The world of leadership is filled with many things. Grand mission, vision and value statements adorn the walls of our organizations. We send internal press releases to keep our employees “engaged” and “informed” about what we feel comfortable sharing with them.
It’s as if we have mastered the art of convincing ourselves that if we do what “we” feel is right, that somehow that covers all the bases.
Here’s “The Thing”
I continue to be amazed at how much attention I get as a leader in my organization. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate the “attention-by-default” circumstances that leaders find themselves…but it is still somewhat odd. At least if feels that way to me.
The end result of being in the leadership spotlight is that our behavior, above all other things, matters most. Not the important words on a piece of paper…not the press releases that say how wonderful we are…and certainly not the well rehearsed speeches that help us stay “on point.”
Our behavior alone dictates our credibility.
The Thing That Should Not Be
My take on leadership behavior comes down to a simple list…
– Never discriminate against anyone. Ever.
– Never take anyone on your team for granted.
– Never assume people are “okay” simply because they responded that way.
– Never be afraid to take risks and show others that it is appropriate to do so.
– Never underestimate your power to build the brand of your organization.
– Never stop learning.
How About You
Do you see leaders saying one thing, and yet behaving differently because “the reality of operations” requires it? Are the public messages in your company inconsistent with the decisions that are made in the name of “making breakthrough progress?”
I think it is time for us all to take a collective step back and evaluate if we truly have our messages and behavior aligned properly. What do you think? Your credibility could be riding on it.
Jay Kuhns is a human resources executive, leadership coach, speaker, consultant and is the author of Unstoppable Power, Leverage Energy, Risk and Relationships and Advance Your Leadership Career. He is a “Type A” leader who understands that human resources leadership is about high energy, creativity, strong personal connections and making changes that push organizations forward.