#3 - June 1, 2009

The measure of a man’s character is what he would do
If he knew he never would be found out.
Thomas Babington Macaulay

The above quotation struck a chord with me, as I recently had a conversation with a friend about acts of kindness. Would one, we queried, continue to perform acts of kindness in a world where they would be done without acclaim? And, on the opposite end, would we be less ethical in our choices if no one would be the wiser? Intriguing questions.

Of course, another way to ask the same question from a different perspective is: If those we love saw us in the workplace, would they be proud of us? And, if those we work with saw us at home, would they respect us?

For most of us, those questions give us pause, for we are all imperfect creatures on this good earth. However, even in our imperfection, we must recognize that our behavior represents all that is central to who we are and how we choose to live. For those of us in leadership positions, our life choices are critical to our growth and to the success of others – both the individuals and the institutions we serve.

How many of us have heard a remark said “behind closed doors” and changed the opinions we held – for better or worse – about the speaker? In trying times, leadership that is dynamic, servant-based and ethical is needed; during trying times, it can be too easy to forget this and to subscribe to the selfish rather than the supportive.

Hold fast to kindness; hold fast to your values; they will separate you from the pack and create a legacy of trust and honor. You will have created a leadership presence that will survive long after you have moved on. As we all know, the success and greatness of a leader is not seen when they are physically present; it is seen by the spirit, embedded in team behaviors, when the leader has left.

Inspire someone to greatness by the choices you make today! Be magnificent and Have an Inspirational Day!