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Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. were great leaders because they transformed their worlds. They took initiative, inspired, and stimulated ideas within their culture. They moved beyond self-interests and promoted the well being of others. Lincoln and MLK were great leaders because they implemented virtuous ideas and became trusted leaders that influenced a troubled culture.
The 4R Model of Transformational Leadership is a simple and eminent framework for integrating virtue into a global business and leadership perspective. The model works as a “conceptual home” for the critical variables in the transformational leadership process: Relationships, Roles, Responsibilities, and Results. With the help of the 4R model, leaders are able to become transformational leaders who are able to effectively motivate and inspire the organization.
The 4R model pictures the leader engaged in a network of collaborative relationships and places emphasis on a configuration of critical personal characteristics that are vital to developing these relationships. Within the relationship category, we understand that leadership is an essential relational and social endeavor—getting relationships right is a pre-requisite to everything else a leader does.
The relationships component of the 4R Model addresses the question: “What characteristics must all organizational leaders possess in order to provide effective, transformational leadership over time in a variety of situations?”
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Accountability is a hot topic in leadership and business development training today. It’s also a somewhat poorly misunderstood concept. People sometimes confuse “accountability” with “responsibility,” or associate accountability with shouldering the blame when something goes wrong. It’s actually much broader than these simple explanations. What really rings true to me about the ancient Roman tradition is that accountability is not just limited to personal liability—it’s so much bigger than that. Being accountable means standing behind—or under!–our products, our teams, and our commitment to overall excellence.
Accountability at work means taking initiative for projects, recognizing signals indicating something’s going wrong, and not only owning up to but also taking action when failure occurs. Check our previous blog post for more on our thoughts about the role of accountability in teamwork.
One of my favorite metaphors for defining accountability is described by former AT&T Chairman C. Michael Armstrong: “The ancient Romans had a tradition: whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible: he stood under the arch.”
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