When I am working with any leader at some point we are going to get to the question of, “tell me about your top 4 Core Values and how you’re expressing those values in terms of your behaviors.” Try it yourself right now? Did you hesitate? Was it difficult? Can you name them with confidence, with great clarity and give a brief narrative as to why you believe in those values?
What I find most of the time when I ask that question……a very hesitant leader who has not taken the time to truly define what is most important to them as a leader…their strong Core.
Study the lives of great leaders and one thing becomes very clear, deep within their soul is a strong CORE. They have a deep conviction as to what they value and behaviors that exhibit those deeply held values. I just finished reading “Lead Yourself First”,written by Raymond Kethledge, 6thDistrict Court of Appeals Judge and Michael Erwin, West Point graduate, Rank of Major, now serving as CEO of the Character and Leadership Center. This was a very thoughtful, well written book attesting to the fact that in order for any leader to build a strong core and clearly articulate a set of deeply held values, will take time, effort and most importantly, SOLITUDE.
I have been involved in the study of leadership for over 40 years, reading, studying and observing leaders. Nobody has done a better job of documenting great leadership than the pre-eminent historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough. One common thread throughout the lives of the leaders they write about was the amount of time they set aside for deep reflection and assessing what was truly important in their lives. Like any one else, these leaders suffered the loss of loved one’s, they experienced failure, betrayal, periods of strong doubt and fear. And through it all, they understood the need for solitude, time for reflection and assessing their own behaviors in the face of these challenges.
At Built To Lead we have a proven process that will help any aspiring leader navigate the process of building their strong Core and that process is The 12 Essentials of Personal Excellence and the number one Essential in building excellence, Building Your strong CORE. If you have not been introduced to this process contact one of our Builders and get started!
“Leadership is an inside-out process. You need to be fortified within before you can lead the people around you.” Doug Conant, former Pres. & CEO of Campbell Soup Comp. & Author of Touch Points.