Truth Hope & Spirit

A young teen age girl enters the mall looking for a good bargain on a new fashionable swim suit.  After going through several stores and not finding what she was looking for, she spots the perfect suit.  She enters and finds that the suit comes in several colors she likes.  She goes to try them all on.  She finally looks at the price.  Wow!  The suits were much more than she expected.  But she had to have one.  She decided she would just put her clothes over the suit she wanted.  She walks out grinning ear to ear.  Her friend later asks her how she was able to afford the high priced suit.  She informs her friend that the store always charges too much and she has purchased many things from the store in the past, so they “owe” it to her (to have taken the suit without paying for it).  
Does this sound possible?  Of course it does.  We hear about people rationalizing their irresponsible and illegal behaviors very frequently.  We all feel “entitled”.  We believe that we deserve more than what we have been getting.  It is not just the children (who got their values from us) but also adults who believe they deserve more.  Do you know anyone who has rationalized driving after drinking two or three beers?  Or someone who calls in sick (when they are not sick) because they want to be sure to use all their sick days?  What about the person who takes things from their workplace?  Is it alright to take “just a small amount” of money from the cash register (because you are not really paid enough for the stressful job you have)? 

These are just a couple of examples of the small (none are really small) ways people behave without regard for truthfulness or integrity.  Some things that reflect dishonesty almost go without many individuals even thinking about rationalizing or providing an excuse for their behaviors.  These are normal ways of doing things for them because it seems to be so common.  Have we retreated from the need, or desire, to stand up for the values we believe in? Or don’t we believe in them any more?  

In business we justify our behaviors in others ways, despite the fact that it is equally dishonest. The cover of business gives shelter to deception and misrepresentation for many people.  Have you ever know any manager to make a promise of future promotions when they know it will never happen?  Or make promises to deliver a product on a specific date knowing they will never be able to fulfill the promise?  What about the leader telling people that “all is fine” (in order to prevent people from looking for another job), when they know their plant will close and move in the next month?  How important is honesty, integrity, or truth?  What happens when we lose our core values?  Who will we trust?   

Lies, deceit and general lack of integrity are all too common in today’s business environment.  These have been integrated into to our frame of mind, and the way we do our business on a daily basis.  Certainly with the poor economy and the less than optimistic future being painted by leading economists, it is of little surprise that the fear of being financially hurt has led to obvious, and “hidden”, ways of making up for the plummeting profits.  Where are the leaders?  Who will direct us by an example of TRUTH, HOPE and SPIRIT? 

These are the powerful questions we face today.  Much is not under our control, yet we have the challenge of taking responsibility for ourselves and the managing the piece of business we are can influence.   

Do you want to succeed in your business?  Leaders that receive respect and who treat others with dignity and respect will always have “willing and loyal” followers.  

In order to lead businesses through the tough challenges facing the world today, the leaders need to TAKE THE POWER TOOLS they already have, AND USE THEM! 

Do you lead with TRUTH, or deception?  Do you have HOPE, or do you despair and demoralize?  Do you have SPIRIT or have you lost your enthusiasm and energy? 

The mark of a SUCCESSFUL LEADER, in these challenging times, is measured not by what he/she SAYS, but by what he/she DOES.  The leader of today must find the tools to rise above the temptations to slip into the easy rationalizations and excuses that are all too common (especially for those that attempt to make themselves look good at the expense of others).  They look to the future not to the past.  They have the honesty and integrity even if it means taking the “hit” for making a mistake. To make an honest mistake is acceptable, to lie about it is not.  Lead by building something positive with your power tools. 

TRUTH: When faced with any dilemma one answer works all the time.  TRUTH!  If you have sunken to the depths of the “rationalizer”, the “deceiver”, or the liar, you will be found out and pay the maximum price.  Your reputation!  Once this is lost you can’t get it back.  Followers forgive mistakes but never forget lies.  Do you show the courage to be truthful, even when it is embarrassing, or it exposes your mistakes?   

HOPE:  Without hope every war is lost! Imagine entering a foreign war with little or no hope of wining and returning to your loved ones.  Why would you even put out any effort?  How would you expect others to react to your hopelessness?  Why would they try hard to accomplish anything?  What would be the example you are giving to others?  Hope is the motivator, the reason to believe in your company (and yourself).  As a leader, the hope you give to others is the “carrot that gets the horse to move”.

SPIRIT:  This is the energy to do what needs to be done.  Your lack of enthusiasm will demoralize the troops.  Spirit is what we have when we first meet the one we love.  It is not something that requires exhausting, or unrewarding, effort; it is easy if you feel it.  Best of all it is infectious.  Once others feel the spirit and excitement you feel, they too will want to feel it.  Finding the spirit in what you do is the key to unleashing the drive that will make positive things happen.  If you smile, laugh, and enjoy what you are doing (and the people around you), what will others feel?  Feel the spirit in others and acknowledge it, it will infect you too.   

The RESULT is LEADERSHIP with INTEGRITY.  Respect, dignity, and people that trust you (and believe in you) will follow effortlessly.  They will feel your optimism and confidence.   

What will successful leaders do for your bottom line?  Use the power tools of TRUTH, HOPE and SPIRIT to build your leadership skills.  Share the power tools with others to help them build their skills.  Like all power tools, they are there to help us build something that is important to us and others.   



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