Archive | June, 2009

More on ‘Walking the Talk’

26 Jun

South Carolina governor Mark Sanford disappeared for almost a week, and when he was found, he was having an affair with a woman from Agentina. Yesterday, I spoke of the importance of being at your post when you’re the leader. After all the hard work you put in charting the course for the crew, you don’t want the helm to have to steer itself. That’s what the governor did, and that is the mark of a very poor leader.

Today, we’re going to discuss the affair that Sanford was having. I believe that it is actually an important part of this because this is a man who is a known spokesman for family values. He was one of the first to denounce former President Bill Clinton during the affair with Monica Lewinski. If you, as leader, are going to preach something, your own life had better well reflect what you are preaching.

Mr. Sanford’s life certainly did not reflect what he was preaching.

As a front-line leader, your crew will look up to you and strive to be just like you. I’m not saying that your personal life has to be perfect, but it helps if you can lead yourself and your family first. Your family is a reflection of you, and if you can’t lead them, then you don’t belong in leadership.

Everyone has problems in their personal life, don’t get me wrong. I certainly don’t have perfect situation right now. But what steps are you taking to get out from under the imperfections? Tolerating imperfection is one of the earmarks of a bad leader. Taking steps to correct them is the mark of a good leader.

The only reason that Governor Sanford admitted the affair is because he got caught. If you aren’t following what you expect your crew to do, admit it first, and correct it. Don’t wait for someone to uncover the dishonesty. Or, more appropriately, don’t wait for someone to publically decry the dishonesty. Crew watches management closely; if you’re being dishonest, they probably already know. It will be better coming from you, and they might even forgive the indiscretion.

Find imperfection wherever it lurks. Work to correct it. When you aren’t practicing what you preach, admit and correct it before someone else uncovers it for you. In other words, walk the talk. Can you do it?

Leadership is Integrity

25 Jun

Leadership is defined many ways by many different people. John Maxwell, for example, in his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, defines leadership as “influence.” That’s a good definition. People may not define leadership as “integrity,” but I think that we can all agree that a good leader needs to have it.

Pat Croce puts it like this: “You have to walk the talk.” Anyone can talk a good game, but it takes a real leader to be able to back up what he says with action. In order to lead, you must possess integrity in your actions. Like Croce says, walk the talk.

We have a sad example in the news about a govenor who lacks integrity in his actions. I’m talking about South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, who has recently admitted having an affair with a women in Argentina.

The affair is between him, his wife, and God. I’m not here concerned with the affair, although that also shows a lack of integrity. No, what I’m concerned with here is the fact that this man abandoned his state to have this affair.

No one in a leadership position should ever just up and leave his post, no matter what. Would you want your followers to do that? What if your drive-thru person suddenly had an errand to run that was more important than work? Should she just leave her post and go run the errand?

The bottom line is this: if you don’t want your followers to do something, then avoid the behavior yourself. Don’t be a Mark Sanford and leave your post, leaving your people to fend for themselves. Stay in your post, let your people know that they can trust you will be there.

That’s integrity, and that’s part of leadership.

Fast Food Management for Dummies a Reality?

22 Jun

FFMFD coverI have decided to put together a book proposal for Fast Food Management for Dummies and send it to Wiley Publishing. This is based on the incredible support that I’ve had in the polls on this site.

Fast Food Management for Dummies was a clear winning idea, as over 90% of you indicated that you would purchase the title if it were available. The One Minute McManager isn’t selling as well, so I might have to save that for later.