Leadership: Courage, Attitude & Behavior

May 24, 2013

In addition to skills and competencies, real Leadership is about Courage, Attitude and Behavior:

  • Courage is not the absence of fear, but the absence of self.
  • A positive Attitude is a frame of mind – our perspective, as leaders, has much to do with how we engage and deal with challenges.
  • Our Behavior, in large part, determines how our people will act and react.


Do you see a common thread here? Despite differences in culture, gender, age and other variables, great leadership consistently demonstrates admirable characteristics. Here are some things to consider (remember) as you continue to learn and develop as a leader – no matter what your level or title:

Show Before You Tell

As a leader, walk the talk – nothing less is acceptable.  Consistently put others before yourself (Courage), demonstrate your perception of value in others (Attitude) and set the example as to how goals should be pursued (Behavior). Create standards of excellence and set the example for others to follow. Today’s complex environments can overwhelm people and stifle action – demonstrate that even small milestones are worthy of praise so people feel good when they achieve small wins as they work toward larger objectives. Be the leader to unravel bureaucracy when it impedes the greater good. Be there to provide guidance when people are unsure of where to go or how to get there.

Transform Through Shared Vision 

As a leader you must passionately believe that you can make a difference and have the (Courage) to make it happen. Envision the future, create the unique image of what the organization can become and put the plan in place to make it happen (Behavior). Through your magnetism and skillful persuasion (Attitude), enlist others to become part of the dream. Breathe life into the vision and help people to see exciting possibilities for the future (Courage, Attitude and Behavior).

Challenge the Process 

Always search for opportunities to change the status quo despite opposition (Courage). Look for innovative ways to implement change and improve the organization. In doing so, demonstrate that it is good to experiment and take risks – and encourage others to do so (Behavior). Embrace the fact that risk taking involves mistakes and failures and encourage the learning that can come from the inevitable mistakes that are bound to occur (Attitude).

Empower Others 

Consistently foster collaboration, build spirited teams and encourage others to step up and lead (Behavior). Always focus on what people can do – not what they can not do. Understand that mutual respect is what sustains extraordinary efforts (Attitude); strive to create an atmosphere of trust and human dignity (Courage); and demonstrate your ability to step aside and let potential leaders spread their wings (Behavior). Strengthen others in every way possible, making each person feel capable and powerful at all times (Courage, Attitude and Behavior).

Encourage the Spirit 

Accomplishing extraordinary things in organizations is hard work. To keep hope and determination alive, you need to recognize the contributions that individuals make (Courage). On every winning team, players need to share in the rewards of their efforts – celebrating accomplishments of every kind, large and small (Behavior). It is your job to make your people feel like heroes at every opportunity (Attitude).

As a leader, always examine your motive and intent in everything you do.  If you are not basing your decisions on Courage, Attitude and Behavior in context, you need to understand that you are inhibiting your ability to become a great leader… as well as limiting the opportunities of those that work for you. Without a healthy regard for Courage, Attitude and Behavior, you are in a “no win” situation unless you are willing to significantly reconsider the way you lead.

Is your leadership based on Courage… and the right Attitudes and Behaviors?

Please engage the discussion and let us know how you demonstrate courage, as well as the right attitudes and behaviors. Feel free to contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back next week for the next installment of Leadership Across Boundaries and Borders.


Leadership Lessons From Japan

May 3, 2013

I have frequently done business in Japan throughout my career. It is interesting how the country and the culture have changed over time, but beneath its surface lies an extremely productive and effective society.


To the outsider – or gaijin, as we are known to the locals – Japanese business customs appear to be so deeply entrenched in culture and tradition that they couldn’t possibly be applicable to the rest of the world. But don’t be too quick to write off the value that Japanese business practices offer the rest of the world… Read the rest of this entry »


Intentionality: Organizational Politics, Part Two

April 22, 2013

Last week we discussed the basics of organizational politics – this week we’ll talk about some intentional strategies that you can leverage to facilitate your success. Whether your perception of organizational politics is positive or negative (I don’t know many who are neutral), you need to have the tools available to expedite your career growth, as well as to enable corporate growth and development.


It is important for you to take both a strategic and an intentional approach to politics. Unfortunately, there are few useful resources available to assist you in navigating your way through the turbulent sea of corporate politics. Below are some strategies that I have employed myself for many years, as well as consistently deploying them with my clients: Read the rest of this entry »


Intentionality: Organizational Politics, Part One

April 11, 2013

The ability to engage successfully in organizational politics is an essential component to your success in today’s global business environment.  We see it everywhere: from the Administrative Assistant’s ability to act as the gate-keeper to the bosses calendar, all the way up the organizational chart… to the CEO lobbying the Board to support his/her pet projects. At every level within every company, how you communicate equates to how well you are politically perceived.


To become a polished politician, learn to communicate intentionally. In order to focus attention on your ideas and proposals, develop a persuasive style, and always back your position with solid facts and examples. Good leaders adjust their messaging for different audiences, but do not align themselves too strongly with any one group. Read the rest of this entry »


Intentionality: Strategic Communications, Part Three

March 27, 2013


“If you’re not appearing, you’re disappearing…”

~ Art Blakey, Legendary Jazz Musician


 Networking is all about strategic communications. To increase your chance of success in everything you do, you need to communicate to expand your span of influence. Those that may be able to help you (now or in the future) need to know you and what you have to offer. They need to see you, meet you… hear from you. Although the natural tendency is to remain within your immediate environment, you need to move out of your comfort zone to ensure your own long-term success. If this is not enough to get you moving, think about these fundamental truths: Read the rest of this entry »


Intentionality: Strategic Communications, Part Two

March 19, 2013

Whether consciously or unconsciously, experience teaches us that verbal communication is just as likely to conceal as it is to reveal. Because of this, strong nonverbal communication skills are strategic tools for anyone wanting to succeed in business.


Although we often consider verbal and written communication as being important skills to acquire, we do not habitually stop to think about the effects that nonverbal communications may have on our ability to achieve our desired results. Research indicates over 55% of communications are conveyed by facial expressions and body language. This statistic gives us a very good idea as to why it would be wise to become more skilled in nonverbal communications. 

 Read the rest of this entry »