Maybe Integrity Is Most Important

You know what?  Maybe it’s integrity that’s the most important leadership characteristic.

Yes, definitely, integrity has to be the most important leadership characteristic. How could it not be?

Isn’t integrity the most critical of all leadership values? A great leader must have integrity.

Someone who adheres to moral and ethical principles. A person with sound moral character.  An honest person.

All of this sounds great – a leader who is honest, with sound moral character. A perfect person. This makes a great leader.

Waaaaait a minnnnnute.  Who knows anyone who is perfect?

Leader Vision Leader Passion

The most important leadership characteristics have been the jungle jeff topic on the past few blog posts.

First it was trust.

Then vision.

Now, actually, I’m going to just come out and say it.

The number one leader characteristic is passion.  Hands down, passion.

Final answer.


Agree or disagree?

Leadership Vision Leader Trust

Okay, so if trust is the most important great leader characteristic, where does vision fall?

Well, as crazy, and contradictory as this is going to sound, vision is actually the most important.  What the?  Exactly.

Vision is the reason we wake up in the morning.  Vision is the reason we wake up in the middle of the night.  Vision is the reason we can’t fall asleep. Vision is what makes us do ordinary things in an extra-ordinary fashion.

Vision is a view of the future that is better than the current view.

Not talking vision statement here.  Heck, no one knows that it is anyway.  Seriously.  No one does.  And if anyone does, it’s someone who wrote it – and by now they’re probably retired or dead.  But no one else. (I’ll call your bluff on this one if you really want to disagree)

This is what makes leaders great.  A vision for the future that is better than the current vision.

A vision that is lofty, hard to articulate and you may not say it the same way twice.  A vision that is impossible.

A vision is more important than trust.

jungle jeff Leadership Lesson

jungle jeff Leadership Lesson.  In other words, I promised to share today, what was reinforced the other day when I practiced what I preached.

As a professional speaker, there are certain deliverables every time a speech or workshop is given to an audience. Public speaking is the greatest fear humans have, even greater than the fear of dying.

Leadership insight:

  • Lead, don’t manage – facilitate key points instead of telling them

Look, we all know this to be so simple it almost embarrasses me to try to convince you it’s important. And yet it is a key to becoming world class.  Like yeast in bread.  A little risk is required to be successful.  Duh, right?

What’s risky is doing things a different way.  If you do it the way you always do it, you can predict your results. Predicting an outcome when you take a risk is virtually impossible.  While you can visualize a positive result, you can not guarantee it.

It is quite common in workshops to see video clips of something important and then watch with a certain purpose and debrief what insights were gained from the video’s content. That’s exactly what happened.  Very routine.  A video I’ve set up, watched and debriefed 1,000 times.

For the debrief, I tried something completely different.  I asked a remarkably simple and open-ended question.  In fact, one participant gave me a look that said, “You’re an idiot”.  It took sheer will-power to not be shaken.

Afterwards, I asked my partner how he thought it went.  In ten years, we both agreed, it was the single best debrief of that video we’d ever experienced.  And we teach with many different partners.

What at one point seemed like a certain failure, because I didn’t panic or give up, turned out to be extraordinary.  Leaders do not get paid to fail (although maybe they should).