Personal leadership is at the heart of your day-to-day experience. It shapes your attitude, your behavior, your habits, your goals and the results you get from your time, your relationships, your work, and everything you do.
Consider the hallmarks of leadership:
- Honesty is about what you say.
- Integrity is about what you do.
Hallmark is defined as “a conspicuous feature or characteristic.” Most people will say they demonstrate honesty and integrity, but with leaders these qualities are conspicuous and easily recognizable by others.
“Don’t add words like ‘I swear to God’ to your own words. Don’t show your impatience by concocting oaths to hurry up God. Just say yes or no. Just say what is true. That way, your language can’t be used against you.” [James 5:12, MSG].
“Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” This is the Formula for Well-Being, and it still holds true today. It is the hallmark of leadership and the real issue behind the average person’s struggle with time management, trust in relationships, struggles in fulfilling business management roles and other issues.
- Giving your word creates potential.
- Keeping your word creates influence.
Our society has mastered the art of NOT giving our word. We mistake our “maybe”, “I’ll try”, “I hope to” or “I’ll think it over” for honesty. We even blame the clock by saying “I didn’t have time.” Worse yet, we mistake our vows for honesty. Real personal power and leadership begins when you say you will do something specific and you do it.
The potential to truly show people that you know who you are, where you are going, and how you are going to get there exists with every 15-minute increment in your daily planner.
Time management is not about managing your time. It’s not about checking off items on a “to do” list (How long did that really work for you? Or did your list just keeping getting longer over time?) What we commonly refer to as “time management” is really about managing your character. And your real character will determine the degree to which people trust you, which has a profound impact on performance. You will never see an increase in the trust others have for you in general unless you improve your ability to make and keep promises about the use of your time.
Start with the promises you make to yourself: if you schedule an hour at your desk to work on a project then keep that commitment. I know you have lots of excuses, “interruptions” you just cannot ignore; I’ve heard them all before. And I have been there as people discover the “interruptions” didn’t have to be interruptions at all – most of the time.
Use an organizing system to record your commitments and keep them – it is good for you. When you learn to keep your promises to yourself, you will also find other people begin to trust you more, even revere you to a higher degree than before.
How conspicuous is your Honesty and Integrity to others? How conspicuous is Honesty and Integrity in how you manage your use of time?
“The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do. They don’t like doing them either, but their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.”