Courage is not the absence of fear but proceeding in its presence. Courage is not necessarily acts of bravery against a life-threatening adversary. Courage can be defined as a situation where you are prompted to rise, step forward and risk something, to benefit yourself or others. You must be willing to go to the front of the line to demonstrate bravery. Therefore, Courage is not always about us. It is performed as a practice, a template, a role model to benefit others.
There are instances during a day or a season when you are being watched by your family, group, team, peers and community. How will you respond in difficult situations? When a fear generating dilemma appears, there is a courage stimulating response that is required. How will you respond? Will you be brave?
When an intimidating moment appears in the leadership gauntlet, it is a perfect opportunity to stand up, show courage and be on the front line and take the lead with your people. What does courage look like? It varies with the demand and the scale of the crisis. Courage could mean standing up for them when they are bullied by peers, strangers or management. It could be when unfair assaults on their skills, reputation and performance occurs during a meeting or performance review. Courage could occur during periods of uncertainty when patience and guidance are needed to help someone make it through a frightening predicament.
Courage could also manifest itself in the ability to show weakness, vulnerability, empathy and compassion. Courage provides the opportunity to let down your guard and connect with people. Look for opportunities to show people that you are on their side, that you can identify with them and fight with them. You can roll up your sleeves, join the fight and work with them.
You must be awarethatfatigue it is one of the obstacles you will encountergoing through the leadership gauntlet.Self-healthwill strengthenyour mental physical and spiritual well-being. When we are fatigued, we cannot do our best work. We are not able to think clearly or created. I’ll run down feeling of low energy also reduces our productivity. A key component of is the amount of rest we receive. The sleep foundation says that “While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Children and teens need even more. And despite the notion that our sleep needs decrease with age, most older people still need at least 7 hours of sleep.” Are you getting enough sleep every night?
Secondly, we are surrounded by date to increase our awareness of nutritional foods and those products that may be good for us. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NHLBI suggests that we have a healthy eating plan. “A healthy eating plan: Emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Limits saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars.”
In my book, the Isle of Knowledge I focus on the mantra that I use every day. I want to get my REPS in as a part of my normal routine. R stands for reflection. I begin each day thinking about the day and the activities that lie before me. E is for exercise. It may be simple calisthenics stretching or going to the club for more rigorous activity, such as lifting weights, running or participating in a spinning class. P is for prayer to ensure that I am spiritually centered. S is for study, which requires light reading to establish continuous learning. The study may be at the beginning of the day, during the day or at night before I go to bed.
You would agree with me that you do your best work when you are rested. Your ability to last and avoid fatigue is influenced by your eating habits, exercise routine and the amount of sleep you receive.
Pharmaceutical sales representatives are familiar with the customer referred to as the “Know-it-all doctor.” The connotation was not just a physician who knew everything, but an individual who was arrogant and spoke to people in a condescending manner. There was a feeling of superiority which made it difficult to deal with others. The air of arrogance made it hard to be effective as a leader. The person who knows everything and feels no one can teach them anything, is difficult to talk to and may not be open to receiving important information.
Many times, we use arrogance to cover-up for an insecurity. We don’t want people to recognize a deficiency in some aspect of our behavior and we do not wish to be challenged. On other occasions we do not wish to be questioned because we feel we are better than everyone. Humility is not a skill that makes them comfortable.
When you make the commitment to move beyond arrogance, it must be done with authenticity. Here is an example of what not to do. A manager received feedback that addressed his arrogance of feeling he was always right. It revealed that he did not listen to his direct reports, did not solicit their comments, but when they were given, he would not value or use them. It was described as follows.
He would adopt the stance of a good listener, someone concerned about his staff’s point of view. He would lean forward, establish direct eye contact and use transitional phrases such as, go on, is that so, I did not know that and tell me more. At the conclusion, he would thank them for their courage and valuable input. He would close by saying, he was glad to have the opportunity to know how they felt, but he would continue with his idea and the original plan. His subordinates were confused and wondered why ask for their opinions and bother going through such a pointless exercise. His actions curtailed their ideas and reduced trust. Why give comments if they did not matter?
Personalize your actions to prevent arrogant behavior by focusing on these areas.
Beware of arrogant tendencies.
Listen to others.
Involve others in your decision making
Include their ideas to show you value their suggestions
Do not respond in a threatening manner when you don’t like what you hear
People do not wish to support the arrogant person. They may withhold information. They may watch someone go down the wrong path and remain silent. They will surely not give them their best effort. They will do just enough to keep their jobs. They will engage in OMDB (Over My Dead Body) behavior and thinking. Review the poem below and reflect on it and discuss with others.
Many of us may be blind to our arrogant ways. In order to change we must be open to critical remarks without taking them personally. Act as if people may feel you are arrogant, and request insight. A manager read the poem below and was offended, for it struck a nerve. He was offended by the content because he thought I was speaking to him. However, members of his staff contacted me and confirmed that it was an accurate depiction of his arrogant leadership style. Let’s act as if this might be the case. Remove personal anxiety and allow people the opportunity to give you comments that are good for everyone.
