Posts Tagged ‘respect

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!

22
Apr
13

Don’t Keep the Faith—Share It!

Charlie Jones reading his Bible in the Holy Land.

Charlie Jones reading his Bible in the Holy Land.

When you are passionate about your faith and passionate about respecting others’ beliefs, it’s amazing the kind of connectivity that transpires. When my father passed, I heard from many whose lives he touched, people from different political, religious, and ideological backgrounds. “Tremendous” was passionate that we each choose what we are going to live our lives for and go all out doing it.

He claimed it was one of the only three decisions that you ever needed to make in life. Decide whom you are going to live your life for, make it yours, and die by it. He respected those who lived life with a tremendous passion and chastised those who didn’t. As the late, great Margaret Thatcher said, “Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.” My father personally witnessed this in his sales career, in his home life, and in his church. He believed it with all his heart.

“Tremendous” Jones spoke to many thousands of groups throughout his lifetime. Some were of a religious or faith-based affiliation, but the majority was not. That never deterred him from veering off point or changing the message to share his faith. I used to wonder why he would take on such a sensitive topic when facing thousands of business people from all walks of life and beliefs until I finally understood. He was just living out loud. He was revealing his most authentic self and just being.

His faith is what drove every second of his life and to not share that would be dishonest with others. His life was a showcase of the grace of God, the forgiveness of Christ, the wisdom of books, and the help of others in a man’s life. And he just couldn’t keep it inside. To do so would be to let others think that his strength to live tremendously came from his own mental and physical strength, and nothing was further from the truth. He never told you what to believe; only that you must answer this question for yourself and live life like you mean it!

13
Mar
12

sticks and stones may break my bones and words can always hurt me

I’ve spent the last two months teaching leadership principles to elementary school students with my dog, Mr. Blue. It’s the closest thing to being a rock star I’ll ever experience. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, try walking the halls of an elementary school with a dog at your side. The seas part, everyone falls down for a hug, and your “coolness” status as an adult is off the charts.

I have spent my life learning and sharing leadership principles with adults. The harsh reality is most don’t have the desire to discover these for themselves, so I decided to focus on a more accepting group: children. Children are so open-minded, impressionable, and creative. The sooner these principles are imprinted upon them, the more productive and successful they will be throughout their entire lives and in the lives of others.

One of the discussions we have is called “Herding isn’t leading.” It’s about being kind and respectful to others and that bullies who bark and bite are not to be tolerated. It’s a very important point that the teachers often ask me to emphasize. The sad reality is that this point was inspired by something that happened to me as an adult. I had a boss that actually got in my face, yelling and frothing at the mouth and snapped his teeth one inch away from my nose.

Unfortuately there is a plethora of adult bullies out in the world ready to bark at anyone any chance they get. Look at the trash that’s on TV with the reality shows. Is this really how we want our youth to behave? We tell them not to post mean comments on Facebook yet look at the hateful language strewn all across the Internet in response to articles and blogs. No one even discusses the issues or has a healthy debate; it’s just attack the individual and if their beliefs differ from yours, call them a name, any name, the viler the better.

So why do we keep harping on our children to behave in a civil manner when we don’t and we expose them to it via TV, movies, and the Internet?  Children see it all and are imprinted by everything they take in from zero to ten years old. If we want them to be kind and compassionate, we’ve got to show them what that means. And this means fervently guarding what they watch, with whom they interact, and what they observe from us.

I never saw my father or mother lash out or bully another person. In fact there were times when I thought they were too kind or passive. But I knew if I ever resorted to being disrespectful or a bully I would be in trouble like I had never even imagined. Adults need to stop being hypocrites. If we want children to be respectful, we must set the standard, every time, all the time. Until then, all this talk about anti-bullying crusades aimed at children is just barking up the wrong tree.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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