FIRSTS is an acrostic of some key qualities of effective leaders. Fearless Integrity, Profound Relationships, Willing Service, and Earned Trust. Each one of these will be the subject of ongoing posts as well as other related topics. My FIRSTS are:
Character is proven by what you do under adverse circumstances and rules do not change when stress and pressure increases. The willingness to sometimes stand alone and act with integrity is not only the right thing to do but it is also good business. When you fail to act with integrity you trade a potential short-term gain for long-term success. Businesses and reputations only last when founded on integrity.
Relationships matter. When all else is equal, the quality of the relationship will be the deciding factor in any decision. Cultivating profound relationships ultimately leads to both qualitative and quantitative long-term value creation. Profound and collaborative relationships will enrich the world while achieving business results.
"Service is taking action to create value for someone else." All success ultimately comes from living your life in a way that is of service to others, the community, and the world. The best leaders know how to serve. I want my customers, vendors, employees, company, and every stakeholder to be much more successful as a result of my involvement. Outside of the office I want to impact the world around me in a way that matters.
Authenticity, fairness, loyalty, and integrity are the foundation of earned trust. Doing the right thing, facing reality, and making continuous improvements will enhance trust and inspire loyalty in others. When there is trust challenges are easier to overcome, goals are easier to achieve, expectations are easier to exceed, and value creation accelerates.
I truly believe it's what's inside you that matters! What makes a leader successful is WHO they are. Strong character and values, passion, personality, work ethic, and what's in the leader's heart matter more than the plan or process a successful leader follows. Thus, what works for a given leader in a specific set of circumstances often cannot be replicated. We can certainly learn from the success of others but it is a mistake to try and copy what others have done. Leadership requires us to take a path few have taken and to do something few, if any, have done before.
I believe that every leader at their core has a desire to "change the world", to do something that matters, to have an impact that transcends a job or a career. I also believe there are fundamental character qualities that, when adhered to, position a person to become a transformational leader. When these qualities are followed then the opportunity to do the "impossible" becomes available. You can set seemingly impossible goals, you can obtain 10X improvements, you can inspire your teams to go "all in", you can change the world.
You are meant to change the world! Leadership is about transformation: transform yourself, transform your company, or transform the world. Whatever your mission, I want to help you become a stronger, character-driven, leader. The world should be a better place as a result of your leadership!