Walking Through the Narrow Gate of Leadership©
By Eileen Timmins, Ph.D.
Being a good leader can be lonely sometimes. It is not easy setting the tone and being the role model for a department or an organization. Every move is observed and transformed into a perceived action by employees. The leader must "walk the talk." If not, the employees will not "walk the talk." I would call this the Narrow Gate of Leadership©. To enter this gate, one needs to be strong. Many will enter, but some may not stay. People sometimes get discouraged when the going gets tough and make compromises on their ideals. Aligning your values with your work environment is essential for your mental and physical well-being.
Unfortunately, today many people avoid entering through the narrow gate of principled living and have chosen the far easier, less responsible winning-at-all-costs behavior. Business ethics and basic ethics can be a lost art sometimes. What does this narrow gate mean? The narrow gate is living a life with honesty and personal integrity. The workplace environment needs this now more than ever. It involves taking an audit of who we are, how we are living, and what our priorities and values are. What is our top priority? Are we aligning our core values with our goals? How often do we examine this to see if they really are aligned, or are we just checking in and out of our daily role?
The impact you have when working in an organization that aligns with your core values not only supports your engagement as an employee, but will also enhance your life. Each day, go to work knowing your personal core values are aligned to what you are creating or delivering as an employee. This will make a difference in your life, your health and your soul. What makes people honest is integrity. Let your behavior speak volumes of who you are in work and life. The time is always right to do what is right.
The narrow gate is living with honesty and personal integrity. It involves taking an audit of who we are, how we are living and what our priorities and values are. Integrity requires disciplined living, and having our desires and emotions under control.
When you go to work and are aligned, it makes a difference in your life. This in turn will make you a happier person, and will make your interactions with others pleasant, including your family, friends and community. The work place is a large part of your life. Why not make the decision to align it with your entire life, by finding the organization that aligns with you.
Enter the narrow gate. Refuse to be swallowed up in cynicism and despair. Rediscover new hope by interacting with people and organizations that care. Stand up and act. That is the way to open and go through the narrow gate. Make it count in work and life. True leaders take the path less traveled on their journey; they confront the monsters, and discover the magnificence of their true selves.
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted"- Albert Einstein.
Eileen is a global human resources executive, board member, adjunct professor, author, motivational speaker, executive coach, artist, and a labyrinth builder. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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