The opportunity and ability to step into a tipping point makes us feel responsible, powerful, and apprehensive.
Every decision both responds to and creates a tipping point.
The pursuit of ease makes you matter less.
Ease in small doses expands capacity, but in large doses destroys us.
Please know that I’m not encouraging workaholism. However, making a difference requires getting your hands dirty.
Every decision contributes to trajectory.
The consequence of decisions is real direction, not intended direction. You’re always heading somewhere.
Long-term or short-term:
The appeal of short-term perspectives is immediate gratification, sometimes at the expense of long-term value.
Crisis requires short-term perspective. Put the fire out! But constant “crisis mode” sacrifices the future on the altar of urgency.
Life is relationships, nothing more, nothing less.
Tipping points include opportunities to both receive and give value.
5 general questions:
What questions might leaders ask when facing tipping points?
Amidst the social gatherings and backyard barbecues of the Independence Day celebrations that we have each year, there are many important and dramatic stories about the sacrifices of our founding fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence.
Some of them are inflated, but what is true is they knew that it was a bold, courageous step that would prompt a strong response from the mother country. What they expected was brutal military action against them by the best organized and equipped army in the world. There were personal and professional risks for those leaders.
The Price of Freedom in the POW Camps
The same challenges were true for our senior leaders in the Vietnam POW camps. There was a lot at stake as they wrestled to set an example for the rest of us to serve with honor in difficult times.
As POWs, we battled daily to have the freedoms that we enjoy in the U.S. We know what it’s like to live without freedom, and we don’t take it for granted. I know it can sound a bit trite, but it’s true—Freedom is not Free.
“FREEDOM IS THE BURNING DESIRE OF EVERY HUMAN BEING, BUT IT COMES WITH A RESPONSIBILITY.”
It can only be maintained by what my organization calls the core of courageous accountability – Character, Courage, and Commitment.
The Internal Battle
Human nature naturally goes toward the easy way out. The truth is that honor, character, courage, and commitment do not have many easy days.
“LIVING AND LEADING WITH HONOR REQUIRES SACRIFICE, AND IT’S MAINLY LETTING GO OF OUR EGO AND SELF-INTEREST.”
We’re always bound to self-interest, yet we must learn to periodically rise above it and that takes sacrifice to put the good of others first. That’s what our founders did, what the military does, and what our elected representatives are supposed to do.
In fact, we all play a role in preserving our freedom and national security.
Safeguarding our Freedom and Independence
As we reflect this month on our national independence and individual liberty, it’s a good time to reflect on our individual responsibilities for preserving these liberties that we can so easily take for granted.
So you might ask, “What can I do to help safeguard our independence and freedom?”Playing off our brand and mission at Leading with Honor®, we are engaged in a battle to be leaders who live with honor.
Here are three important points:
The Sacrificial Payoff
This mindset is not easy. It takes courageous, character, and commitment that’s supported by self-awareness and discipline. To be frank, living and leading with honor doesn’t come easy. It requires an ongoing battle with the dark and lazy side of human nature. it’s easy to just settle, drift and become indifferent and apathetic about our greatest treasures as a nation.
So as you gathered with your family and friends, I hope that you paused to remember your responsibilities as a citizen and as a protector of our freedoms.
It’s very clear that our founders understood that when they signed off on the Declaration of Independence and closed with these words:
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
Please share your comments and experiences below, too.
The foundational pillars of Character, Courage, and Commitment form the bedrock to lead with a model of courageous accountability shown in the article. Want to learn the full model to continue growing as an honorable leader?
For a limited time, we’re offering the Engage with Honor Launch Package when you purchase a copy this award-winning book.
Here are the questions to ask of yourself and your team:
This problem-solving discussion will increase everyone’s level of awareness for making and keeping commitments as well as surface problems that keep them from doing so.
Getting to a higher level of completion on action items leads not only to exponential progress toward goals, but also to a tremendous sense of accomplishment — both personally and for the group.
“7 Core Behaviors for Honorable Leadership” – does the Honor Code include all the important elements for a foundation of honorable leadership?