Augusta Business Daily

Thu, September 28, 2023

Thoughts from the General: The C’s that define extraordinary leadership

Perry M. Smith, Jr.

There are 11 “C’s” which I believe help define extraordinary leadership. They are Compassion, Creativity, Confidence, Consistency, Consideration, Courage, Charity, Competence, Communication, Courtesy, and Collaboration.

Leaders who follow the eleven C’s make our world a better place. You may wish to grade yourself in each category.

I would like to highlight five extraordinary leaders in Augusta who embody the eleven C’s: Shell Berry, Randy Hatcher, Kim Evans, Clint Bryant, and Jeff Annis.

Compassion. Medal of Honor and Carnegie Medal recipients can be our guide. In many cases, these people acted heroically because of the compassion they felt for those in grave danger. Throughout the CSRA, thousands of folks are deeply compassionate as they provide care for others.

Creativity. Here are four aspects of creativity: Being creative yourself; recognizing creativity in others; operationalizing novel ideas, and protecting creative people from their bad ideas. To make creative folks happy, implement some of their ideas and give them credit. Donald Trump scores high in this area.

Confidence. The best leaders have self-confidence unmarked by arrogance. Good examples in the military were Colin Powell and George Marshall. In the industry, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. On TV, Judy Woodruff and David Gergen.

Consistency. Leaders should practice consistency in their actions and decisions. Those who constantly flip-flop are tough to work for. When leaders change their minds, they should explain why.

Consideration. Years ago, my golf partner was a handicapped veteran, Jack Berlin. The opposing players gave Jack one extra stroke per hole (which was not enough). On the second nine, the kind and considerate Herbert Elliot gave Jack two strokes per hole. To his delight, Berlin won three holes and carried our team to victory. By the way, Joe Biden is solid in this area.

Courage. Samuel Johnson said, “Courage is the basic virtue. Of what use is wisdom if you don’t have the courage to act wisely? Of what importance is truth if you don’t have the courage to speak it?”

Charity. Many folks throughout the CSRA dig deep to support worthy causes. However, some wealthy folks do not have the “gifting gene.” Maddeningly, they give 1 or 2 percent of their income and declare themselves generous. Charity is not one of Donald Trump’s strengths.

Competence. This quality does not require explanation. President Eisenhower tops my list. So far, President Biden does poorly in this area.

Communication. Getting into the minds and hearts of folks requires good speaking and writing skills. Extroverts have an advantage with their speaking skills – especially if they are charismatic. Donald Trump is strong in this area. He can light up a crowd.

Courtesy. My wife, Connor, was with Jimmy Doolittle on his 90th birthday. When the elevator door opened, the spry American hero quickly got off so Connor could be the first to get on the elevator.

Collaboration. The best leaders work well with folks with whom they differ. A strong conservative, Ronald Reagan, and a dedicated liberal, Tip O’Neill, often found workable solutions to tough problems. Sadly, compromise is hard for Trump.

Leaders who follow the 11 C’s make our world a better place. You may wish to grade yourself in each category.

Please note: Two more essentials for leaders, integrity, and trust, will be examined in future articles.

Perry Smith is the author of seven books. Rules and Tools for Leaders is his most successful with 350,000 in print. Its fourth edition is available on

Do you enjoy and benefit from ABD’s business news? If so, CLICK HERE to find out ways you can help ABD achieve and expand our mission!

More Posts

Expo Preview: Pollock

Company: Pollock Contact:  Matt Dyches Phone: 706-733-0537 Website: Pollock Company Address: 1711 Central Avenue, Augusta, GA In 1965, E.B. Pollock launched an office equipment business in the heart of Augusta.