Tag Archive - Character

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…

Four Choices We All Have

Everyone Has Choices

They were in their robes and ready to be done with high school. I was the only thing between them and graduation and the family celebrations to follow.

As the keynote speaker, I knew I better keep it short and do everything I could to make it memorable. I spoke about the choices they all had. As I spoke and watched the parents sitting in the audience, I realized these choices belong to all of us.

We all control the choices we make no matter our circumstance. Those choices often determine our success in life, our impact on others and our impact on the world around us. Continue Reading…

Ping Pong & Culture At Work

This Isn't Culture

Business magazines publish article after article discussing a company’s culture.  The articles often focus on perks, the color of the office walls, or the fact there is a ping pong table where the conference table used to be.

Who cares!  I don’t care that I get to play ping pong at work if I can’t trust the guy I just beat to be honest with me later.  A pig with lipstick on is still a pig.  Continue Reading…

The First Step To Building My Character

What lies do you tell?

I am not going to candy coat this blog with euphemisms. Let’s just be honest with ourselves and call a spade a spade. A liar tells lies. A coward is too scared to do what is right. An egomaniac puts himself first.

When we use a euphemism to describe our behaviors, it is usually a tool to make us feel better about ourselves. I am not going to do that here. I will leave that to the politicians who say they “misremembered”.

My character is a work in progress. We all have work to do. But, what should I be working on and where should I start? Continue Reading…

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