A people that value its privileges above its principles soon loses both
Dwight D. Eisenhower
We can’t take out the epitome of moral conduct and expect to have a sane, moral and safe society.
We focus so much on rights and pay little or no attention to what is right. A society does not flourish because it’s inhabitants know and fight for their rights. It flourishes because it’s inhabitants know what is right and they do it.
When a nation or an establishment constantly meets to devise new laws, it is a sign that something’s not quite right.
Morality has probably left the building!
Lead right and Live light;
Tests are a part of life and are not unique to just leaders.
You go out everyday and other road users just push your buttons: the traffic lights change abruptly, the other driver cuts you off and even has the guts to swear at you, the passenger next to you on the bus/train just wouldn’t stop yapping at the top of his voice, the lady with the double buggy blocks the door way and is just chatting away mindlessly on the phone. You parent your kids and your sanity is sometimes dangling on a thread: there’s water on the floor of the kitchen and no one admits to doing it or attempts to clean it up, there’s wall art on your freshly painted wall and your three-year old happily drags you there to show you her creative design, your house smells really lovely and familiar only for you to get to your room and find your adorable son standing in front of your dressing table with now empty bottles of your perfumes and an apologetic look on his face. You work with colleagues and you wonder why everyone just has to get on your nerves: your team is lagging behind on the project, you’ve just been summoned because of a false allegation, you are constantly being micro managed as a team leader and it’s getting more and more frustrating. You reckon everyone else has got it in for you so you find a way to squeeze in that ‘me time’ for yourself; but even then, you find out that your own thoughts have it in for you too.
Ever so often our patience, character, identity, loyalty, etc., is tested. Because of who we are and the roles we occupy, we are constantly tested–consciously or unconsciously. These tests are real life scenarios that acts as indicators to our growth and development levels. They draw unmistakable lines between who we were, who we are and who we are becoming. They determine how genuine or adulterated we are in terms of our relationship with ourselves and with others.
Every leader’s presence, quality, ability, intelligence, skill, character, capacity and resilience will be tested before and during his/her existence as a leader. You’ll be constantly tested in 3 main areas at almost every point of your leadership journey and these areas are:
- Provision. Needs and wants are common features of demand and your position enables you to play a significant role in offering supply to these two features. Your tests in this area tend towards how you use your position to either get what you want or to supply what is needed. You need to realise that it is not just about satisfying your ‘appetite’, it’s mostly about sustaining your existence. Don’t be too hasty to get what you want at all cost, only for you to end up begging for what you need.
- Protection. The importance of your reputation as a leader cannot be over-emphasised. You do need to protect yourself but at what cost? and what exactly are you protecting and from what? Are you willing to bring someone else down in order to protect yourself? Do you constantly control everything just to drive home the point that you are in charge?
- Power. You’ve probably heard of such a term as : ‘power drunk’. Leaders are at risk especially of using their position to cripple others. With leadership comes authority and power no doubt; but not in the way it is sometimes used ( I explained power and authority in my book: Leadership Maxims…sound principles for leadership excellence). Your role is not a tool for tyranny or assault, neither is it a vehicle for the deception of others into blind and selfish submission.
Every now and again you’ll be tested in these 3 areas and what you discover will help you realise who you really are; whether you are an authentic leader or an adulterated leader.
Until next time, continue to;
Lead right and Live light
Just about everything that happens in life–with regards to humans–is a product of the activities of the mind/heart. Leaders are definitely no exception to this rule. In truth if anything, leaders should be more aware of this.
Most leaders have developed a stone cold and insensitive heart/mind that they no longer realise that human beings are at the center of all they do; both as employees and/or partners, or as customers/clients.
They know the vast majority of widely accepted leadership laws, policies, theories and all what-nots (they probably even wrote some of them). They even talk the leadership talk and move in desirable circles but the insensitivity of their heart has slowly but surely blinded them to the true purpose of leadership and the value it adds to all involved.
We have–most often than not–fallen prey to things like this at one time or the other;
– We protect our own interest at all cost with no consideration whatsoever for anything or anyone else.
– We’ll say and do anything provided it gets us into certain circles and fattens our wallets and/or bank accounts.
– We’ll mindlessly throw sound values and standards out the door for recognition.
We’ve all had times when we’ve made mistakes like this on a small or large scale; intentionally or unintentionally.
We’ve gotten used to saying the widely acceptable things that we’ve lost sight of what is sound and sustainable. We’ve let our hearts/minds become stone cold and insensitive that it has lost the warmth that is needed to add value to lives and improve situations.
Believe it or not, you cannot be a worthy leader if you lack warmth. You can’t be frozen cold within and expect to be sound without; leadership does not work that way because it involves people. If you want to add any bit of value to people’s lives or get them them to work with you willingly then you must lead from a heart of warmth.
Make a decision today to lead from a heart of warmth. Make your group/organisation/institution a productive place that steadily improves and advances.
If you discover you are not producing the kind of results you desire, check the condition of your heart/mind and be willing to adapt your perception and behaviour; I’m willing to help.
*Most individuals believe warmth has no place in leadership; very untrue.
