I was recently thinking over a particular decision I had to make and I faced the question we all do “Do I want to make a Right Decision or do I want to make a Popular Decision?” I think most of us would answer with what we know we should and that is the right decision. However if we are honest with ourselves we will possibly realise that it is a lot easier said than done.
In this performance tip I want to address some management leadership training areas around our character. Character, I believe is an ever evolving process and in my mind there are two components. Personal Leadership, how we lead ourselves and People Leadership, which is how we lead others.
We hear a lot of media hype about something called the ‘extreme makeover’ these days. This brings an emphasis on the outward appearance and how we can improve how we look using makeover methods. No matter how much we change the outside real change and significant growth comes from the change on the inside. I have witnessed people who go on shows like the ‘Biggest Loser’ drop a whole lot of weight only to see them months or a year later fall back into a similar physical situation like before they went on the show.
What does that tell us?
Well it tells us that it is much easier when you are cocooned in a TV show, which has the training and support structure to shed those unwanted kilos, it is however a lot different trying to maintain that in our normal day to day life. Which supports the thought that only those who experience internal change see the lasting change on their lifestyle and outward environment. When the experience of the Biggest Loser changes the persons view of themselves the change is almost always lasting. Even when someone is skinny they can still look in the mirror and see a fat person, it is all about what they see and feel on the inside.
Hard Right Leadership and Character
The internal leadership characteristics we develop will always have a direct effect on how we lead and see ourselves and others. In a society that demands instant change and high level convenience, some of the most powerful character traits have gone missing. The best leaders recognise this and allow themselves to make some hard right decisions in order to see lasting results.
Character was once defined to me as “Who are you when no one is looking?”
For example some of the character traits that become powerful in times of having to make a hard right decision are things like patience, calmness, tolerance, forgiveness, non judgemental attitudes, staying the course, not comparing ourselves to others integrity and honesty. But lets face it they often don’t feel good or make you popular!
It is disappointing to me when I see the lack of integrity, selfishness and uncaring attitudes that seem to be accepted as the norm in many interactions in our western culture. Don’t get me wrong I have made some ripper mistakes myself and have lacked integrity, honesty etc. at times in my life, but the core of this stems from what are you characterised by day to day not by your lapse in judgemnt or an occasional slip or mistake.
The power of making hard right decision in your personal leadership no matter how difficult a situation can be understood through a value that I live by and that is, ‘all things work together for good.’ Even if it doesn’t seem that way at the time. Have you ever done the right thing no matter how hard, inconvenient it was for you only to look back after a few months and years and see how powerfully right it was even though it didn’t seem like that at the time?
The Best Hard Right Decision Example I could Ever Give!
Let me give you an example from my personal life that I often use in my leadership and training sessions as one of the best examples I could ever give! This explains how powerful a hard right decision can be when it comes to character. This particular Hard Right Decision changed my life forever!!!
About 4 and half years ago I was in a bad place, down on my luck I think the phrase is, I had lost my business, just gone through a really bad relationship break up and also, because of that break up, had no one in my circle of friends to turn to for support. I had gone from living in my car to scraping just enough money together to rent a shoebox of an apartment that in all honesty would be a great place to hide if you were on the run from the cops. 🙂 I hope this paints the picture..
One night as I was driving into this apartment block and I lost concerntration and accidently clipped one of the cars in the carpark. It was dark and approxiamately 9:30 pm and very little chance of being discovered. The fact was I didn’t have any money to pay for it and the last thing I wanted to do was fess up to scraping someones car at 9:30 pm at night. There was no doubt that the thought of making a run for it was strongly in the front of mind, I didn’t need this at this point of my life!
Well to cut a long story short I made a Hard Right Decision. I knocked on the apartment door that related to the parking bay number and was met by a lady who looked a bit worse for wear in her track suit pants, no make up and her place looked a bit of a mess. I told her what had happened and how sorry I was and that I would get sorted out for her. Little did I know she had gone through a bit of a rough patch herself relationship wise and had been crying on the phone to her mum that night saying she would never find Mr Right. Her mum encouraged her by saying “you just never know you will meet someone in the most unusal way when you’re meant to.”
Yes well you guessed it, that lady who answered the door that night is now my Fiance! We went on to develop a great friendship after that night and now enjoy the most powerful relationship that I have ever experienced. We also have been blessed with a beautiful 20 month year old son named Oscar. The one thing that she said about that night that impressed her was my honesty because not many people would have come clean.
It is amazing isn’t? If I hadn’t made a Personal Leadership Character decision that night I would of missed out on an entirely new part of my life that has given much more than I ever lost.
So what is my point?
You never really know what a ‘Hard Right Decision’ can lead to. They are often inconvenient, painful, unpopular and sometimes lonley. But they are always right!
Who knows what ‘Hard Right Character’ decisions you will be faced with this week?
Hard Right Decisions can be defining moments for our future and a critical point in management and leadership training.
Hope you found some value in these thoughts and let me know what you think by leaving your comments below.
To Your Best Success,
P.S. If you ever have any thoughts or ideas on what you would like covered in the performance tips just drop me a line.