Tag Archive - Courage

Three Decisions That Destroy Comfort Zones and Mediocrity

Comfort Zones Create Mediocrity

“If you want to accomplish something you have never accomplished before you must start doing things you have never done before.” Those words hit me hard a few years ago. The truth is:

Your Comfort Zone is Also Your Mediocrity Zone

If you want to be average – if you want to be the same person in five years that you are today, then stay in your comfort zone. That was what I was doing. I never set out to be mediocre, but I was heading towards it at the end of my corporate career. Continue Reading…

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…

The Three Checkpoints Before Firing Someone

Should They Stay or Go

“I will do everything I can to help you be as successful as you want to be…right up to the point I realize I am working harder at it than your are.”

I developed this point of view as a result of hanging on to employees for too long. I believe everyone I work with deserves my best. But at times, my desire to help them goes way beyond their desire to improve.

I always use three checkpoints before I make the final decision to fire someone. If these three criteria are met, it is best for everyone – my company, my team, the individual and myself – to fire them. Continue Reading…

Inspirational Leadership is Risky Business

Risky Business

There was always a lot of talk, but there was rarely any progress. I was worn out at the end of every meeting. The leadership team was stuck. Therefore the whole company was stuck.

Leadership through risk avoidance inspires nobody! If a leader wants to have committed followers, the leader must be willing to take some risks. Otherwise, the whole organization will be stuck in a quagmire of fear and doubt.  Continue Reading…

When A Leader Should Fight A Policy

Leaders fight for what is fair

“Sorry. It’s policy.” This comment may be true, but it can also be a sign of a weak leader. Policies are not perfect – especially personnel policies. Leaders need to be willing to stand up and fight when needed.

Most companies have personnel policies, and the larger the company the more rigid the policies usually are. But, the rigidity of the policy does not always make it right. Continue Reading…

When The Past Hurts A Leader

How does your past affect you?

Be careful following a leader just because he has gray hair. The tenure or the age of a leader does not always signal wisdom.  Here is the question:

Is the leader growing in wisdom or growing in fear?

A lot of people let the past keep them from moving forward. But when a leader is dominated by fear, everyone they lead focuses on the past and becomes stuck in the present as well. 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…

Imagine Leaders Who Speak With Clarity

Crystal Clear

“If you ever find yourself trying to read me, stop it.  I am not intentionally being vague.  I am just being a bad communicator at that moment.”  This statement became part of my introduction to people joining my team.

Most people reacted to that statement in two ways. Some seemed relieved.  Some were confused.  Whether it was relief or confusion, both reactions were the result of working on teams where they spent too much time trying to figure out their boss. Continue Reading…

The Best Learning Tool Available To Us All

Man in mouse trap

There was an upperclassman at West Point who I was sure was the worst leader I had ever met. Then I met a commander in the Army that jumped to the top of the list.

But, it was not until I hit the corporate world that I met someone who, to this day, ranks at the top of this dubious list. They were all bad. But, I learned a lot from each of them.

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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