Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Self-Leadership #2 Look the Truth Straight On

Just be honest with yourself. That opens the door
(Vernon Howard)

A key building block in the process of self-discovery is your willingness to look at the truth straight on. If you answer one or more of the tough questions mentioned in the first lesson without being fully honest, you gain nothing. Goals built on half-truths are almost certain to fail when push comes to shove. If you can’t act on your convictions in a crunch, then success is out of the question.

A person who is grounded in truth doesn’t have to look very far to find the right thing to do. When you are guided by the truth, you are the same person in private as you are in public. Looked at from the other end of the telescope, you know that what you do in private matters. Any talk of being able to “compartmentalize” your life, so that what you do in private has no bearing on your public life, is a friction. Even madness. Your principles only count if you live them on and off your field.

If you’re still not persuaded, consider this. As a leader, you can’t build a team, organization, or company that’s a whole lot different from yourself – well, who are you? Do you want your organization to have shaky foundations built on dishonest goals? If the answer is no, then make sure these things aren’t part of you, either. The researcher can’t help but influence what he’s observing, and the inventor can’t take himself out of his creation.

Honesty also plays an important role in the interactions between a leader and his organization. Without complete honesty, there can be no trust, and if your people don’t trust you, you can’t lead them. Trust is earned through patient investment and a consistent track record, and it can be destroyed in an instant. As a leader, you will be closely watched, and everything you say will have meaning for your people. Actions that contradict your message – or dishonest messages – will destroy trust and be used as an excuse not to take you seriously.

Here are three (3) things to consider in your search for truth:

Don’t Try to Fake It: People have an unerring nose for dishonesty, fraud, and pretense. To be successful, you must be honest with yourself and others.

Expect to Be Observed: As a leader, you’re being watched 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can’t build a team that’s different from yourself. So be honest with yourself and with your team.

Don’t Compartmentalize: Your conduct matters at all times. If you compromise your principles in your private life, it may well affect your public life as well.


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