Saturday, March 22, 2014

Three Qualities of Integrity

The first characteristic of a great leader is their integrity.  Webster says that the definition of integrity is the ability to adhere to moral and ethical principles.  People who have integrity are honest, kind, fair minded, and generous.  Integrity encompasses many qualities, and one of them is accountability or taking responsibility for one's actions.  The lack or personal accountability is a major pitfall of leadership.  A leader who does not take responsibility for their actions and decisions is bound to fail.  Without personal accountability, a person has the tendency to play the blame game.  Whatever the consequences of their decisions are, particularly their mistakes, they blame on others. A leader admits when they make a mistake.  True leadership knows the humility to admit mistakes, the integrity to take responsibility and the courage to move on.

A second quality of integrity is true virtue which comes from within.  It is instilled by time, experience and understanding.  If you know virtue and you have it in you, you will know it in other people.  If you yourself are a person of integrity, or are searching for integrity in yourself, your inner knowing and your intuition will give you the understanding to know the virtue from the pretense.  Virtue as a part of our true humanity will speak to the true humanity in others. Otherwise, if virtue has been subdued and clouded by negativity, you cannot see its light or feel its voice.  Leaders who have gained success pay attention to the inner voice that provides their moral compass, and they learn to guide their conduct according to the virtues and principals that flow from their moral identities. 

The third quality of integrity is honesty.  This means to do what you know in your heart is right.  Sometimes being truly honest means giving up something you want in exchange for doing the right thing.  Leadership means being your own person and when you earn a reputation for integrity, values and honesty, you’re likely to be a respected leader.   I have a saying that goes like this.  "Life is a do-it-yourself project."  Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.  A leader without courage and integrity does not gain the respect of their followers.  In such a case, leadership has lost its essence.  The journey in being a great leader starts with acquiring integrity first. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Importance of Focus

The importance of Focus in being a leader is an essential principle that must be developed.  You need Focus on priorities to get things done in order to get over the hurdles.  But what does it take to acquire the Focus needed to be an effective leader?  The secret is to combine priority and concentration with Focus.  A leader who is well aware of his priorities but has no concentration knows what to do, but will never finish everything on time or might never finish anything at all.  On the other hand, if a leader has concentration but does not know his priorities, this leader shows excellence but not leadership.  However, a leader who learns to harness and develop both these key characteristics will have the potential and ability to accomplish great things.

Effective and competent leaders who reach their peak potential spend more time focusing and fixating on what they do well than on what they do wrong.  To be successful as a leader and a person, sharpen and keep center on your strengths and take time to cultivate them.  This is the area where you should give all your resources, energy and time.  The returns will be tremendous.  Believe in the equation that growth equals change. If you want to do great things, and yearn for progress in all aspect of your life, you have to keep evolving, changing and keep on improving.  Keep in mind, this isn't very easy to do, because this means going out of your comfort zone and treading on areas that are very new to you.  When you appropriate your time to new things related to areas of your strength, then you will grow not just a great leader, but as an amazing individual in all aspects.  Keep in mind, in leadership, if you cease growing, the journey will stop.  Today, sit down and set your priorities in order and be sure to Focus on your strengths.  In leadership, to be effective and successful, you have to plan for success.
Robert J Dahl