Trial of Integrity

Standard

Every person who works hard to serve their community will, at some point, face a situation that calls into stark illumination the nature and character of their integrity. They will be tested by the misdeeds of others, by the failure to adhere to moral rules, and by the willingness of lesser men and women to bypass acceptable business practices for the sake of a short-term gain.

Relish these opportunities.

When your integrity is tested by the fire of another’s lack of character, you’re given a golden opportunity to shine as a light to your sphere of influence. Nobody operates on an island, and while you may feel isolated in the midst of an attack, remember that you’re being watched, that others around you are waiting to see how you will respond. Be strong, be right, and be heard. Be willing to find your voice and call misdeeds for what they are. Actively pursue the high road and willingly sacrifice the momentary desire for retaliation on the altar of your character, knowing that the long-term benefits of an intact reputation will gain you far more. This is your opportunity to lead. Lead yourself, and be true to the strength of character that is your foundation.

This is your moment.

See the End

Standard

Vision is the leader’s greatest tool for unification. Take a team that is fragmented, disassociated, and disillusioned, and you will most often find at it’s core a lack or loss of vision. Fundamentally, a lack of vision is the easiest problem to solve. The group that has never been brought together for the sake of a common goal finds itself inspired and quickened when presented with a clear and focused purpose. Like people thirsty for water, they will spill themselves into the current of a vision for what they can accomplish together.

Altogether different is the body of individuals who have had at one time or another enjoyed the soul-inspiring motivation of a clear vision for their future. When that vision shatters or melts away into broken promises and failed commitments, reigniting this team can be one of the most difficult challenges a leader can face. Motivating this group will take determined leadership and focus.

1.) The Vision must have a clear goal.

See the End. You, as the leader, must be able to clearly and plainly see in your mind’s eye what the culmination of the team’s vision will be. See the finish line. See the final score. Know without doubt what success looks like. Your team will need to understand the purpose in their efforts and it will be your responsibility to show it to them. You’ll need to give them a clear picture of what the end looks like for the team, the value in the group’s arrival at the destination, and the motivating force drawing them as a group toward that end. Leader, you must also be able to paint a picture individually for each member of your organization. Be able to communicate why it is vital that EACH of them be a part of the success, and be able to share what success will look like uniquely for each of them.

2.) Don’t Force the Journey

Seeing the End will ensure that you are constantly moving in the right direction, but the road will be fraught with obstacles. The visionary leader is able to focus not on the obstacle immediately delaying progress, but on the goal that the team is moving towards. In finding your way above the fray to see clearly into the distance and maintain your hold on the End, you can guide your team around the unknowable journey. If you plan each and every step, and give yourself no room for flexibility, knowing that the End remains the priority, you’ll be hopelessly delayed and bogged down.

3.) Remain ABSOLUTELY Confident in Success

Know in your deepest heart that you will reach the End. Before you can lead, before you can challenge, and before you can motivate, you must find that place within yourself where you are completely convinced of your team’s ability to reach the End, and you must live there every day. Find confidence in the skill and ability of your people, be strong in the success of your systems and challenge the status quo daily, but in all, remain steadfast in your personal knowledge that at the conclusion of the journey, after every obstacle, you and your team will arrive at the End. Communicate this confidence every day. Make it part of your vocabulary, shape every thought around that piece of absolute truth – we will succeed.

End of the Month Blues

Standard

I hate the end of the month. Pressure builds. Expectations rise. Urgency becomes almost unreasonable.

End of Month

But I have found that there are two invaluable assets to making the end of the month not only bearable, but even productive and effective.

1.) Personal attitude. The face that you see in the mirror every morning will either create your success or be the author of your defeat. The attitude that you bring to the end of the month sets the tone for every phone call, every tour, and every interaction. Create your success ahead of time by deciding to be positive ON PURPOSE.

2.) Team spirit. A purposeful decision to be part of promoting a positive team spirit will not only affect your own attitude, but it will influence the attitude of everyone around you. You always have control about how YOU respond to everything that EOM brings. If you decide to respond by spending the next four days complaining about having to work on your days off, it’s going to be a long four days. But if you decide to engage in encouraging, supporting, and cheering for your team, who are right in the trenches with you, you’ll enjoy being a part of something bigger and better than yourself.

It’s the end of the month. We are the masters of our fate. How will we respond? Will we rise to the occaision and prove to ourselves and each other that we are capable of being our best self? Or will we sign our letter of defeat right from the starting line by CHOOSING an attitude of discouragement?