There’s the adage, “pride comes before a fall”. It is true. The sad thing about it, is that often people don’t realise that they’ve been made blind by pride. Pride can make you blind to the fact that you’re about to fall. In fact pride makes you blind to the fact that you are proud [Click to Tweet].
“Breaking News: Opinion Shortage”. That is one headline you are never going to see. Whether articulated, logical, lame or baseless everyone has one. An opinion that is. We can all, at least, claim to think something about anything.
Opinions can be both damaging and uplifting, regardless of their source. We can have opinions about ourselves and others. And, others can have opinions about us that can empower or disarm us.
They are called “tests” for a reason. They have to challenge resolve, understanding and a lot of other things, to extremes.
They are called challenges because they help gauge strength, while exposing areas of vulnerability. When we and or the ‘products’ we make prevail, we (and the products) are considered worthy.
Too many miss the results of the “worthy” stamp because they shy away or run from those things that make them credible.
Commitment is tested by opportunities to walk away. Strength is tested by the opportunities to bear weight. Loyalty can only be proven when you need to make clear your allegiance.
Adversity is like a fire that refines. Refinement means exposing infirmity and discarding it. It means only what is worthy remains.
Appreciate adversity and testing.
Push back against adversity regardless of its source and you’ll be better for it.
Published via Pressgram
I haven’t been following the Oscar Pistorius trial till last week. I’ve looked at the headlines of papers. Listening to some highlights last week not only gave me a glimpse into the South African court system but also got me thinking about character…
The talk about character being critical for life and leadership is not new…
Before I move on, this is not about Oscar being guilty or not, it is just about how it got me thinking about this particular aspect of self leadership…
I was somewhat surprised at the extent to which the prosecution went into the past, specifically to do with character. Character evidence is something that can trip up any leader. Not just her character but endeavours by them.
Excuse my ignorance when it comes to legal matter, but something obvious to me was that the prosecution sought to expose Pistorious’ character as wanting, over a period of time.
The lesson is:
Character is proved over time and can only be proved in retrospect [Click to Tweet]
It is in examining people and, specifically leaders here, and their responses to varied circumstances over time. As these responses are examined patterns emerge.
For a great character record in the future you must build it with the time you have access to; the here and now. Unfortunately no leader can erase bad character of the past, in order to have a great one in the present.
Also, great character evidence has a lifespan. The only way to keep it alive and valid is tending to it daily. Again, nothing new:
Character is so fragile; it takes a lot of time, energy and intentionality to build but can be easily destroyed with carelessness. Character is a critical component of the currency of leadership [Click to Tweet].
In order to have no bad character issues or lies to defend in the future, or at anytime for that matter, be truthful always. Character haunts. It never leaves us.
We can only change character issues going forward and not by justifying the bad traits we’ve incubated or coddled in the past. Great leadership can only be as a result of a great core of self leadership. Put another way:
No leader can lead others greatly if they cannot greatly lead themselves [Click to Tweet]
Character is the centrepiece of credibility and every leader cannot undermine this, both in the present and future of their leadership. Great legacies are built on sustained tending of character intentionally over time.
One of your frustrations as a leader, at some point, if not all the time, is not being able to do everything at one go. I hate constraints. Managing and or leading is almost a management of constraints.
I hate that I can’t make everything happen at one go. If only it was that easy. The “no silver bullet reality” is something every leader must make peace with and simultaneously wrestle.
Despite the challenges of constraints in their varied forms and intensity, there is a solution. It may not be the one all would prefer but it is one of, if not the best, solution.
It is one of leaders and their organisations pacing themselves. Reality: you have limited capacity. You can only do certain things in a certain pace at different times of your product development or enterprise life-cycle.
As I think a little more about frustration I realise that leaders can also feel overwhelmed as they look at what needs to be done. The remedy for this is the same…
Focus is about intense attention and energy into particular areas with time factored in [Click to Tweet]
Not to get ahead of yourself and tripping yourself up, remember the step at a time rule. This is nothing new, but we need to remind ourselves often. We can only do so much with what we have. Time is and has its own constraints.
The challenge and work of every leader is establishing where focus is to go and for how long. This requires leaders to be thinkers. It calls for leaders to be comfortable with letting some things fall away, for a season sometimes.
As fast as Usain Bolt is, he can only put one foot in front of the other at a time. Every leader’s capacity has constraints. And, it doesn’t matter how much of a genius they are.
One step at a time. One step in one project at a time, consistently. Soon, what you conceived in your mind, starts to materialise. Lead well, pace yourself.