Archive for the ‘Integrity and Values’ Category

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Leadership Courage – What does it mean to you?

dare to dreamWhat does the word courage mean to you?  The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines courage as – “the ability to disregard fear; bravery.   Having the courage of one’s convictions and acting on one’s beliefs.”  Over the centuries, courage has been regarded as a core virtue which then enables other virtues such as truthfulness, responsibility, integrity, authenticity, accountability and persistence. I rather love Ernest Hemingway’s famous definition of courage as “grace under pressure.”

Being in a leadership role, one is constantly in a fish bowl. A leader is being constantly watched for everything she does, how well she does this along with what she does not say or do.  The current business and economic VUCA context calls for even greater leadership courage, resilience, agility, nimbleness and innovation.    Managers and leaders courage gets tested every day.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.
–  Ambrose Redmoon.

For the purpose of this blog, I have broken down courage into three levels where a leader’s courage is called upon.  As you read these, note where you show more courage along with what is more challenging for you and why?  (more…)

Managing with Aloha – The Hawaiian Way

While in Hawaii, I had the great pleasure of coming across the work of Rosa Say, a workplace culture and leadership coach, author and speaker. Rosa brings a unique Hawaiian perspective to business and workplace focusing on core Hawaiian values which also have a universality and parallel with many indigenous cultures. Her beautiful and very practical book, “Managing with Aloha” brings these values to life and I feel privileged sharing this interview with Rosa,  with you.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself – your roots and cultural background?

I was born and raised in Hawaii, the oldest of 5 children: I was 5 years old when Hawaii became the 50th State of USA. Like many in the islands, I represent a melting pot of ancestry, and I’m Filipino, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese, yet I consider myself keiki o ka ‘aina (a child of the land) in my value system and prevailing habit, in that I’m completely a product of the islands’ sense of place. In our islands, the locals would call me Kama’aina; one who is native born and bred, but not of Hawaiian blood ancestry. “Of Hawaii” is who I am, in that it is all I know as a resident, other than a very short time when I lived in the Philippines as a teenager, but I’ve been fortunate to have traveled outside of the islands quite a bit – more than most residents do. Haven’t been to your islands yet though, and believe me, it’s near the top of my bucket list! (more…)

INTEGRITY: The supreme quality of leadership

integrityFrom time to time, in our personal and professional lives, we come across people and opportunities that seem engaging, exciting and worthy of further exploration.

Sometimes the best things in life are those we stumble upon or that seem to come quite serendipitously out of nowhere!  And indeed, explore we must as new horizons and development only arise through venturing into the unknown, pushing the envelope and taking an “experimental” stance towards such invitations.  As the old saying goes, if we do what we have always done, then we will get what we have always gotten!

At the same time, though, it is worth being mindful of the questions below particularly if going down a path could compromise your integrity.

1) Is this congruent with your role, values and beliefs?

2) Are there any foreseeable values conflict in what the guiding principles of your life and business are and what the new opportunity represents?

3)  Will engaging in this opportunity compromise and tarnish your role, reputation and character in some way?

4) Which of your values and beliefs are non-negotiable?

5) How can you continue to be mindful of this so you don’t find yourself going down a slippery slope of compromises later?

6) Do you know when it is time to walk away?

7) What are the benefits of engaging in this particular project or partnership?  What about the costs?

8) What is your intuition, inner voice or other ‘body signals’ conveying to you about the venture or people involved?  Do you feel reasonably at ease or is there some internal angst and agitation? (You may not have words for what this is yet).

9) What are some questions that remain unanswered? Making a note of these and finding answers for these will certainly help.

We are confronted with situations and challenges – big and small – all the time. As my executive client said the other day, “Given my particular challenge, I could get away with a very expedient solution but the cost of not doing the right thing is too high. My reputation and integrity will be tarnished forever.”

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionable integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in the office.
-Dwight D Eisenhower

As we navigate ourselves through our lives, we soon realize that choosing between right and wrong can be fairly straight forward but it’s the choosing between what could  be “right and right” or choosing between two different values both of which you hold dear.  In these instances, we need to consider the whole package and make choices based on what is right for you and or your business right now including the risk you are willing to tolerate.

If peace of mind is a high order value than playing the high stakes game will not work for you. The old Indian sages have espoused the virtues of peace, a calm state of mind and patience with beautiful words like   ‘shanti’ and ‘dheeraj”.  With a multitude of demands coming our way, it is worth being mindful of not just what we are ticking off but the state of mind and presence with which we do things.  This may mean, at times, not rushing into things headlong.  With time, the true nature of things including people gets revealed.  Truth always has a way of coming out.

SQ reflection points:

1)  What is a decision you have to make which might benefit from some further gestation, reflection and or investigation?

2) How do you walk the fine line so no matter what your integrity and values stay intact and support you?

3) What personality trait or competing value might block you from seeing things more objectively?

Bear in mind, no matter how tempting, one thing money can’t buy is integrity.

As a leader, you cannot compromise your integrity in a significant area of your life be it personal or business and then hold yourself ‘squeaky clean’ in the other.

The value of integrity = Priceless.

Jasbindar Singh is a coaching psychologist working with managers and leaders to enhance their self awareness and leadership effectiveness. She is also accredited in the powerful Integrity and Values profiling tool to help her clients identify their strengths and integrity blind spots.

The betrayal of trust in business and personal relationships

broken trustGood business and personal relationships are based on trust.  We like to interact and do business with people we feel comfortable with and have some degree of trust and rapport with.  Where there is high trust and resonance, in time, some of these relationships ripen into long lasting friendships. 

And yet sometimes – in both our personal and professional lives – we   get betrayed in our trust.  We can be left feeling shocked, angry and hurt as we try and make sense of what just happened and why this might have happened.

When trust gets broken, the range of reactions can vary from total shock – the common expression of “I didn’t see that one coming” to as another client put it, “I had a strange feeling that things were not quite stacking up but I just didn’t have the evidence so gave the person the benefit of the doubt but with disastrous consequences.  Now I would never do that and would instead slow the process down, buy more time and do  rigorous  due diligence.”

So what is this intangible concept called trust and why does it matter so much?


Taking responsibility – a key to leadership integrity

Can you recall a time recently when clearly you had been “done wrong” by someone – a colleague, team member, manager, friend or even a loved one?  In some way they had “failed to deliver” what was either normal, expected, within the bounds of that relationship. Worse they had “done a dirty” either knowingly or unknowingly?  How did you feel?

And when you talked   to them about it, how did they react?  Were there excuses, explanations, denial or blame or did they acknowledge what had happened, took responsibility and proceeded to put it right?  (more…)

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