Tag Archive - Character

When Is It Right To Quit The Fight?

Why am I still fighting?

It was a good old knock down, drag out fight.  We had chosen our sides and were all vehemently sure of our positions.

In Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, he expends 20% of his thesis on the need for healthy conflict on a team.  He says, and I believe, that without conflict it is highly unlikely a team is making the best decisions for an organization.

If this is true then by Lencioni’s scorecard, this was going to be a FANTASTIC decision!  But, in the midst of it all, I quietly raised my hand and gave in.  It was right to give up this fight. Continue Reading…

Small Tests Of A Leader’s Character

Oxymoron:  Small Character Tests

Small Test = “This is not a big deal.”

In a nutshell:  There are no small decisions when my character is involved.

For a leader, the magnitude of the decision should not determine my approach. If my moral compass is involved, then the decision is a big deal.  Too many times we make decisions based on our immediate perception of their impact. Continue Reading…

You Can Be An Unethical Rule Follower

Intent to Deceive?

I pushed the limits as a cadet at West Point. I marched well over 100 hours of punishment tours during my four years in school. There were a lot of ways to get in trouble, and a lot of rules to tell us what not to do.

Every violation of the rules at West Point had a title that described the offense. The most unique title for a violation of the rules was “Gross Lack of Judgment.” Basically it was a catch all phrase that meant a cadet did something that no one had anticipated needing to create a rule to prevent! Continue Reading…

West Point’s Eleven Principles of Leadership – Rewritten

Parade

One of the best books I ever read on leadership was John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.  In fact, I recently gave a copy to a young man who just graduated from high school as a gift.

28 years ago, I was a recent high school graduate as well.  I was a brand new cadet at West Point.  I was handed the plebe handbook called Bugle NotesContinue Reading…

The Confident Leader Vs. The Arrogant Leader

When The Arrogant Lead

Martin’s reputation for arrogance preceded him. He was assigned to our leadership team whether we wanted him to be there or not.

I decided to ignore his reputation and form my own opinions about Martin. I never tried harder to like someone in my entire life.   Unfortunately, the rumors about Martin were accurate.

Confidence is a desirable trait in a leader. But Martin was not confident. He was flat out arrogant. Continue Reading…

Leadership Video: Habits Form Character

What is the definition of character?

Character is our habitual way of operating.

HOW we are is WHO we are.

 

Our character is ultimately determined by our habits.  If I am in the habit of doing what is moral and right, I am a person of high character.  If I am in the habit of cutting corners, telling “small lies”, or any other morally questionable act, that is who I am as well.

This video is a clip from a training session on leadership I did for a group of salespeople.  It is only a few minutes long.  Take the time to watch it and see how your habits stack up towards forming your character.

Question:

How do the words you hear me speak cause you to evaluate your habits?  Do you see changes you can make at work or at home?  Do you see a path to teaching your kids about character?

 

Should Loyalty Trump Integrity

Which Is The Trump Card?

Loyalty and integrity are two character traits I think we all desire in ourselves and in others.  I like loyal people.  They are friends and co-workers I know I can depend on.  It does not matter how bad the situation may be.  I know I can count on the loyal people in my life.

I like people of integrity as well.  I like knowing I never have to question their words, actions, or motives.  What you see is what you get.  Their integrity makes trusting them easy.

But should loyalty ever trump integrity?  Is there a time when that is appropriate? Continue Reading…

Failure: The Difference Between An Excuse and A Reason

Excuses Shift Blame

“Making excuses is a bad habit.” Making excuses is a favorite topic of mine when I speak to groups about leadership and character. I am often asked, “Aren’t there legitimate reasons for a failure? Shouldn’t that matter?”

My reply: “Yes. It matters. As long as we know the difference between an excuse and a reason.” Continue Reading…

Three Times A Leader’s Feelings Are Irrelevant

How you feel doesn't matter.

The team was sure their boss had emotional issues. “He could fly off the handle at any minute! If he doesn’t like you, your life will be hell. He really has a bad temper.”

The leader was losing his team. He called it passion. They called it unpredictable. He did not want to ignore his feelings. They wanted him to be more predictable.

As a leader, there are times when my feelings are irrelevant. I give up the right to be controlled by my emotions when I take on a leadership role.

Continue Reading…

Duty – Beyond A Job Description

There is more to it than this!

Ask a veteran why they served and you will likely hear the word Duty in the explanation. The concept of Duty still runs deep in military circles.

Many people use the word Duty to describe the list of tasks in a job description. But the idea of Duty goes well beyond a “to do list.” Duty seems to be a forgotten principle outside the military. The concept of Duty needs a revival. Continue Reading…

Page 1 of 1012345»...Last »