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"Uhm...that's my stapler..."

During one of my business networking events, I was offered the challenge to blog on the topic of Leadership.  It seemed like a pretty simple challenge, I mean who wouldn’t want a chance to rant about the list of leaders they’ve encountered.  I know from my own experience it’s not all it’s cracked up to be – from either side.

When I’ve asked others what they think of their current leaders (management) I’m met with the “armchair quarterback”.  I’m shocked, amused by the frank observations and brutal opinions.  For sure I’ve been guilty of these myself.   Inept management styles always makes me think of the movie Office Space.  Be sure to hang on to that stapler.

So based on conversations like this I ask myself…why in the world would anyone want to take on a leadership role.  It seems like a pretty lonely and thankless job.  If given the opportunity tomorrow which would you choose?  To lead or to follow?  I’m not so sure that everyone would jump at the chance.  It’s often easier to have an opinion than to actually take on the realities of responsibility.

What you do has far greater impact than what you say.”
-Stephen M. R. Covey

It usually seems like a pretty good gig when sitting outside in the cubicle pit. Some of the obvious trappings of perceived success, the door you can close, the window maybe, the “visitor chairs”  and separate brainstorming conference table.  And surely along with this comes RESPECT – right?
Well I don’t know about you but any Leadership role I’ve had, the respect part is a fickle mistress, and the “stuff” is not always a satisfying reward.  If I’m asked what do I expect in Leadership, I will say, Principles.  Dictionary.com shares one of the definitions for “principle” as:

prin·ci·ple [prin-suh-puhl]

Noun:  a guiding sense of the requirements and obligations of right conduct: a person of principle.

I can say that with every impactful leader I’ve had the honor to serve under it was clear that they were People of Principle.  I trusted that they genuinely had my best interests at heart.  These leaders understood the challenges and weight of the responsibility while never forgetting they were working as part of a larger team.  I always sensed that they took their role on as a calling, not just a rung on a ladder.

I’ve striven to practice Principle Centered Leadership ever since I was first introduced to Stephen M. R. Covey’s book of the same name in 2001.  It was on the precipice of my first stint in Leadership.  I realized after reading this simple manual for a person of principle that basic laws of the universe guide us in right paths.  Surely this important role was a way to positively impact the world around me.  With that knowledge, how could I not take this opportunity to “serve”?

Principles are not invented by us or by society; they are the laws of the universe that pertain to human relationships and human organizations. They are part of the human condition consciousness and conscience. To the degree people recognize and live in harmony with such basic principals as fairness, equity, justice, integrity, honesty and trust, they move toward either survival and stability on the one hand or disintegration and destruction on the other.”
-Principle Centered Leadership – Stephen M.R. Covey

The Gentle Red Path www.stuckincustoms.com

So many times it’s hard to “see the forest for the corporate trees”.  Our Principle Centered Leaders will ensure that by remaining faithful to the basics, walking the walk, we’ll  feel confident the paths we share lead to success.

And if we’re not always blessed to be led by those that are “called’ then we have to remember to foster a principle centered workplace.  Regardless of what obstacles may be laid in our paths…we have a chance to make a difference.

 

 

 

 

 

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