2200209If you’re active on the web, and subscribe to some of those topical newsletter distributions or visit the multitudes of management-oriented websites, you likely get barraged with “leadership” and “effective management” webinars, articles, seminars and the like.  I have certainly kept a copy or two of some pieces, a number of quotations, and a set of favorite authors.

However, when it comes to leadership-concepts-to-be-implemented, I sense there are a few staples or fundamentals that ought to be housed in everyone’s “tool-kit” these days.  Here are a few of the things that I have been taught, seen in action, or like you…have just plain figured out:

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.”

Michael B. Mukasey/WSJ: Two basic rules of both journalism and history: “…if you ask the wrong questions you get the wrong answers, and if you don’t look for facts you won’t find them.”

Warren Buffett:  “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy.  And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” 

…and finally,

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle

I have been quizzed on ethics, fraud, operations, and leadership ideas.  On the topic of leadership, I often just say this, “I have found the following things have shaped my framework for making choices: the unabashed or unfettered truth, people who made an impression on me by their behavior during good and bad times, the difficult process of deciding who I was…and would choose to become, and just a whole bunch of experiences which have tested me along the way.  Those experiences have shaped me as much as the process of defining my personal core.  So I propose that I have no choice but to just keep experiencing…and learning.”

Some things just have to be embedded into the brain via tough situations, and tough choices…balancing facts, influences, past decisions, lessons-learned…again and again and again…till, I suppose, they become habits.

One more favorite quote: “Life is choices.”  Matthew Kelly