THE NEW IQ: YOUR INTEGRITY QUOTIENT
What’s the No. 1 sought-after quality in a job candidate? If you’re a business titan like famed investor Warren Buffet, it isn’t who you know, what you know, or even how competent you are in what you do. Instead, Buffet says he looks for trustworthiness and reliability in future leaders. Integrity, he says, matters most.
“We look for three things when we hire people,” he told Inc. Magazine in February 2020. “We look for intelligence, we look for initiative or energy, and we look for integrity. And if they don't have the latter, the first two will kill you, because if you're going to get someone without integrity, you want them lazy and dumb.”
Buffet isn’t alone in valuing integrity above all other leadership characteristics. A survey by management consulting agency Robert Half International found three-quarters of U.S. employees ranked integrity as the most important attribute in a corporate leader. Chief executives in the survey also named integrity as a prized leadership characteristic. Research by Edelman, a global communication firm that has tracked the public’s views of business organizations, government, and media for more than 20 years, showed that integrity remains the top means of earning public trust worldwide.
Integrity acts as a strong barometer of trust in personal relationships, too. Relationship experts at the Gottman Institute point to personal integrity as a must-have for healthy human connections.
Integrity Earns Trust
Integrity is commonly thought of as doing the right thing when no one is watching — in other words, acting for the common or greater good regardless of whether that action is convenient for you or recognized by other people. It’s an expression of your personal character; it’s a quality that demonstrates your values, beliefs, and principles in full view of others, and it forms the basis of your personal and professional reputation.
People with integrity have strong moral centers; they know right from wrong and reliably come out on the right side of things. They know where they stand, and they’re not reluctant to let others know it, too. They keep their word and commitments, and they’re consistently honest, even when telling the truth or making a decision is difficult. Integrity can take courage, but it also reaps rewards: People with integrity earn the trust, admiration, and respect of others.
Integrity Is a Skill, Not a Talent
Unlike our unique natural talents,integrity is a skill that’s mastered over time — and it’s a hard master. It takes self-awareness and discipline to develop and remain faithful to the moral core on which integrity depends. Much as we try, we don’t always do the right thing. Even the most honorable people can at times fail to live up to their own high standards. Who among us hasn’t ever told a lie to avoid an uncomfortable situation, for example, or made a promise we didn’t keep?
As challenging as integrity is to achieve, people recognize and reward those who demonstrate it with their trust and allegiance. That makes integrity especially valuable to successful leaders. No matter their intelligence, aptitude, or charisma, without open displays of honesty, authenticity, and accountability, leaders will not earn the very things they need to lead: the confidence and loyalty of others. As award-winning author and speaker Zig Zigler once explained, “It is true that integrity alone won’t make you a leader, but without integrity, you will never be one.”
Check Your Integrity Quotient
Take time to review the degree to which you act with integrity. Periodically ask yourself a series of insightful questions — call it establishing your integrity quotient:
• Am I truthful, even in uncomfortable situations or ones that require me to make tough choices?
• Am I accountable for my actions? Do I accept responsibility for the things I do and say?
• Am I reliable? Do I keep my promises and honor my commitments?
• Do I consider what’s good and right for others, or do I act solely in my own self-interests?
• Am I respectful of others? Am I fair and do I make an effort to avoid being judgmental?
• Do I give credit to others when it’s due?
• Do I show kindness and caring toward others?
Rely on your honest answers to signal whether you’re measuring up to your own standards, and make a conscious effort to improve if you discover you’re missing the mark. Taking stock of your integrity will help you to affirm not only the leader you are, but the one you want to be.
A Strengths- Based approach to the 5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
Last facilitated in December, it was the most popular webinar of 2019!
Starts this Friday!
What participants said:
“Thank you! I have done The 5 Levels before, but the strengths approach made it so much more meaningful to ME!” (R.M. in Tennessee)
“Thank you! Normally these courses are only for those in the corporate world. You made this fit everyone!” (M.G from Atlanta, GA)
Make sure and check the calendar for thought leader led courses being introduced in April and May. You can also click the Member Resources option under the Member Log In tab and discover other recordings and tools available on demand.
We look forward to connecting with you soon at StrongCommunities.coach. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with each of you and your loved ones too.
Celebrating Your Unique Genius!
Unique Genius in 33: A weekly LIVE webinar designed to deepen your understanding of CliftonStrengths Talent Themes and more in just 33 minutes!
Wednesdays 12:30ET/11:30CT -- Register Now!
