I am lucky.
In my role as judge for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards and Telstra Business Awards, I get to meet a great deal of inspirational people. Women and men who have often overcome extreme adversity to create lives that then go on to inspire a legion of followers. Some of those stories; well, they are just heartbreaking yet heartwarming at the same time.
And so, we often think that leadership is about those people. The ones who have overcome all to create something extraordinary. And it is true that many leaders do overcome a “crucible” moment.
But, today I want to talk about those leaders who don’t have a story that inspires. But who just do their thing, day in day out. Because, it is possible that you are thinking that without an inspirational back story, that your “leadership” doesn’t count. And I want to tell you about how it does. How it counts for so very much.
I want to talk to you about consistency and about trust. Two things that will significantly impact on your leadership ability and legacy.
I want to talk to you about leaders who know what they stand for, whether that be honesty or integrity or innovation; the “what” it is, doesn’t matter. What matters, is that they know what they stand for, and then they live their lives and their leadership by these values.
They know what they stand for, and their people do too; because they live their lives with a consistency between what they say and what they do.
Stephen M.R. Covey’s wonderful book The Speed of Trust, talks about the key pillars to creating individual trust; which he suggests are character and competency. The two elements of character are integrity and intent. Integrity, he describes as being honest, congruency (acting according to your values), displaying humility and having the courage to do the right thing. He describes intent as being about knowing your value system and how you know you should act. So much of what he describes also involves doing this stuff consistently.
Of course there is more to being a leader than just this. But goodness, do just this, and you are certainly on your way.
And the good news about this? You don’t need any story. You don’t need any tragedy to have beholden you that you have overcome.
You don’t need to be anyone other than yourself.
So, do you know who you are? Who you are really? Do you know your values? Do you live by the integrity and intent that Covey talks about? Do you build trust by your consistency to the above?
The really good news about those questions is, even if you don’t know the answers or haven’t always acted in that way, you can start your journey towards consistent and trustworthy leadership today by finding out your answers and acting like, wait for it, yourself!
Until next week, happy leading.