If you look to lead, invest at least 40% of your time managing yourself – your ethics, character, principles, purpose, motivation and conduct. –Dee Hock
Consider Conduct. Our conduct, especially our conduct under ‘stress,’ reveals our Character. It is during these ‘stress-full’ times that we can choose to become more Conscious – become more awake, aware, intentional and purpose-full not only about who we are and who we are choosing to become but about what we choose to do and why.
Greenleaf offers us a number of guidelines that will help us understand our Conduct and our Consciousness & Character. I invite you, Gentle Reader, to consider the following.
Consider, Greenleaf’s ‘Best Test’ for the Servant. The essence is contained in the first question: Do those served grow as persons? Greenleaf ups the ante when he asks: ‘When is serving potentially immoral?’ And as is his wont, Greenleaf ups the ante again for us when he tells us that another – ‘today’, perhaps ‘the’ – challenge for both the individual servant and for the institutions that espouse to be servants is to develop a society that is more just, caring, and loving.
Given these challenges to our Conduct I hold a number of questions:
- How am I, how are you, and how are we doing?
- How intentional and purpose-full am I, are you, and are we when it comes to acting in ways that help us respond to and engage in these challenges/charges?
- Am I, are you, are we continuing to develop our capacity to serve in these ways? How do we know?
As Leaders, we Servants are also called — and challenged – by Greenleaf to use our power ethically. Because we are imperfect beings we will coerce and we will manipulate. Are we willing to become consciously aware of our motivation to choose to coerce and manipulate. Are we willing to openly choose to coerce and/or manipulate? (Talk about upping the ante)
Are we willing to consciously develop – or develop more fully – our capacity to persuade (use logic and reason in order to convince) and to influence (using inquiry in order to allow the other(s) to emerge a response that they will emotionally own)? – Think: John Woolman.
Leadership is a by-product of the relationship between the leader and the led. Do we consciously seek to develop – or develop more fully – a relationship with the other that is rooted in trust, safety, respect, compassion, empathy, and love?
To what extent am I, are you, are we developing – or developing more fully – our Being so that we might, more often than not, choose Right Conduct. There are a number of Beings that we are called to develop – or develop more fully. Consider the following short list: Being – Accepting, Present, Authentic, Vulnerable, Useful, Mindful & Faithful [Consider this question: What must I or We be faithful to even if we might not be effective and efficient?]
Our Conduct also involves the ways that we choose to Nurture and Deplete the five dimensions that together define who we are as human beings. Our five Dimensions include our Physical Dimension, our Intellectual Dimension, our Emotional Dimension, our Spirit(ual) Dimension, and our Social Dimension (think: the relationship we have with our self and the relationship we have with the other). What do we choose to do that nurtures each of these and what do we do that depletes each of these? We each have our ‘favorite ways’ of both nurturing and depleting these five – What are they?
I am my message. –Gandhi