Leadership as a Diamond

Douglas G. Long of Sydney once likened leadership to a diamond. Just as a diamond is “...a very hard and brilliant precious stone, consisting of pure carbon crystallised in regular octahedrons [a polyhedron having eight plane faces]...and the hardest substance known”, so leadership (and effective management, for that matter) can be likened to a diamond. Hard and multi-faceted.

In his 1995 work “The Challenge of the Diamond”, Long described the eight facets of leadership, they being: Self Confidence; Values; Integrity; People; Change; Creativity; Communication; and Environment.

In his Leadership/Diamond simile, he defined leadership as: the hardest task known in the management function: the ultimate jewel and the most precious gem in the entire organisational galaxy.

As Long says, most leadership approaches are unitary...they deal with one aspect of leadership – generally that of influencing an individual or a group of individuals. By taking Long’s organic approach to leadership, the aberrations of one or more leaders can be corrected and the organisation can be better equipped to achieve its results.

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