Posts Tagged ‘deceit

08
Aug
13

Leakproof Leadership: The Security of Character

characterYou can’t go one second without the news of some major lapse in character from someone so trusted by the public that they definitely should have known better. We all know man is flawed and the good book says his heart is wicked beyond description, but here are three ways to stay above the fray and keep your character and integrity in check. Seems like we all could use a refresher course in integrity so, just in time for back-to-school, it’s the three R’s:

Responsibility:  Peter Drucker said, “Leadership is not magnetic personality. It is not making friends and influencing people. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights and raising performance to a higher standard.” Yet with every breach that’s broadcast, those in the perpetrator’s chain of command continue to circumvent and pass the buck. No one can be a rogue operator in your team because they are in your direct chain! Just because you didn’t know, or you turned a blind eye, does not absolve you of responsibility. You cannot dodge responsibility. Doing so only shows that you are truly unfit for leadership. To learn what lack of responsibility can cost, read A Ticking Time Bomb, by Joseph I. Lieberman, which painfully details the abject failure and gross negligence of the entire chain of command throughout Ft. Hood gunman Nidal Malik Hasan’s military career.

Respect: Elbert Hubbard said, “If you work for a man, in heaven’s name work for him! If he pays you wages that supply you your bread and butter, work for him, speak well of him, think well of him, stand by him and stand by the institution he represents. I think if I worked for a man I would work for him.” There’s an old adage that says a wise traveler never despises his own country. Now I have worked for some pretty despicable organizations, but while I was working for them I worked as hard as possible to uphold their standards, even if my own bosses did not. You see, no one can make you do anything illegal, immoral, or unethical. If your employer tries to make you do such things, you need to seek employment elsewhere and use the chain of command to bring it to the attention of others. To respond in kind to their behavior is unacceptable. Two wrongs never make a right. Recent examples of this are found in headline names such as Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and Edward Snowden.

Reading: Oscar Wilde said, “What you read when you don’t have to determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” Let’s face it, you are what you read. If you are not reading books that help you grown and realize your own personal convictions and develop your courage, you are wasting your time. What a person has on the bookshelf is a far better indicator of what’s really gong on inside them than any polygraph. You can lie through your teeth to your boss and he may never suspect otherwise. But your actions will eventually reflect exactly what is going on at the core of your character.  Elizabeth Cady Stanton said, “Self-development is a higher duty than self-sacrifice.” To learn more about the virtues of reading in a leader’s life check out the Top 8 Ways to Unleash Success at Your Company. All leaders are readers. If you’re not reading personal development material, you’re not leading. It’s that simple.

One of my favorite reads is John C. Maxwell’s, There’s No Such Thing as “Business” Ethics. He’s right. The bottom line is that only commitment can ensure compliance. No amount of non-disclosure, background checks or polygraphs can do that. If your character isn’t totally squared away to the point that you are ready to fall on your sword to protect what is moral, ethical, and legal, then you’d better not accept one iota of responsibility. Leakproof leadership is based on choosing your thoughts and actions based upon your values and not upon personal gain. Your convictions mirror your character. So take a good look at yourself in the mirror to make sure you are fit to report for leadership duty!

18
Jan
13

Manipulation with an expectation of vindication

humorkharma

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey

This week international sports-cycling legend Lance Armstrong publicly admitted that he had doped during all seven of his Tour de France victories. This was after years of denial, lying during testimonies, and attacks on those who spoke the truth.

While falls from grace sometimes never happen publicly, with some taking their secrets to the grave, there is no hiding when you do bad things. It all comes out. Karma may not hit you on the head in this lifetime, but it certainly will in the next.

Armstrong’s career was built on ill-gotten gains. It’s no different than conning an old lady out of her savings even if you use that money to feed the poor. You did “good” at the expense of doing “bad” and that is inexcusable. In legalese, they call it the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine: any evidence gained illegally is tainted whether it is accurate or not.

Defenders point to the good he did to help children through his philanthropy and the Livestrong Foundation. Their rationalization is rooted in Machiavellianism where the end justifies the means. Even the Good Book says “Treasures gained dishonestly profit no one, but righteousness rescues from death.”(Proverbs 10:2)

Like any publisher, I look for authors whose work embodies the philosophy and ethics of our readership. I take their written word as proof of their beliefs since most of the time I do not meet them in person. One particular author wrote an extraordinary book of high standards exhorting the reader to live their life in a truthful manner. As soon as the book came out, I discovered the author was not who they represented themselves to be. I immediately pulled the book from our website and other promotional channels. You see, even if it sold 100 Million copies and made me rich beyond my wildest dreams, I don’t want to profit from the fruit of the poisonous inkwell.

No one should be punished for the rest of their lives for white collar crime but if they think an apology and restitution erases the consequences of their actions they are idiots. Trust is like a sheet of paper. Once you wrinkle it up, even though you smooth it out there will always be creases and it will never be seamless again. Think Before you Act, should be changed to Think of the Consequences Before You Act. We can justify anything to ourselves due to our inherently selfish, short-sighted natures. But if we take the next step and consider how this will affect everyone else on the planet, it just might save us from crumpling up everything good we’ve written on the pages of our lives.

13
Dec
12

Deconstructing the Bull

PicassoBullI recently attended a board meeting where the members discussed whether or not the organization should purchase a building. The overwhelming majority of the room was in favor of the acquisition based on the simple fact that “all the pieces had fallen into place” so how could this not be the desired course of action?

Now I’ll admit that I’m more analytical than your average bear, but I also trust my heart and instinct as well. However, the line of reasoning the group used had some glaring errors. There is a spirit of truth; there is also a spirit of error. There is a spirit of light and a spirit of dark. Just because something looks good and attractive doesn’t mean you should go there. The simple fact that a building is available at a good price does not mean that a purchase is automatically a wise decision. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

It seems the ability to think with a discerning mind is almost a lost gift among leaders these days, which may explain why people in positions of power make such awful decisions. They are not looking past the present moment. They want “it” bad and that’s how they get it. We all face things that seem like possible paths or options in our lives, be it in our personal, professional, financial, or spiritual lives.

In 1945 – 1946 Pablo Picasso produced a powerful series of eleven drawings collectively titled Bull. When viewed in sequence, each drawing is a simplification of the previous one, moving from the realistic to the abstract. You can see how he worked away at the complex image bit by bit reducing it to a single fluid line that still posses all the power of the bull itself. His single line drawings are simple yet powerful as they create so much using a single unbroken line.

Picasso got down to the essence of the animal, the true reality of what defined it. We should all be so able to pare down the noise in our daily lives and decisions. My father always told me, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” I used to laugh at this when I was younger but as the years went by, I discovered that this was absolutely critical to my life. Debby Boone has a line in a song, “It can’t be wrong, when it feels so right.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Do you run from person to person seeking fulfillment? Do you allow other opportunities at work to derail you from the real work at hand because it just seems too good to be true? There are many great deceivers out there that convey a counterfeit message. They have their mission; the true test of leadership is determining if it is compatible with yours. Saying no out of fear is cowardice; saying no out of discernment is truly brilliant leadership. Can you deconstruct the bull?




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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