Being an individual of “Character” has never been so important as right now. Having a clear and compelling Vision for where you wish to go, and how you can best achieve your objectives, gives you the foundation for putting into action your Leadership Values and Wisdom. Companies and Organizations around the Globe are searching to find those special individuals who can “Build Teams, Inspire Performance and turn Goals into Outcomes.” Remember, ” A goal is a dream with a deadline!” Character is “DNA” that turns goals into reality.
In my recent newsletter “Moral Courage – Your DNA for Leadership Integrity”, I wrote about the aspects of moral courage in a world that seems to be moving faster and faster toward a meltdown of ethical behavior and values. Based on your own experience, what actions would you take to stop this deadly values erosion?
Here are a few fantastic replies:
Great piece on moral courage. I agree wholeheartedly and am distressed there is so little of it in our world today… You wrote about McCrystal’s book (which I’ll pick up asap). Not sure if you’ve read Scaling Up Excellence yet, but I’m almost through it and it is the best business book I’ve read since Good To Great. Written by two Stanford B-School profs, there is so much in it that resonates with lessons you and Snadecki taught me over the years.
I know I’ve told you many times before, but I want to again express my deep gratitude for all you gave me while I was in Sun Valley. Priceless, invaluable counsel and advice… I’m forever in your debt…
“My thoughts on Integrity and Leadership. Moral training is not a part of our education system – very little exposure to Right and Wrong! Organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA (morals and leadership), Military (discipline and personal hygiene). Since the 1960’s the respect for anyone in authority has greatly diminished. The “Feel Good, Do It” era has held forth and deferred gratification is not important. How can you be an effective leader if you are unwilling to build a foundation in the basics of any line of work? Results in excellence!”
“This is the best of the newsletters which you have sent out… Oustanding! I truly love the focus of this. Asking ‘why we’… ‘where [are] we’… and then poviding the answer… Clear, focused, powerful.”
“I always find your thoughts stimulating. You remark on the seeming collapse of morality and intergrity amongst the very people from whom we expect a good deal more. You cite McChrystal’s point that the present climate of complexity leads to uncertainty. That climate no doubt means that talented individuals operate in isolation from one another and lack the sense of a common social responsibility. Our complex setting(s) mire us in unpredictability.
That unpredictability means the obscuring of the effects to which causes lead. This throws people back on to the one yardstick universally recognized as measuring success – money. Everything is hitched to money because it is the one standard which survives the surrounding anarchy, and everyone can use it as a measure. The threat of uncertainty and unpredictability results in the shunning of long-term solutions in favour of short-term objectives which are more manageable. Why else is the country littered with power lines strung up on poles above ground which are obviously more vulnerable to bad weather over the long term than are those run underground, as in Europe? The pressure in American capitalism is to produce quick, impressive results, not wise investment. In such a scenario, our vaunted individualism means the left hand knows not what the right hand does, nor sees any obligation toward enlightenment. What is important is to produce short-term profits.
Though money is taken to be the one accurate yardstick and is considered to be self-justifying, we can see that its predominance in the moral sphere is an example of the inability to subject it to other standards which display its destructive pretensions as the universal moral standard. Complexity and unpredictability have freed it from all restraints with results we all deplore. Even our wisest judges, treating unrestrained money as merely an expression of free speech, appear to justify this with some sort of alleged constitution-based anarchy.”
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I spent the last month considering all that is going on around us. To effectively cope with these changes requires a change in how we think about organizations and the values and behaviors that shape their cultures.
Think about your own personal experiences – when you have been most successful and impactful in what you’re seeking to achieve or accomplish. Why were you effective? Truth, integrity, honesty, caring, compassion, openness and respect are powerful and compelling values that we live through our behaviors. They become the true DNA of our personal leadership and success. You cannot fake these values. You have them and live by them, or you don’t. The world at large, as foolish as it may seem to be based on headlines and twitter posts, knows when a person is real or not.
Our challenge today is adapting our way of thinking to be flexible and able to cope with rapid change that is not going to slow down… we can be ourselves, and in being ourselves, become role models for excellence. The world is desperate for leadership. This is your time to step up and become a man or woman of action by “Living your Values.”
It is time for each of us to step up and hold ourselves accountable for making a difference in our world and the lives of those around us.
