Jay Rifenbary

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Leadership in A.C.T.I.O.N.

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What attributes are needed to be an effective leader? There are many you could list, but there are several, when working together, create a formula for success both personally and professionally. With the increasing uncertainty in regard to our Nation’s economic, social, and political future it will be ethical, principled and common sense leadership that will save the day. In any venue where leadership is needed, finger pointing, personal agendas, dishonesty, egotism, bias and a reluctance to change will only foster failure. Setting an example to those around us first requires an understanding of what that example should be. When was the last time you took the opportunity to ask your children, what are some characteristics of leadership you believe to be important? Their responses may surprise and inspire you. We are all leaders in our own right. There are those who love you, respect you and look up to you and we owe it to those who see us in that light to set the proper example in all we do. So what is the formula? It is ACTION! Accountability, Courage, Trust, Integrity, Objectivity, Novelty. It will provide you a foundation of resilience, perseverance and a value-based blueprint for success.

Accountability is the recognition that your life and your decisions in how you deal with life is your responsibility. The blame game is the true number one reality show in America. Everyday we witness via the media the antics of excuse making by people in positions of leadership. What message does that send to our youth? That it is okay to blame race, creed, color, parents, where we grew up, what we didn’t do, what we should have done, what someone did to us 10 years ago as justification to miserable today? We all have our issues, but life is not what you are given but how you react to it.

Courage is the ability to stand up for your convictions and beliefs despite danger or disapproval. Of course those convictions and beliefs should be in the best interest of those around you and for the betterment of society in general. The establishment of principled core values provides the backdrop for courageous behavior. Core values are your suit of armor in the face of danger. The stronger the values, the less penetrable the armor will be.

Trust is the glue of every relationship in life. When trust is broken the relationship is never the same. Trust stimulates communication, and effective communication is the catalyst for efficient progress in any endeavor. In any organization, or family, the flow of communication is the indicator for the level of trust that exists within that structure. We do not communicate with those we do not trust.

Integrity is consistency in behavior, and consistency in behavior is based on the core values you believe in. No one respects a leader who is indecisive and inconsistent. Consistency in behavior displays integrity, enhances the ability to be courageous, reinforces accountability and therefore will be a person one can trust. The definition of integrity also includes, one having strong moral principles and being honest. Disregard these components of integrity and you have no credibility.

Objectivity is a critical trait for proper and effective decision making. Objectivity is defined as, “(of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.” That is the antithesis to what we see in much of the political decision-making. Synonyms of objectivity include impartiality, absence of bias, lack of prejudice, fairness, open-mindedness, and neutrality to name a few. That is a characteristic we all should strive for.

Novelty in leadership is what separates common leaders from remarkable leaders. To be able to be different, new, original and unusual is what inspires followers to want change and be better than before. Novelty has created the inventions and businesses that have changed the world.

If you are accountable for your actions, have the courage to take a stand, inspire trust by communicating honestly, display integrity by being consistent, be objective that displays respect for all, and be novel in your thinking you will be a leader that is successful, and respected by all.



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