People do not like to be put in boxes, and just as important, people do not like to be in the dark, outside the door where company values and vision are shaped. People are less energized and tend to drift when they are unsure of how they should be operating within an organization. People need to see their leaders’ commitment to values, and they want a part in helping to shape their organization’s core values and vision.
So how do you show this? There are five steps to helping your company and your team stand for something greater.
Step 1: Clean up your act
It is difficult to convince others to stand for something greater if your own life and values are mediocre. Make no mistake: Regardless of what you hear from assorted voices, your personal moral standards are inseparably linked to long-term leadership success.
I once worked with a vice president of a large company who appeared very successful but did not adhere to high personal standards. He was very good at what he did and had a magnificent reputation. He had also successfully navigated through some tough spots for the company.
This V.P. liked to call himself “a player.” Essentially, being a player meant that he messed around outside of marriage. He did not see this as wrong (pride talking) and told us it would not affect his people or the quality of the job they were doing (pride again). In his arrogance he thought he could keep his two worlds—work and extramarital cheating—separate.
Twenty-four months later, the vice president’s inability to control his pride and lust cost him everything, including his job. His clever scheme fell apart. His self-focus swallowed him up.
It’s fun to be a leader, flattering to have influence, and invigorating to have a room full of people cheering your every word. It is a powerful boost to set a direction for the troops and then draw them out to march toward the goal. However, nothing will spoil this pretty picture more quickly than a willful, proud attitude.
Author and speaker Joyce Meyer writes,
How can you tell you have a problem with pride? Examine yourself. If you have an opinion about everything, you have a problem with pride. If you are judgmental, you have a problem with pride. If you can’t stand to be corrected, you have a problem with pride. If you rebel against authority, if you want to take all the credit and glory to yourself, if you say “I” too often, then you have a problem with pride.
Pride can cause an uncontrolled will, which is fatal in a leader’s life.