Posts Tagged ‘integrity

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!

01
Aug
13

The Three Decisions by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Three_Decisions1I’ve heard my father give this speech hundreds of times. In fact, it was a major section of his bestselling motivational classic, Life Is TremendousThe Three Decisions: Who are you going to live your life with, what are you going to live your life doing, and who you are going to live your life for. I know my father worked very hard and came from humble beginnings, but I always kind of assumed that he was one of the very few who just got it right the first time. After all, he married my mother at 20 years of age and they stayed married for the next 60 years. He was a world-renowned motivational speaker who had a certain charisma that was unrivaled. His faith in the almighty God after he became a Christian at 23 was as pure and radical a transformation as Paul’s on the road to Damascus.

So easy for him to make these decisions, right? Wrong! When you read The Three Decisions you will see a man who made a decision and then spent his life committing himself to it. There was nothing easy about it. Committed people only look that way to outsiders. This is such a rarity these days we just assume great fortune or that the stars were aligned when someone leads a charmed life. There are no charmed lives. There are only those who live life giving their all to what they’ve committed to with their decisions.

My father said the secret to a lifelong marriage isn’t compatibility, its commitment, and that you cannot make this decision based on how it goes, but solely on integrity; that God does not put romance in marriage, but in people, and it’s up to us to ensure it stays there. My father also said that God never made a job to make a man; He made men to make a job. And if you wanted a better job, you needed to do a better job. And when my father finally made his personal commitment to accept the Bible as absolute truth, he pursued it with all his heart. He would say, “With all my heart I’m telling you this: you ought to know what you believe and why you believe what you believe, and you ought to be willing to believe it so you can get to the heart of what believing is really all about.”

His lifelong mantra was that if what you’re going to get supersedes what you’re going to give, you’re in the wrong ballpark. In other words, if you are always on the make for a better person, job, or god based on what it’s going to do for you, you aren’t even alive. But when you are so ready to commit to one person, one passion, and one master that you’d give it all up, then you are capable of making the three most important decisions of your life and to live life tremendously and triumphantly.

04
Mar
11

the enemy of my enemy may still be my enemy

“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” George Washington

Former President George W. Bush recently declined to be on the same stage as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a leadership conference in Denver, Colorado. Whichever side you are on in this debate, I respect someone who stands on their morals and says, “I’m not going to associate with a reputation that is so at odds with my own.”

There’s an Arab proverb which states “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” There’s also the popular starlet slang term, “Frenemy”, which is an enemy disguised as a friend. In contemporary society, it is acceptable to be mixed into one big crowd. If you’re not comfortable with this, you’re labeled intolerant or unable to hold your own in a debate.

The professional reality is, however, that whom you choose to be seen with, associate with, and even share the stage with is critical. And who you can publically discredit or personally disrespect should have nothing to do with it. It has to do with your integrity and your loyalty.

We’re all big kids; I get that. Everyone has a choice to interact or to be associated with whomever they want. But it’s impossible for me to be affiliated with someone who I know has been disrespectful, vengeful, or criminal to someone or something I hold in high esteem.

Don’t just stand up for yourself; stand up for the people and values you hold nearest and dearest to your heart. They are an integral part of your character. And remember, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

22
Feb
11

i fought the law and the law won

Failure brings greater notoriety and legacy than success ever could. General Robert E. Lee led a failed revolt and yet is held as one of America’s greatest icons. We honor soldiers with the Medal of Honor in some cases posthumously, for their ultimate sacrifice, despite the fact that it is every parent’s dream they return home alive.

I’ve locked horns with the best of them and gotten whooped time and time again. I’ve dealt with character assassination, insubordination, corrupt individuals promoted above me, and HR directors that refused to enforce standards. But they are still talking about me despite the fact I left the organization years ago.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself”. And that’s why they remember me, because I brought joy. Whatever the end result was, everyone knew that we had done our best, that we had pushed the envelope, and had no regrets.

Poor judgment born from human frailties is what leads us to good judgment. I can’t say that all the times I fought the “law” I was right in my assumptions. Sometimes I let my emotions get in the way, sometimes I expected things to change too rapidly, but until you do it the “wrong” way, you’ll never know how to do it the “right” way.

So be thankful for the times you get kicked to the curb. If your actions were motivated by a sense of increasing the value of the people in the organization, you should wear your battle scars with pride. If you’re one of the few who fights for what’s right, you’ll be the stuff of water cooler talk long after you’re gone.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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