Tag Archive - Character

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…

Ten Examples of Immature Leaders

Grumpy man

Who would you rather follow? A gray haired veteran who has two kids in college or a recently promoted 30 year old former cheerleader? To me, neither of these descriptions gives me enough information.

I have seen both types lead well and both types act like spoiled adolescents. The differentiator between leaders is often maturity. Maturity is not measured by age or experience. Maturity is measured by behaviors. Continue Reading…

Imagine A Company Built On Trust

Imagine This!

Imagine a company that truly lived by its values.  Imagine a company where Trust was a core value.  What would it be like to work for a company that habitually operated like the values they espouse? Continue Reading…

West Point’s Prayer for Leaders on July 4

cadet-chapel-at-west-point

Thirty years ago this week, I entered the United States Military Academy at West Point as part of the Class of 1988.  This week the Class of 2018 began their journey as part of the “Long Gray Line”.

In honor of Independence Day and the men and women who serve so we can have the freedoms to speak and to pray as we see fit, I am publishing The West Point Cadet Prayer.

Before you read it, ask yourself: “What challenge does this prayer offer me?” Whether you are a person of faith or not, I think you will find a challenge meant for you.

Continue Reading…

Video: The Courage To Lead

Last month, I spoke to over 700 people about the role of courage in leadership.  I had 10 minutes to speak.

Courage goes beyond the physical courage displayed by our soldiers on the battlefield.  Moral courage is needed from leaders in the hallways and boardrooms of businesses and non-profits as well.

Click on the image below to see and hear what I had to say to that audience.

2014 Leaderscast Screenshot

 

Question:

How else do leaders display moral courage in the workplace?

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