“It’s the great temptation for small groups of people to slide into a state where they’re not quite telling each other the truth and they’re not quite celebrating each other. Instead, they tolerate each other, they accommodate each other, and they settle for sitting on the unspoken matters that separate them.”
The news is filled with the epic deception that Lance Armstrong thought he would be able to watch fade behind him over time. It turns out that the volume of evidence that showed he was only deceiving himself pushed him to the point of confessing his lies. Bike racing filled my life for about 20 years and it is a great sport. At the elite levels where the money is substantial the pressure to win at all costs looms large in the teams and in the riders. We see the same thing happening in any organization or institution where the pressure to succeed at any cost is evident. Banks push performance, Wall Street demands performance, and companies demand performance. At some point that performance has to be obtained by the leader or by their replacement. When failure is not an option people step outside of their authenticity and become someone else, often leading to their personal destruction.
Did Lance Armstrong do some good? He boosted the popularity of cycling in America and he provided resources for those who were dealing with the weight of cancer, both good things. His sponsors benefited, his coaches benefited and many other people benefited from the Lance persona and now that the persona has been found to lack integrity people want to distance themselves from him. In a culture of win at all costs things will spin out of control at some point. Do you find yourself in a culture of win at all costs? How does that impact you?
What would have been the price of honesty for any cyclist riding at the elite levels in the Tour de France? Would they be able to continue? Would they be able to find willing sponsors to support the costs of riding in the Tour? Is the price of winning worth your integrity?
The foundation of our society is based on truth, integrity and honesty. We trust that others will abide and live their lives in such a manner that we can know that we are engaging an experience where the interests of each person are not being taken advantage of, that promises made are promises are kept.
Here is one person’s take on the issue of deception and how lying can corrupt the soul and destroy a brand.
The biggest lies, take a look.
What are your thoughts?
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
Some people want to lead because they believe they deserve to lead. Others lead by showing other the way, by having a compelling vision and reason for others to follow. Leadership is an attitude. Leadership is being confident without being arrogant.
You may have seen those leaders that are using brute force to lead. The followers make sure they are going in a different direction when they see the brute force leader. Leadership by title or position isn’t leadership of itself it takes more and requires more.
People who want to grow into leadership positions must constantly be developing their attitudes, skills and evaluating their own growth.
1. Developing an attitude to lead is in part developing an attitude of humility so that you can serve others in their own development. People readily engage with those who are willing to help improve their abilities and potential for the future.
2. Honing your personal leadership skills by continual learning and experience. Moving up in an organization may be improved by showing that you can lead. This might mean finding organizations or areas that you can demonstrate your leadership. It might mean volunteering for leadership positions so that you can tune and grow your leadership skills.
3. Reflection and looking back at the lessons learned is something that allows the potential leader to see what can be improved. The leadership experience is enhanced when the developing leader can recognize areas for improvement and then to take responsibility for making personal change.
How many times have you seen or read about a leader who did not take responsibility for their outcomes. In recent weeks one recognized leader has not admitted their own failings and is paying the price in losing stature among his followers. Leadership means taking responsibility for both the good and the bad and owning the outcome.
It is easy for those who aren’t strong leaders to push that responsibility to someone else, to other things. The lesson is this, shape your attitude and take responsibility, continue to grow and develop and to look at the leadership lessons you’ve experienced and change what needs to be changed.
What does your attitude say about your leadership, take a look,
Everyone has talents and skills that they can use. Sometimes those skills have been identified and at other times they have not been identified. Imagine having a great skill that has never been tapped or understood, wouldn’t that be a waste?
Talent can be our jumping off point to success if we know how to use our talents. Talent by itself won’t make anyone successful but it can be a catalyst towards success.
“Have success and there will be fools to say that you have talent”, wrote the French Poet Edouard Pailleron. Some people have success by just working harder than anyone else around them. There are people who know they don’t have the great skills of a Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong or some other successful athlete, but they have something else, passion, commitment, desire and persistence. It’s not that great athletes don’t have both skill and passion it is that skill alone won’t necessarily allow one to rise to the top.
John Maxwell illustrated some interesting bits of knowledge about talent:
· More than 50% of all CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies had a C or C- in college
· Sixty-five percent of all US Senators came from the bottom half or their school classes.
Some would say that those statistics are visible with the business failures that we have seen. And with 65% of all Senators coming from the bottom half of their schools explains a lot as well.
Are you using your talents, or are you wishing you could do something you aren’t good at instead?
It is far better to develop strength than it is to develop something you are not very good at (especially if you’ve been trying for a long period of time and you’re still not good at it). Identify the strength and make it stronger. Identify the weakness and manage around it.
Make your talents work for you. Be passionate, take a stand, use your talent, use your gifts and consistently develop your strengths – practice building your strength.