Recently posted quotes:

"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.” -Will Rogers (1879-1935)

"Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it." -James Madison (1751-1836)

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported." -John Adams (1735-1826)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Leadership - Part 8 – True, Fair and Consistent

What part does truth play in leadership?

For my money; it may just be the number one element. My experience has shown me that when told the truth about the goings-on, those that follow will do so almost unquestionably. When “leaders” don’t tell the truth and the followship discovers this to be the case; it can take next to forever to turn the situation around, if at all.

Tell them the truth. If you aren’t able to relate the entire truth, due to confidentiality or some other hindrance; tell them that you are not able to divulge the entire situation. I have found that in these cases, if you have been telling the truth all along, the followship will understand and accept your offering and not press any further. But, if you have a record of not being forthcoming consistently; they will be very wary and this leads to a bad situation that is also hard to overcome.

Can you be fair?

Of course you can. It takes very little to be so and the rewards are great, intangible, but great. It is almost always possible to be fair and followers expect it; in fact they demand it. It may not be evident on the surface, but its there nonetheless. When the circumstances limit your ability to be fair; explain it to the followship. In most cases they will understand; that is if you have been truthful all along. There’s that “truth” sneaking in again.

How does consistency play a role in leadership?

Consistency is the long term report card of leadership. This wraps up the “truth and fairness” aspect of leadership into an umbrella trait. If you are consistently the truthful and fair player; followers will always know what to expect from you in these arenas. This takes a lot of the “gamesmanship” outta the entire world of management. When you play the role consistently, you inspire others to do so also. Play the role less than consistent and your subordinates will do so also; an unacceptable situation one might add. Consistency can also rub off on peers and other managers//leaders in the organization.

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