Leaders Own It

This is a leadership layer that cannot be overlooked. To have ownership means as leaders we own it ~ not rocket science that. When you own something you act in a different way towards it.

You take care of it.
You protect it.
You make sure it doesn’t break.
If it breaks you mend it or make arrangements to have it fixed.
Maybe if its become out of date, you replace it for a newer one.
You spend time, energy and money on it.

I have paid the price for not truly owning something. When I first started out in a leadership role I loved taking credit when things went well, otherwise it was the other persons fault. I was good finger pointer. Passing the buck, it’s not my fault, I don’t have the right resources, they were just some of my excuses. All just to save face.

To become a good leader means this layer of leadership has to be handled carefully. Who wants to follow a leader who doesn’t demonstrate a willingness to own what they lead?

Here’s a few things I have learned along the way…

Ownership is 24/7.
Ownership is action more than words.
Ownership is about adding value wherever you can.
Ownership is inconvenient. 
Ownership should produce a determination to get it right.
Ownership is for everyone.
Ownership isn’t easy.

Don’t step up if you are not willing to take full responsibility for what you are stepping up to take ownership of. If you don’t own it, you will not get given it. Or if you have it, get ready for it to be taken out of your hands.

How’s Your Integrity?

As discussed before, leadership is not about levels but more about layers. Lots of different layers. The challenge with layers is that they take time. A level can possibly be won quickly, through a promotion or just because someone else quits. It doesn’t always mean you have what it takes for people to want to follow you.

Layers are not so much about what you do but more about why you do it. They are defining who you are. They are your character and people follow your character, your person, the who and the why, more than they do the what you are doing.

At 19 you don’t really think about integrity. I know I didn’t. I would have been more conscious of how I lived a very hypocritical lifestyle. I was doing leadership as a role but it was just something I did, it wasn’t who I was. At least not yet. At 19, when you first step into leadership, you don’t really understand how everything is connected. That even though you are successful at the doing, if another aspect of who you are is in competition with that, then ultimately you fail. Just think politicians. Think sportsmen. Too often they are great at how they perform but fail miserably in being people you would actually want to follow. They lack good character. They lack integrity.

I am not perfect. Wasn’t at 19 and even though 25 years have passed, I’m still not. In the beginning I didn’t consider my integrity but now I do. It’s taken 25 years to earn it, to grow it as a layer. I have become aware how some foolish moments could definitely give it a hefty dent or see me lose it completely.

Integrity takes time.
Integrity has a cost.
Integrity covers everything.
Integrity is a choice.
Integrity is a personal discipline.

I can’t make you a person of integrity, I can only sell you the benefits.
No skeletons in the cupboard.
No awkward conversations.
No moments of indecision.
No double-mindedness.
No more living two different lives.

Integrity helps make your yes is yes and your no a no. Boundary lines for your life and how you will live are drawn when you have integrity. You know who you are and other choices have to line up with that. It doesn’t mean you don’t care about others but it does mean that sometimes what you care about has to come first.

Integrity comes from your why and it influences your what and your how. The why of my life is built on my Christian faith and the lifestyle that Jesus would ask me to live. I want my life to be whole and complete, in line with the word of God, thereby helping me maintain my integrity. I hope people see that. If I ever doubt they do then I have some work on my hands.

If you desire to be a leader who others want to follow, then work on your integrity. Who you are when no-one else sees. In word, in deed, in every facet of your life.

If you want help in unpacking this idea further then I would recommend a book by Dr Henry Cloud called Integrity. Read it with a willingness to be honest about yourself, to make the hard calls and make changes if necessary. Identify those areas where you lack integrity and grow a new layer of leadership. It will make so much difference, you will wonder why you never did this before.

Q: What do you think about integrity? Why is it so important? How is it challenging for you?

Integrity Job Style

Here’s my simple thought as I read the book of Job this week.

I don’t want what Job went through but I would like to think that whatever happens in my life I would hold on to my integrity like he did. Even when those closest to him encouraged him to blame God he refused to be persuaded. He maintained his integrity.
[Job 2:3 MSG: Then God said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him, is there – honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil? He still has a firm grip on his integrity! You tried to trick me into destroying him, but it didn’t work.”]

Sometimes you have to fight for it.
Sometimes it isn’t easy.
Sometimes you can convince yourself that you deserve to ‘give your opinion’, ‘speak out’, ‘feel sorry for yourself’.

The challenge of standing by the non-negotiable standards in your life is what makes integrity.
Integrity isn’t easy.
Integrity can set you apart.
Integrity determines your response to things that happen.
Integrity is a leadership must.
Integrity is an overlooked spiritual discipline

You grow your integrity, then you fight hard to make sure you do not lose it.

How is your integrity looking?

Integrity: The People Facet

Leaders need followers. It is a simple fact and it’s not a new one. The challenge is how to become a leader that people want to follow. Lots of focus on stuff like…

Charisma
Vision
Passion
Stability
Compassion

Saying that integrity attracts people is like telling you the sky is blue. It’s so obvious, that maybe sometimes we forget. Or do we ignore it because it’s not as flashy, not as much fun, not as up-front.

Winning with people is an essential leadership quality. Building your integrity is a part of that process. The challenge is that it takes time. Lots of time and therein lies the problem. Integrity is a slow process but the most worthwhile process if you can stay the course.

If integrity is the diamond in a leaders crown then it should be sought like the precious jewel that it is. There is no integrity shortcut. In fact, driving your leadership journey without integrity will have the leadership ‘satnav’ shouting out at you ‘at the first opportunity please turn around – make that U-TURN!’

Are you struggling to keep your team behind you? Check your integrity…can you say yes to the following:

I do what I say I will do.
I follow up on those things I say I will follow up.
My word is trustworthy.
I don’t ask anyone to do something I am not prepared to do myself.
I am the same at home as I am when I am with the team.
I am honest.
I always do my best to put myself in the others persons position so I can fully understand.
If I make mistakes I am the first to admit them.
I will do whatever it takes to hold on to my integrity.
I know that I don’t know everything and take every opportunity to learn from others.

What are your thoughts on integrity and winning with people?