Over the years I’ve written about common barriers to success in the workplace and how to overcome them. Today I’d like to discuss various commitments of leadership. Yes, that’s right, choosing to lead is a commitment not to be entered into by the faint of heart. Because of this, it is imperative to have a clear purpose and the willingness to constantly evaluate it.

However, it is not enough to constantly evaluate your voice; one must also be straightforward and honest; living above reproach. Yes, leadership appears glamorous at times, but it is often lonely, thankless, and filled with pressures to compromise values and standards. The truth is – there is no leadership success without risk of failure, no reward without hard work, no opportunity without criticism.

No matter how talented one may be, an individual’s gifts and strengths are not of much benefit if their weaknesses are not dealt with. In short, lead by what you do and say using your inner voice to clarify and execute your personal values every day you are granted the privilege of having anyone think you are worthy of following. This week find your voice through the clarification of your personal values by:

  • Looking in the mirror each morning – becoming self-aware
  • Taking time for contemplation
  • Writing a tribute to yourself that articulates what you aspire to become
  • Recording lessons from the leaders you admire
  • Documenting your personal credo by engaging in a private philosophy dialogue and assessment
  • Collecting stories that teach values while taking inventory of your ability to succeed in executing those values