“I used to see you walk around here on fire,” a colleague tells another. “Now, you’re as small as a pilot light.”
Are you as inspired (as alive!) by your career and work as you once were?
The system will harden us if we allow. Some teammates succumb to behaviors we wouldn’t tolerate in our children. They manipulate, they play king, they lie, they brag, they deceive, they blame, they hide.
When such actions are displayed by the few we may begin to suspect the whole. We will be tempted to quit believing that the majority is virtuous. When we refuse to cave to such small thinking, we realize a greater potential within ourselves for leading productive change– and become a model for those who wish to do the same.
This is not an appeal for a blind idealism. It’s a call for courage over timidity: Take decided action with the few who choose not to participate with integrity, while retaining enthusiasm for the whole.
If you walk around as if you’re on fire, if you’re alive with the idea that most people want to do well for others, then we are with you.
Stay your course. Inspire us.
Well said, these are words to live by!
I really needed to read this today. I just came back from the midpoint of Pathways training and really want to influence change and be my best ever.
I have been hardened by the few and need to be very intentional in trying to recovery my fire and not allow anyone to rain on my parade.
Jocelyn: Here’s to having the introspection to realize when and how we might strive to be best ever (even more). Here’s to all you inspire!
The types of behavior described boil down to one thing: love. Unfortunately, though, it is *self* love rather than a love for others. Behaviors, good or evil, come from what we believe, from our core presuppositions. If we believe we will be better off by undercutting others (and that being “better off” is actually the goal), then behaviors like creating fiefdoms, lying, bragging, deception, blaming and hiding will result.
Courage comes from convictions, from our beliefs about what is true. When we believe that something is right/true and that it is important, then most of us are willing even to give our lives for this cause (e.g. defending our families from an attacker). It does not mean we are fearless, either, but that we are willing to do what we believe despite our fear.
If our core convictions about the goal of life is to love others (rather than self), that having a better life means being willing to “lose it” for the sake of others, then we will not engage in self-protective (and dishonorable) behaviors. Instead, we will inherently build up those around us, helping them to be the best they can be. We’ll not lie, hide/deceive or blame, but will remain accountable to admit, fix our mistakes and collaborate for the good of everyone. Rather than bragging about our own accomplishments, we’ll promote and publish the success of others. (All of this is the proper definition of true leadership.)
Therefore, if we as team members are engaging in self-protective behaviors, then we need to examine our presuppositions and our career/life goals. Aligning your core beliefs with reality will be the biggest (and most rewarding!) challenge of your life, the how of which lies outside the scope of this topic.
James – thank you for your contribution and wise thoughts above. A smart leader once shared with me that “every behavior is a strategy.” Thank you for your call to align with our core beliefs and values.
Great insights and comments James. I agree that courage is about willing to do what we believe despite our fear.
Got me thinking… what are my convictions? where does courage show up for me?
Awesome, Brett! Writing those words really gave me a chance to reflect, too.
I chose to be on fire, alive and focused on the future.
To leave behind the saying….”it is what it is”…..and
replace it with….”it is what we want it to be”. We
have control of our reactions to these less inspired,
Rich – Your commitment to being on fire and focused is inspiring. Thanks for sharing this — and including your new mantra. Here’s to staying on courageous and being on fire!
Thanks, I needed this today…Inspiring integrity.
Betsy: so glad to hear this message supported you today. Here’s to your leadership!