U: “Mentoring Challenge to You” initiative.