I Believe…Posted: January 14, 2013
This past week, I, along with a colleague, began a leadership program for a group of nurses from the local hospital system. The first class is an introduction to leadership and what makes a great leader. We incorporated a heavy dose of self-reflection into this day, including time to write a personal credo.
The idea was simple–imagine you are leaving your team for six months. You will be out of communication with them and you are leaving them instructions so that you will not miss a beat while you are gone. When you return, things will be running the same. In our case, we were encouraging individuals to consider their work teams, but you can do this exercise with any team you lead.
Do your best. Remember that God is your audience and there is no one to please but Him. Always strive for the best you are able to do. The world will give you artificial praise that will feel good for a time and criticism that will not feel good at all, but it is all fleeting. God’s approval is eternal and it is His glory that you should strive for.
Treat others with respect out of love. As the sign in the candy store in my hometown said, “you’re somebody special, cause God doesn’t make junk,” every person has value and should be treated as such. The customer service agent that isn’t being helpful in answering your question or resolving your issue is still a person with a name– learn it and use it. The competitor who showed no mercy in squashing your team like a bug may not have earned it but still deserves your respect for they too were created by God and bears His image. The patient or client that just doesn’t seem to get it may simply need some company or a listening ear. They keep coming to you because you provide it.
Take responsibility for your actions. You will be a much happier person if you can choose to react out of personal responsibility than out of a victim mentality. Sure, you may not have chosen this as the route, bit this is the route you are on. Trying to blame others will take away your power and give it to others. Only you can decide how you react to situations. If you mess up, apologize and move forward. If someone else messes up, forgive them and move forward. Take responsibility for your own actions before complaining or worrying about anyone else’s.
It is humbling to be able to publicize this credo, not simply for the act of doing it, but that it provides a source of accountability. Those I lead now have the opportunity to say “Yes, that describes Nick,” or “Wow, Nick, where are you getting this stuff from–that is not how you lead at all.” Hopefully it is the former and not the latter.
Have you ever written a credo? Have you shared it with anyone? What was that experience like? What was their reaction?