Effective leadership requires a strong statement and demonstrated commitment to Ethics, Morals, and Values.
Recently we have heard about or witnessed leaders who failed to stand firm in their commitment. It is challenging to witness this, especially if we know them and have observed the deterioration of their leadership over time.
There is no greater example in present day than the glaring shifts in our political leaders and many of our corporate titans of industry. I once heard that the Presidential political season is a “silly season:’ that is precisely on-target.
When a leader, political or otherwise, changes course over time without rational explanation, or in a hasty manner, there is reason for concern for their followers.
One of our greatest challenges as a leader is remaining strong in our personal convictions and in our stated personal beliefs. If, as leaders, we sway in the breeze of popularity and shifting cultural norms, our followers will struggle to buy-in or to stay bought in.
Our character was largely formed by our basic beliefs and convictions; changes in character are never a positive attribute for an effective leader.
So, as the sands of time change, how do we stay committed to our beliefs, firm in our character, effective in our leadership, and remain a follower that others want to follow?
I think we do it by constantly assessing who we are and what we believe in. We refuse to sway to the shifting sands of cultural change, and we feel good about what we believe. A big piece of America in 2019 is people going after those who are seen as different or “outside the norms”; sadly, the norms that a leader can be attributed to “being outside of” are ever changing and whimsical. It seems to be a game today to catch a leader off-topic or speaking off-the-cuff and go after the leaders as being “anti-fill in the blank.”
With this type of environment, the leader must be on their A-game and their walk and talk must be 100% aligned with their character and stated beliefs. Leaders in 2019 who are not sure of themselves or their environment are easily attacked and destroyed…often times without ever recognizing what happened to them.
I was always careful about sending mixed messages as a leader, so I prepared a daily reminder that I kept in front of me. This simple item helped to ensure I stayed focused on the right items and pursued the path that defined me.
Model consistency of character: Solid trust develops when people trust you all the time
Employ honest communications: To be trustworthy, your words and music must match
Value transparency: Be honest and relate your weaknesses, honesty makes people relate to you better
Exemplify humility: People will not trust you if they see that you are driven by ego, jealousy, or an “I am better than you attitude”
Demonstrate support of others: Show a “put others first” mentality
Fulfill your promises: One of the fastest ways to break trust with others is in failing to meet you commitments
I also kept a small laminated card from my youngest son that provided a potent shot in the arm and an internal jolt of reality during challenging times and activities. Maybe these two simple items would be helpful to you or those who you are building into leaders for the future.
Stay Strong – Stay Focused! You are a Leader and a Visionary. Never Compromise your Faith and Morals – When in Doubt, Remember, I Love You and Will Always Support You!
Bottom line, leading in America in 2019 is very challenging and there is an ever-shrinking tolerance for error. An effective and long-term leader who understands ethics, morals, and values is constantly aware of themselves and ensures their walk and talk are aligned at all times. Stay strong! ~JETSR