Here’s the truth: Leadership has no value and serves no true purpose without warmth*
Lead right and Live light
Hello everyone, I believe you had a really good weekend.
Something really interesting happened last week and I want to share it with you today. Something that had the potential to cause me to make–now in hindsight–an unwise business decision.
I’ve had similar encounters previously but this last one has brought my attention to how damaging this kind of practice really is.
I got a call last week about something I had inquired about which was advertised as being very advantageous and highly relevant to the growth of my business. I naturally want to grow my business so I thought: “yeah, why not”.
I got a call a few days later in response to my enquiry and this was when the whole drama started.
To cut the long story short, the experience was one of initial courtesy, then hard selling and thereafter; manipulation, forceful money requests and what I considered sheer arrogance. The caller went on to tell me how highly successful he is as a business leader, the titles he had to his name and how there must be something really wrong with me if I did not release any cash on the spot. All this just because I said I needed to think about it before making a decision.
I went from initial excitement to slightly questioning myself and then to being appalled.
Don’t get me wrong; marketing and sales are necessary for businesses to grow and survive and there is absolutely no doubt about that but that doesn’t mean one has to exploit or demean others just so that one can get people to part with their money fast. When you have to shamelessly manipulate someone into handing something over to you in a flash then you are being deceptive.
This seems to be a growing trend and a lot of people are paying huge amounts of money to be taught chicanery and dishonesty.
As a business owner, here’s my advice to fellow business owners, leaders and the like: keep your motives in check and adopt a honest business culture. Stay well away from trickery, exploitation and manipulation because it has a way of coming back to bite you and could potentially keep you in a ‘hamster-in-a-wheel’ state.
Make a decision today to put an end to this cancerous growth of greed that is producing ruthless business leaders who relentlessly prey on others; causing more harm than good.
Develop a practice of honesty instead and be guided by positive motives; this will greatly influence the attitude of your ‘people’ by gaining you more trust and respect from them.
Businesses are good and they are meant to: serve people, improve their quality of life and provide supply where there is a demand. Let your motives stay aligned with this.
Until next time,
Lead right and Live light
Leadership in my opinion is based upon the principle of being and doing. I truly do believe that in order to become an effective and influential leader, one has to be prepared and willing to ‘be’ so that their ‘doing’ produces results.
Leadership is a choice, just as most things in life. It is not a role you decide to practice in your spare time, an item of clothing you put on and take off at will, or a short cut to a successful life. I believe leadership is a truly humbling process, one that reveals who you really are. You do not have to be a corporate executive to be a leader, we operate in various leadership roles in our everyday lives as spouses, parents, business owners and team/group leaders. In my opinion, every person has an opportunity to exercise leadership in some form, whether over someone else or over your own self.
Leadership is a journey: the skills learnt, the mistakes made, the test of character, the courage, the techniques, the experience; these are all what makes one, a seasoned and great leader. It is the process of ‘being’ and then ‘doing’ that defines leadership for me.
What exactly does this even mean when applied to leadership? How do you move with the times without dis-stabilising the very foundation and essence of your leadership?
For those who do not have depth in their leadership, this might not make much sense to you but for those leaders who do have depth and a stable foundation upon which they have built their leadership on, this will make truckloads of sense to you.
In my opinion, the idea of even creating ‘the times’ is in order to keep things new and fresh; the reason why one thing is in season today and then becomes obsolete the next is because things need to be kept appealing and less complex. The issue with this when applied to leadership is this: It gets tiring when you have to keep changing just to fit into a mould of what’s in and what’s not in, at different times. So, does this then mean that you never upgrade or update? Absolutely not! Skills, marketing styles, sales channels and operational techniques might require an upgrade at one time or another but even when this happens, make sure it’s for the purpose of making your life and/or job easier and making your business more profitable. Otherwise, it would be classified under waste and loss.
What I am saying is this: never trade your depth and stability for constantly moving trends and ever changing times. Your depth and stability is what has brought you to the point you are at now; those hardly change with the times. Your character and values are NOT subject to trends. I do not suppose it makes sense to change from being an honest person to becoming a chancer, a thief or one who indulges in embezzlement or chicanery simply because times have changed and you have to move with it.
Here’s the point I’m making: when you are moving with the times, weigh the cost against your stability and your reputation. Consider if it is a worthy investment or not.
Do not short-change yourself by trading in both the long-term and the short-term for seasonal trends.
Remember this: Trends only last for a season!
Lead right and Live light
Kindness, Honesty and Fairness are elements needed to produce a dependable, firm and assured organisation (i.e. Kindness + Honesty + Fairness = Secure organisation).
An organisation (group, enterprise or institution) that is not secure is a slack organisation with the potential to gradually head downwards.
Every worthy leader understands the importance of security and the role that it plays in the: growth, development, efficiency and productivity of an organisation.
The above knowledge leads me to this question: If having a secure organisation is that important and leaders (well…some) are well aware of its importance, why then is it somewhat of a struggle to produce dependable, firm and engaging organisations?
Excerpt from my upcoming book:
Leadership Maxims……….Sound Principles for Leadership Excellence
The answer to the above question and insights into more truths and leadership realities can be found in my upcoming book; Leadership Maxims.
Lead right and Live light