“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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.