Do you want to know how to identify a truly successful person? It isn’t the car they drive, the title on their business cards, or the heft of their wallet. All of that stuff is fleeting, and all of that stuff is about them. It’s ego food.
No, the way a wise person measures her own success is more like this…
You know those BS statements you see wherever you go? The stupid mission statements, lame values statements, and epically unimpressive purpose statements on posters all over your company walls? The really long ones with the convoluted sentences that were clearly written by a committee, each member of which had his own turf to defend? The ones that even your CEO can’t recite without reading off a teleprompter?
Want to be trusted? Don’t seek it out. Trust is something you earn, not something you ask for or demand. It doesn’t work that way. Think of trust as a result, not an action itself.
It’s important (and far more fruitful) for a leader to strive to be trustworthy instead of trusted. But trustworthy isn’t an action either. You can’t declare yourself trustworthy, much as crooks and con men, used car dealers and self-described “trusted advisors” throughout time have tried. Being trustworthy is also a result, not an action itself.
What could you, a Social Age business leader, possibly learn from a man who died more than 200 years ago, before the Industrial Age was even underway?
Only the most important lesson in leadership, that’s all.
If you had to sum up everything you believe about leadership, your core philosophy, in just one word, what word would you choose?
Would you choose Accountability? Vision? Inspiration? Resolve?
Those are all incredibly important, but there’s one that trumps these words, these skills and traits.