Posts Tagged 'character'

Meaning

Liked this old clip of Viktor Frankl. Another thought provoking clip from ted.com. Even though it’s almost 40 years old!

Enjoy

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How the Mighty Fall

Just spotted Jim Collin’s latest book. I’ve always enjoyed his previous books – Built to Last and Good to Great. This one is Great to Bad! How once great companies fail. He identifies 5 stages of decline.

  1. Hubris born of success.
  2. Undisciplined pursuit of ‘more’.
  3. Denial of risk and peril.
  4. Grasping for salvation.
  5. Capitulation to irrelevance or death.

Sobering reading as an individual, team, organisation or civilisation.

I’m thinking of climate change and the current financial meltdown.

I liked this quote – “The signature of the truly great versus the merely successful is not the absence of difficulty but the ability to come back from set-backs, even catastrophe, stronger than before.”

There’s always hope …. if it’s well-founded!

Low tide

Lunch with a friend yesterday. Mentioned that it was interesting to observe the behaviours of some, when the tide goes out. He shared a personal experience of a public sector manager behaving unethically and probably illegally. Using power and position to disadvantage my friend. No doubt he rationalised it by thinking of the current economic situation.

It made me think of the character aspect of leadership. Some things illuminate character. Adversity for instance. It seems that many leaders stand out in times of adversity. Is it because they find their character? Is it because they have the opportunity to exercise their character? Is it that the character of others is exposed through negative behaviour (… and they stand out)?

Someone once said that you can judge a society by how it cares for it’s most vulnerable members. Ditto leaders. Judge leaders by how they behave towards others more vulnerable. When the times are tough. Anyone can look good on a rising tide, when things are going well. But for some, low tide is a different story.

Character boils down to behaviour. Having the courage of your convictions and treating others as you would be happy for them to treat you.

I believe that we all have a responsibility to robustly confront poor behavior by:

  • naming the specific behaviour
  • articulating the impact of that behaviour
  • telling the person how we feel about it.

Letting people get away with poor behaviour, only accepts and encourages it.