Only Boats Are Shallow on the Draught
Whether you realize it or not, we are all on the Titanic! When the Olympic-class ocean liner set sail in 1912, it was declared unsinkable because it was constructed using new technology. With the ship’s hull divided into sixteen watertight compartments, up to four of these compartments could be compromised and the ship would still float. History was made at 2:20am on April 15, 1912, when 1513 souls were lost. It was originally thought the iceberg collision ruptured five of its compartments only to find in 1985 there was no sign of such a gash ripping through the ship’s hull. What was discovered was the damage to one compartment affected all of the other compartments.
Many people make a Titanic mistake in life. People think they can divide their lives into various compartments and what occurs in one will not affect any of the others. However, a life of integrity is one that cannot be divided into compartments. The Elegant Leader owns their integrity and never compromises it.
Integrity in Self
Throughout my travels and speaking engagements, I encounter business professionals who appear to be highly successful, endearing and engaging charismatic leaders in public, yet in private they’re a completely different person in their homes. I had one client who’s blind spot was exactly that – two distinct personalities – and each undesirable behavior bled from one aspect of his life to the other.
“Chamomile and mint are known for their fresh, sweet fragrances, and their bitterness ranges from mild to intense. Avoid leading fragrantly, as we know of your bitterness.”
The truly successful leader is not a Jekyll-and-Hyde character. They have character, authenticity, and integrity. There is no difference between ‘work’ executive and ‘home’ executive, or Jane at a charity gala and Jane at a neighborhood party. The duplicity here is palpable. While their magnetic charm and personality can motivate hoards of people who love to be near, their foundational values and principles are as bitter as rue.
“A life of integrity is one that is not divided into compartments.” – Rick Warren
In ancient times, many laws were temporary in purpose, for example, some laws were symbolic. They educated the people in the pursuit of purity. The times were of honor, protecting the vulnerable, of obligation, of consideration to positively do good. Today, we have laws to keep people safe, a duty of care towards our neighbor. I recall my firearms training when we had finished an evolution, the instructor yells out, ‘make it safe.’ In order to restore the integrity of the firearm, we’d clear the barrel and reholster. To restore the leader, one needs to clear the dishonest, corrupt and impure and re-establish what is principled and true. We all fall short of living a life of integrity in varying degrees.
How can you avoid a Titanic mistake and live lives of integrity?
A leader’s ego is a fragile thing. The Elegant Leader with Voltage understands true success is the rhythm of ego, results and relationships all working in concert together – interdependently. When your own personal integrity isn’t aligned with your professional integrity you will be found out and you will fail in time.
Integrity in Relationships
Is it easy to lead a life of integrity in relationships? Leaders work with and through other people creating dynamic solutions to everyday situations and problems. They communicate effectively and often. Listening and learning what’s working, what’s not and the lessons gleaned along the way. The Elegant Leader is always evolving, adapting to the situation and making decisions on less than perfect data. They know to trust and to respect their people.
Getting to the point of trust and respect requires establishing, building, nurturing and even repairing relationships. It takes time, repetition and most of all integrity. Temptations abound in and around the workplace, and the lure is strong. The Elegant Leader’s path is narrow with dozens, hundreds or even thousands of pairs of eyes watching their every move. They must live a life of integrity; living a life that is authentic and faithful. How would you know if someone is virtuous? It’s often said, if you want to get to the root, then follow the money.
“If a person gets their attitude towards money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area in their life.” – Rev. Billy Graham
How a leader manages revenue and expenses is a tell of their motives of leadership. Money is a tool, a resource. People who are more sensible, thoughtful and prudent understand the premise of money as a tool. Money is also a test. I’m sure many of you are versed in the parable of whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
The Elegant Leader knows this parable and demonstrates stewardship. The responsibility to be a good steward with little sets the example for those in their charge whether it’s two, twenty or two thousand. The Elegant Leader is entrusted by their honesty, and their trustworthiness – this is Voltage.
“Don’t love money and use people. Money is to be used, but not loved. Love people and use money.”
Abraham Lincoln was quoted, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power,” and watch what he does with it. If you want to know the measure of a great leader, then give them money and watch what they do with it. This test is but one step of integrity in relationships.
The Elegant Leader intimately knows the importance relationships play in results if they are to be successful. Having the rhythm of relationships with results shapes their ego and all must maintain a relative equilibrium. My client was able to make a transformation that changed his life and his career trajectory. He’s now thankful and appreciative of the second chance he gave himself. To make lasting, sustainable change, the Elegant Leader commits to taking just one step forward.
If you’d like to know more, then please email or call 205-582-4100 and see if we would be a good fit to take it further.
The conversation continues…