The key for success in today’s rapidly changing and evolving world still lies in your ability to become an effective, compelling and Trusted Leader. How do you do this most authentically ? Never lose sight of your own Values, keeping them in view all the time. It takes “moral courage” to live your values when so many others around you are willing to change direction the minute the going gets tough. We are living in a world today where few individuals really take the time to discover what is happening and where the truth may reside. Being an individual of “Character” is the DNA for your long term success.
My approach is to coach an individual who can learn to build relationships, trust, and long term partnerships. It is not training. Unless an individual can experience this inside-out approach, it is very hard to grasp and understand the powerful difference. In truth, the key is bringing yourself to every meeting and having your inside values and behaviors match your outside values and behaviors — being clearly perceived as the individual you are at all times in all situations.
Success is the outcome of matching individuals’ values with their “Character” and what drives their behaviors. Based on my experience, we do business with those individuals with whom we like, trust and share values. When this “Fit” is present in our relationships, our chance for successful outcomes is infinitely improved.
Looking at individuals who are able to become effective and inspiring leaders, I see in them several reoccurring behaviors and attitudes. One that seems to stand out is how the individual grows and develops into what I call ” A Servant Leader.” Let me briefly define what I mean by this term. I believe a ” Servant Leader” is an individual whose core values are ingrained and they live and practice them consistently each day through their Behaviors, Deeds and Words.
What are these core Values and matching Behaviors? Simply put they are: Integrity, Truth, Trust, Caring and Honesty wrapped up in a mantel of Moral Courage , Love and Faith– the belief that they have a ministry and that is helping make the World a Better Place for all human Beings.
My experience supports my Belief that the most effective individuals become Leaders through a journey allowing them to understand their gifts and recognize the ” Power for Good” these endowed gifts give them. Being a Servant Leader is not about ” self,” it is about the desire to help others discover their true gifts , and in doing so, light the internal quest for Truth, Caring and Helping Others– the Community of Love .
Being true to yourself is a critical component within the Mantel of a Serving Leader. This is one of the core components allowing an individual to always Be Themselves in every situation and all environments. Consistent Behavior carries within it the seeds from which Trust is built and developed. That is one reason successful Serving Leaders are fine communicators. How we communicate combined with our actions and behaviors become the ” DNA” reaching across time and space to build esprit de corps and the Culture of Trust.
This is the Gift of becoming a Servant Leader.
As a convenient addition to onsite coaching, I am now offering one-on-one and group coaching sessions via Skype. One major benefit of onsite coaching is that people remain in their element – in practice with their regular routine and environment. Skype is a wonderful and easy way to provide this face-to-face contact. For more information and to schedule a Skype session, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My friend Vern Loucks wrote a response to this month’s Mobley Leadership newsletter entitled “Leadership in Crisis.” With his permission, I’d like to share it with you below. Please sign up on my website to receive future newsletters.
“This is a wonderful challenge to humankind. It asks for the best in all of us. As well, it asks for abandonment of the selfish greed that seems to guide so much of what goes on in our very troubled world. Lee Iacocoa wrote a book entitled ‘Where Have All The Leaders Gone?’ Perhaps this was the most important question of our time.
To me, incompetence and greed and self pride are becoming the drivers of ‘Character’ within the great powers of our time. They are compelling to those who are at the top of too many power drivers, and they inspire acceptance of mediocrity and despotism.
Today the pinnacles of power are not leaders, they are imposters without understanding, and without worthy goals or the intelligence to pursue them. They are incompetent to set lofty enough objectives to inspire us all toward unstoppable pursuit of worthy accomplishment. Again – they are not leaders, they are being led by the masses who want ‘something for nothing’. These masses place those who will sustain this concept at the top of their priority lists. Values and character are not on their lists of worthy pursuit and selfish agenda has dominated the strategy for much of mankind.
We need help, perhaps Divine help to realign our focus and lead us from the abyss we are nearing to a sincere caring for each other. Who can provide this necessary leadership to our splintered world? Hope is getting worn out! Is there going to be a reward to mankind for this seeming eternity of good wishes for a future with value based character? Where are the leaders that will inspire that March to a worthwhile future for our children and grandchildren? What’s the process to get the ball rolling?
Thanks for your spark Bob. Now how do we create a raging fire from that great spark?”