Developing new skills requires a change management mentality. New skills must be practiced and reinforced over time, with continuous application. The more powerful and experiential the training with total immersion in the new skills, will result in new behaviors that are sustainable.
However, you must deal with inertia, which is resistance to change. Secondly you must contend with the temptation to resort to previous behaviors in the face of difficulty. Observation and experience reveal that in a crisis, if the new skills are not firmly embedded in the subconscious, we revert to previous behavior. We retreat to what is known, comfortable and firmly established. We may discard the new information, new practices for the comfortable behaviors of the past.
If change is not fully incorporated into your rote memory or natural rhythms, you may easily relapse. Therefore, it is important to have powerful implementation procedures that are rapidly reinforced repetition to replace the memorized subconscious behaviors.
Additionally, you must firmly believe in your people and adhere to your leadership pledge to their success. In the heat of battle, turmoil or a crisis, remember that your long-term effectiveness as a leader may hinge upon the following. Your ability to be steady, call while refusing to relapse and abandoning new programs and practices for the old way of doing things.
Survival is our strongest need, according to many philosophers. Abraham Maslow lists it among our basic needs, which we must fulfill before we move on to satisfying other needs on our list of priorities. Survival is dependent upon making the necessary adjustments to changes in our environment. We must include these adjustments, as a part of our evolving skills.
The quality of survival is linked to our adaptation ability, therefore our success in making adjustment to competitors in the marketplace or whatever environment surrounds us. Our objective is to aim higher , rather than barely making it. We do not want to do just enough to get by. We want to thrive and prosper. A standard of living above the baseline of existence is a desirable goal. But to achieve this enhanced quality of life, we must make continuous adjustments to our behavior.
The poem Adaptation addresses the adjustments we need to make educationally, relationally and professionally to improve our prospects for higher earning power and fulfillment of purpose. Charles Darwin wrote about the survival of the fittest and that holds true in the development of species and in developing a personal profile competitive enough to make it in the business world. Adaptation encourages the survival of the fit; those who take the time and make the effort to anticipate challenges and respond to change. Only progress is satisfactory. Movement is essential to momentum.
If someone has not seen you in several years, what change would they notice?
How has your business environment changed?
What adjustments have you made or must make to keep up with new demands in your profession?
How have you adapted to the technological demands of your profession?
How do you stay on top of matters that require your attention?
Alvin Toffler mentioned that technology has accelerated in this world of high tech, but we have not changed that much socially, in something he calls high touch. How are you socially keeping up with the times?
How are you adapting to find time for the ones you love?
Ego as defined by Webster’s New Riverside University Dictionary is the personality component that is conscious, most directly control behavior, and is most in touch with external reality is also referred to as self-love, self-confidence and self-esteem. Ego is also referred to as the part of us that feels threatened when we feel insecure, arrogant and caught up in ourselves. Ego also serves as another barrier in the gauntlet that we must face as individuals and as leaders.
There is a cycle of response that people use to protect their self-image or their ego. I watched people lash out to guard their ego when they sense danger is present. They want desperately for their ego to succeed and flourish. The ego has;
An image – a face, which must be saved
The ego is a repository of who we are.
The ego requires
When feeling threatened, attacked or ridiculed, a force field is activated that launches a counter response to protect the person.
President Harry S Truman said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” This quote reflects directly on the ego. Another quotation comes from Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander in their book, The Art of Possibility, where they write about Rule #6. People tend to get so caught up in their ego and in themselves that they must periodically be reminded of rule number six. There are no rules one through five, a rule number six simply don’t take yourself too seriously. They use slightly more colorful language, but this is the essence of the rule.
During your workday, think of individuals and situations where you are inclined to evoke your ego. Visualize the individuals and the situations, and mentally rehearse how you will interact with them.
One challenge on your Leadership Gauntlet will affect you personally, as well as those whom you serve. They are time wasters.
Time is a treasure and a resource. There are 24 hours in each day and 168 hours in a week. How you use the time given to you is your choice. How you manage your time will contribute or take away from your ability to be successful. We are individuals who craft time to our benefit or detriment. We are time crafters and consumers of time consumers. We vary in the total distribution of this amazing gift over our lifetime, but each day, our allotment is the same.
The way we manage time can influence the amount we have, but there are factors that are beyond our control. However, if you take a class in time management, they will discuss time wasters. These are elements that absorb the time you have for meaningful activities and shift them to meaningless tasks. Time wasters are as empty calories. You consume them, but they have no intrinsic value. They are people or activities that distract you from doing something that has a higher priority. A time waster for one person may not be for another. They can be individualized.
Identify the time wasters in your life; the things that divert or take your time from more import tasks and minimize and eliminate them. Alan Larkin, the noted Time Management expert says the following about time. “Time is life. It is both irreversible and irreplaceable, to waste your time is to waste your life, but to master time is to master your life and to then make the most of it.”