Tag Archive - Courage

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?

Trust Before Trust Is Earned

Trust First

Trust in a relationship, whether it is at work or at home, is the foundation to the success of that relationship.  Without trust between individuals or on a team, mediocrity and failure are the most likely results.

I have worked for people who told me I had to earn their trust.  I have worked in organizations that made the same thing clear, without someone verbalizing it.  In both situations, the team was dysfunctional and selfishness prevailed.

I believe the first thing a leader needs to establish on a team is trust.  The fastest way to establish trust is to be the first one to trust! Continue Reading…

3 Words That Prove I Own My Actions

Who Owns It!

Ownership or excuses.  One is the mark of a leader.  The other is a sign that I am bound for mediocrity and failure.  In the long run, people who make excuses stall out.

Making excuses is a habit.  I wrote about how West Point deals with this habit in West Point:  How Leaders Seize Accountability.  But what are the results for me if I habitually make excuses?

Continue Reading…

Bad Character Habits Become Addictions

What am I addicted to?

Lying, cheating, and cowardice, are all habits that can become addictions in the same way smoking, drinking, pornography and drugs can become addictions.

I have often used the latter to explain how our character habits are formed.  But last week I heard Pete Hinojosa (www.petehinojosa.com) speak on leading and coaching people.  As he discussed a leader’s role in affecting the beliefs of his people he defined addiction:

An addiction is a compulsive belief or behavior that brings short-term benefit but creates long-term problems.  Continue Reading…

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