Episode 27 was fun. I really enjoyed the learnings from looking at Saroo Brierley, Ray Kroc and the McDonald brothers. In this episode, I address concerns I have about distinct character flaws I noticed in the last one. After much contemplation, I landed on several key questions and comments.
What does success look like to you?
It’s really important for you to have a concept of what a successful leader looks like. Think about that for a moment. Envision what success looks like to you.
Most immediately, you have been programmed to believe that success = $$$ or material possessions. Maybe it’s a luxury car, a huge home with a swimming pool, a yacht, a personal jet. It’s difficult to escape that way of thinking, but I want you to challenge it today. Material trappings are a small measure and I would argue that many have laid aside all aspirations for wealth and we would think of them as very successful. Think about:
- Mother Theresa
- Dalai Lama
- Martin Luther King Jr.
What about local leaders?
So what do any of these people have to do with The Foundering Flounder, Ray Kroc? I think they are interesting juxtapositions because success isn’t measured in dollars, but impact.
Measure success in terms of positive change that alters an individual, a group, a community and lifts them to a level they didn’t think was possible.
The measures you are programmed to use when measuring success might be faulty.
What if success is having and acting on a strong foundation of character? Or making someone’s life better? What if it’s doing your part to make the world a better place?
As a leader, your character will betray who you are and what’s most important to you.
If your objective, the thing that matters to you the most, does not align with your behavior, then you are conflicted at the core of your character. Your behavior MUST align with your objectives.
Are you willing to do the hard work of addressing flaws in your character?
To maximize the impact of your leadership, you must address flaws in your character. If you are a liar, you have to stop lying. Or if you cheat, you have to stop cheating. If you are an addict, you have to break the addiction. Or if you react with rage, you have to get control. If not, you are keeping the lid on your potential secured.
If you lie to and cheat on your spouse, have you established a foundation of trust? Should your manager and your team entrust themselves to you? If you cheat on your taxes, should your employer be confident handing you a company credit card?
Does the way you conduct your personal life outside of work affect the life you live at work?
I don’t believe there is such a thing as the person you are at work and the person you are at home.
My friend, Amy Robles, recently released a blog post on her website, thinkenriched.com that I think sums it up nicely:
It doesn’t work to compartmentalize the components of who you are. It’s all you. Who you are at the family dinner table is the same person that you are at a casino. Or a concert. Or major sporting event of the season.
Who you are at Thanksgiving dinner is the same person that you are at a social dinner. Or a concert. Or major sporting event of the season.
You have an obligation to be the best you that you can be and only you can control this. I don’t think you are going to be happy with yourself cheating your business partners or cheating on your spouse.
Life wasn’t designed for achievement at the expense of everything else that should be meaningful to us.
Evaluate who you say you are. Align your character and behavior with your objectives and measures of success!
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Now, go lead like someone you would want to follow!