A Convergence of Qualities

“Your attitude is a multitude of aptitude and rectitude which decides your altitude in plenitude.” ~ Vikrant Parsai

Over the last ten days or so, I observed and/or experienced situations that heightened my awareness and in hindsight, left me wondering. I’m not going to delve into the situations other than to acknowledge that they were leadership opportunities.

In several of these settings I anticipated demonstrations of leadership – you know, clear and bold displays of character, honesty, principle, rectitude and integrity. In my opinion, an admirable convergence.

We (there were others observing) thought we’d see leaders channel their positive powers of persuasion, possess and show spine, and share how course of conduct decisions could (and ought to) be made in accordance with reason. Perhaps my cultivated views of leadership are too lofty. In my mind, leaders develop the capacities of others, are characterized by a deep sense of ethics, are driven by core values, and are motivated by the pursuit of a higher purpose.

So I was dumbfounded when I heard and learned many of these people ‘whispering’ about the end not always justifying the means, and intentionally twisting and distorting facts when required for ulterior outcome(s). These individuals represented a broad range of professional walks – religion, academia, athletics, advertising and one that didn’t surprise me, politics.

In my after-the-fact reflection I reminded myself that when you choose to behave with honor and integrity, particularly when other people aren’t doing so, it’s likely someone is going to notice and will make different and better decisions as a result of what they observe in you. When you genuinely and confidently express your support for respect, honesty and trust, it makes it easier for others around you to pass that attitude along.

We don’t need to be in positions of public power to have a positive impact on others. It is how we act in our day-to-day lives, congruent with who we really are, that matters. If you are interested in influencing people in worthy ways, here are three considerations:

  1. Look for the expectant. Focus on positive direction by scanning the news and events for examples of integrity. Talk about what you see and hear with family, friends and colleagues rather than the latest scandal. Make endorsing integrity a stronger value in your life than criticism.
  2. Remind and reinforce others. Sometimes others will show or tell you what you did (or are about to do), is not right. Thank those people, for they are giving you the potential for personal growth.
  3. Be transparent. Most of us would like to be something we’re not. Admit your shortcomings. Part of being honest with yourself is being honest with others. Living transparently and not pretending to be someone you aren’t actually makes people think more of you. Yes, it’s counter-intuitive. It’s also transformative.

55 thoughts on “A Convergence of Qualities

  1. Great article Eric. I loved the photo at the end too. I was recently tempted to seek out information about our local member of parliament as he has often got himself into strife with bad behaviour and recently he outdid himself. I am pleased that I resisted the urge to go mud raking – it didn’t feel right and it still doesn’t.

  2. Do you consider leadership and being a good role model to be the same? Ideally they would be, of course, but a person of good character who sets a high standard for behaviour is not always the same person who can lead others through difficult circumstances.

    • Anne, thanks for your interesting question and perspective. I do not have a clear answer, at least one I can share with conviction. I believe there are differing views re: leadership and behavior and offering mine would only be a whisper in a larger mix of considerations.

  3. There are those who lead from their darkness (ego-mind) and those who lead from their hearts. Leading from our hearts is what we each are here to do. Leading from the ego-mind is fear based. We need only look at what is happening in our world to know that the hearts of many are awakening to the fear based, ego-mind driven intentions of many who are “in positions of power”. I enjoyed reading this Eric. The reflections are powerful and invited me into reflecting on many with whom I am working. Thank you.

    • Very belated thanks. The operative word that I resonate with in your comment is “awakening.” It is indeed happening and the shift will only grow more pronounced — benefiting all of us. I enjoyed reading your share!

  4. Great reminder that ANYONE can be a person of influence and that we all have very high value no matter what our ‘position’ in society’s eyes might be. Awesome stuff as always, Eric.

  5. I take heart in the fact that, as you say, “choose to behave with honor and integrity” and do so in every day life and people will take notice (people that really matter in your life). There seems to be such a focus on getting things done at any cost in today’s business world (which politics play such a big role) that we lose touch with just how high these costs are… Great post Eric, thank you.

  6. As always, a great post. I’ve been so behind in my blog reading and trying (desperately) to catch up and so glad I started with this one. I hope many people take note. Your 3d note of “transparency,” I believe, is the most important. Not enough of us are truly transparent in our lives. In my studies toward the priesthood years ago (too many years ago, it seems), that was one aspect that was pounded into me. Through the years, it wasn’t always that easy to be so, but over the past 10 years or so, it’s felt like an old friend – being able to be myself without worry of judgment from others. We so often forget that we can find an empowerment in the simple statement, “I don’t know” (a form of transparency, admitting that we’re not all-knowing even if someone comes to us for advice).

    Thanks for the post.

    • And you think you’re behind!!! A much belated reply to your thoughtful comment. I love your reference to “it’s felt like an old friend.” I, too, have come to rekindle my relationship and alignment with that friend and in doing so, appreciate the clarity in my thoughts and actions. Thank you! for adding your valued thoughts to this thread.

    • Without doubt, learned. I believe leaders may be born with some of the skills and qualities that will later aid them in/with leadership but what truly forms them is training, learning, experience, failure and a host of other life experiences. Thank you for acknowledging the post!

  7. Eric-I loved this. Your timing could not be more perfect. I’ve been struggling all day today with being my best self. I told one of my peers that I was giving myself an “attitude adjustment” on my lunch break. I hate when I can’t seem to hold it together. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  8. This is a great post, Eric.

    As I reflect on the foundational elements of Leadership, much of what you have written resonates. Authenticity viz. our being and acting in the same way we hold ourselves for others and Integrity viz. honouring our word so that it remains whole and complete are foundations on which great leadership is built. The other aspect which can play a hugely positive role in Leadership is to be committed to something bigger than yourself, something in which there is no personal gain.

    Shakti

  9. Oh thank goodness you’re there! I have even been scanning the obituary columns of various American papers! True! I did!!

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