The Moral Bucket List: Becoming a Virtuoso Leader

Posted by Bruce Peters

The post that best espouses the kind of person I've always wanted to be, as well as the kind of people I love to hang out with, was written by David Brooks in the April 11th, The New York Times Sunday Review, called The Moral Bucket ListDavid Brooks is an Op-Ed columnist and the author of “The Road to Character,” from which the post is adapted.

The moral bucket list requires an on-going process, to become the kind of virtuoso Brooks describes. This list parallels what it takes to be a facilitative leader as well as a good human. Becoming a great leader has all the elements of becoming a great person.  It too is an ongoing process to become a virtuoso.



"It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?" David Brooks

In the article, Brooks comes to the conclusion that wonderful people are made, not born, and had, what he calls an "unfakeable inner virtue," built slowly from specific moral and spiritual accomplishments.  Here are some of the accomplishments he refers to:

The Humility Shift

They have achieved a profound humility, which is best been defined as an intense self-awareness from a position of other-centeredness.


Character is built during the confrontation with your own weakness.

The Dependency Leap

No person can achieve self-mastery on his or her own. Individual will, reason and compassion are not strong enough to consistently defeat selfishness, pride and self-deception. We all need redemptive assistance from outside.

Energizing Love

The kind of love that decenters the self. It reminds you that your true riches are in another. Most of all, this love electrifies. It puts you in a state of need and makes it delightful to serve what you love.

The Call Within The Call

Some people have experiences that turn a career into a calling. These experiences quiet the self. All that matters is living up to the standard of excellence inherent in their craft.

The Conscience Leap

In most lives there’s a moment when people strip away all the branding and status symbols, all the prestige that goes with having gone to a certain school or been born into a certain family. They leap out beyond the utilitarian logic and crash through the barriers of their fears.

CEOhq's role is to foster relationships, community and process, to "turn on", enhance and magnify these characteristics within our community. Learning in community is the doorway to the possibilities of being this kind of person. The journey begins with an Individual Learning Plan and progresses to a Learning Community.

Too often, we don’t realize the knowledge and potential that we have within the team or group of people we've assembled. In many cases, the insight and knowledge needed to solve a problem or identify an innovative way forward is right there inside the organization. The skill to unlock that knowledge and expertise is often found in the form of facilitation, or facilitative leadership.

CEOhq's Facilitative Leadership Program, based on the work of Dr. Lee Thayer, author of “Leadership: Thinking, Being, Doing,” helps to unlock this knowledge and expertise. Dr. Thayer once said, "Learning leads to Growth leads to Life."  Never have truer words been spoken.

"Each person must look to themself to teach the meaning of life.  It is not something discovered; it's something molded."  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Do you want to learn more about creating an Individual Learning Plan, or how to build your organization into a Learning Community?  Sign up for our FREE 1/2 hour consultation. 

Sign up for FREE 1/2 hour consultation-Individual Learning Plan   Sign up for FREE consultation Learning Community

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Topics: Leadership, FLP, leader, relationship

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