The Basic Leadership Diamond

Review this explanation of leadership that incorporates acting ethically with vision and courage. Think about how this depiction compares to the examples of moral courage you reviewed previously.

Graphic of the leadership diamond.

We will be having many discussions about the Leadership Diamond, and how it applies to life, the universe, and everything (to quote Douglas Adams). So, just to make the corners of the diamond visible to all, I am posting this diagram summarizing, in the most basic terms, the concepts of the diamond.

In general, the basic concepts are:



Having a clear vision of what it is you are trying to create as a result of your effort is essential to being able to know how to apply the other points of the diamond.



Ethics, as it is used in the Diamond model is more than behaving within the law. The Diamond uses this term to describe an attitude of care and empathy for humanity, and how our actions affect others. It includes our ability to dedicate ourselves to the well being of another human being.



For me, courage is the action point of the Diamond. It takes courage to face the challenges that stand between today's reality and the vision of the future. It takes courage to change the status quo. It takes courage to move when others are against you. It takes courage to begin change.



Being connected to the real world is essential for success. You cannot live in a fantasy world. You must face the realities of today - the moral, financial, legal, and physical realities. You cannot pretend that realities do not exist. However, once you are grounded in reality, you can begin to see the steps necessary to deliver on the vision you have in mind.



Conflict and contradiction are part of life. The world is filled with cases where you will be faced with polarities - conflicts between two ideals or choices. What you will discover is that the world is not black or white, good or evil, right or wrong. You soon find that the world is comprised of polarities where both cases are valid - it is black AND white, it is good AND evil, at the same time. Balancing polarities is part of mastering the Leadership Diamond.



This is perhaps the most difficult of the basic concepts of the Diamond. To me, greatness comes about when a person has pushed the points of the Diamond to their maximum extent. When your vision is as grand as you can make it, when your ethical base is as strong as possible, when you are aware of all of the realities surrounding you, and when your courage is at its peak, you can achieve greatness.

Graphic that depicts the leadership diamond and room for greatness.

Source: James F. Elliott,
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

Last modified: Thursday, January 21, 2021, 3:10 PM