I have a notion that many leaders hide in plain sight. By this I mean they have the title leader though they don’t function like one. At least not as one you might expect to bear the title leader.
You would notice this in their behaviour. They do ‘command and control’. They do ‘my way or the highway’. They prefer ‘do as I say, not as I do’. They micro manage. They avoid decisions and when they can’t, they tend to favour expediency driven by emotion, rather than rational and logical driven by data.
You will know them, and you may even be one. If this is the case, let me help you. I prefer leaders who lead in plain sight. My experience tells me that others do too.
You will know them by their behaviours. They are ethical and authentic. They have strong values, morals and vision. They share a common cause and a passion for excellence. They do not tolerate mediocrity. They care about their colleagues and peers. They tend to inspire and motivate, rather than repress. They ‘walk the talk’ and can engage at all levels of an organisation. They have frailties and shortcomings. They play to their strengths and surround themselves with talent that complements their abilities.
You will know them, and you may be one. If this is the case, let me help you improve. I prefer to bring more of my humanity to my leadership role. I do this with a strong focus on my moral values. These are:
- Wisdom – I think carefully through decisions though I can do this quickly, occasionally too quickly. I have decades of experience behind me, much of it hard won.
- Fairness – I have always regarded myself as a fair person and have received feedback to this effect.
- Courage – I was raised to say what I mean and mean what I say. I have some scars and a lot of achievements.
- Self-control – I pride myself on this though I have had my moments.
- Trust – I tend to trust people till they prove unworthy of that trust. Not always ideal but it’s largely worked for me.
- Hope – I am an eternal optimist and display great positivity. I also believe fervently in practising an attitude of gratitude.
- Humility – I am a Myers-Briggs ENFP, so I acknowledge my extraversion. I often, however, feel humble and display humility but I rarely do deference. I also don’t suffer fools gladly.
- Love – I demonstrate my care for others in many ways, often through random acts of kindness.
- Honesty – I have travelled a journey from young firebrand and maverick to a seasoned diplomat. However, I practice openness and honesty and will not shirk an issue. My comfort zone or personal space is close to me and I think this helps.
- Excellence – I believe in and practice providing excellence wherever I can though I have empathy for constraints and understand that, sometimes, good is good enough. I do not strive for perfection and see excellence as the incremental improvement of quality.
Each day I strive to be a better me, a better leader and a better example for those around me. I draw consistently on my moral values to guide and illuminate my learning. I continue to learn each and every day.
How might moral values help you in your future journey? In what ways might you bring more humanity to your leadership role, and how might you lead better in plain sight?
John Thurlbeck’s five-word story is ‘Helping you solve your problems!’ John transforms leaders, teams and organisations so they deliver better outcomes and impact to those they serve! He has worked for 40+ years in the private, public and voluntary and community sectors, leading and managing transformational change in ‘turnaround’ situations. He is a highly regarded and successful storyteller, speaker, OD consultant, trainer/facilitator, coach, and author, working across the UK and Europe.
Recognised and recommended for great results, expertise, sense of humour and high integrity, John is known as an inspirational and empowering people and organisation developer. From his personal experience, John will show you how to survive and thrive in complex environments by developing the characteristics of transformational leadership.
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