Unique Genius in 33: Achiever
Guest: Paisleigh Kelley DeVoe,
Location: New Orleans, LA
Unique Genius in 33: Strategic
Guest: Desha Hear,
Location: Greater Nashville Metro, TN
Next StrongCommunities.coach Development Series:
A Strengths-Based approach to The 5 Levels of Leadership is designed to help you reach your potential.
(5 Week Course-FREE TO ALL MEMBERS)
What you already have...
As each of us strives to maintain a healthy perspective as new realities unfold in response to the global pandemic, Strong Communities® remains committed to supporting you and your community through a strengths-based approach to navigating this time of uncertainty.
We are privileged to witness client communities demonstrating great leadership in ensuring the safety of community members in a myriad of ways. Among them, invoking work from home mandates in support of what we now know as social distancing.
This disruption in cultural norms is already causing distress for many community members as they adjust to what may feel like an abrupt isolation. Others, may embrace the change as an opportunity for a personal RESET. The responses are likely as unique as our fingerprints.
HOW CAN YOU KEEP PEOPLE ENGAGED AND FOCUSED ON POSITIVE OUTCOMES?
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Have you experienced this?
Your company’s exciting innovation is almost ready to introduce to your clients. You and your team are totally jazzed about the benefits it offers. You know it will be a home run and anticipate the rollout announcement any moment! Or, so you thought.
Just down the hall, another team is agonizing over extensive process definition and associated documentation to cover every possible circumstance that might arise before launching the product or service. “It has to be perfect!!” they say. Maddening, Right?!
On which side of this common conundrum do you most often land? While in leadership with global organizations, frustration over the tedious bureaucracy and paperwork required to take a project to the finish line was a regular occurrence.
It is now evident that sitting on the other side of that equation is an instinctive fit for me. I have an innate tendency to ask lots of “What if...” and “If, then…” questions, especially about the impact of decisions on the stakeholders of stakeholders of stakeholders. My business partner, Shari Strong would tell you, quite accurately, that I am not truly satisfied that “it is perfect”, until the level of impact includes world peace and all the documentation and pretty fliers to prove it.
“Perfection”, like “Paralysis by Analysis”, can impede progress toward business growth. How many times do we get caught up in the minutia of details that wouldn’t be a blip on most anyone else’s radar screen? I am fortunate to have a business partner who balances my propensity to dot every “I” and cross every “t” before moving forward and is also equipped with a natural compulsion to complete things. Because we have a mutual understanding and appreciation for what comes as naturally as breathing to each of us, we more quickly come to consensus on an approach that honors both of our Unique Genius.
When it comes to the product/service rollout scenario, we are easily able to arrive on the aspects of the product or service that will most serve our clients and move swiftly to get that in their hands. We then engage our clients in the refinement process. This approach allows both of us to play to our strengths while leveraging each other’s.
1. The investment made in identifying, accessing and applying my Top 5 Talent Themes via the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment produces an ever-increasing ROI.
2. My Top 5 serve me flawlessly most of the time, however, there are circumstances when they can impede progress and frustrate others.
3. Leveraging the strengths of a partner, colleague or family member’s can amplify success.
Celebrating Your Unique Genius,
Lori Weir, CEO
Hear the story behind the new Strong Communities® logo:
(If you can't see the embedded video below, click this link: https://youtu.be/O2jeMalvfJw)
A weekly LIVE webinar designed to deepen your understanding of CliftonStrengths Talent Themes and more in just 33 minutes!
Listen to how Lori's Strategic talent has helped her in her career.
Talent Theme: Strategic
Chief Executive Officer of Strong Communities®
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Happy 2019 StrengthsGenius family!
As you took stock of 2018 and created your New Year Resolutions, we hope that you took a few moments to reflect on all the things that are oh so right with you and recognized your inherent value as a Unique Genius.
Which of your strengths came into play for you over the past year? Which ones would you like to see show up for you in 2019? Looking for some extra motivation this year? Register for our exclusive webinar : Beyond Talents: The 7 Motivations (more details below).
At StrengthsGenius.coach, we’ve resolved to practice better communication in 2019. By now, you already know that we are not shy about communicating – we LOVE to talk, present, inform, and hear your stories. But, we recognize that there is always room for improvement, and we have determined to be more intentional about the quality of communication we engage in with our various stakeholders. We invite you to join us in developing your communication skills throughout the year. Here are some of our considerations and strategies that you can use moving forward.
#1. Active Listening
Have you ever been in a conversation and completely tuned out what the other person was saying? Perhaps you can easily recall examples of when you were speaking and felt unheard or ignored. Active listening can help us make sure that we are paying attention to the messages that are said as well as the underlying messages that may not be explicitly stated.
Active listening involves:
Active listening helps to ensure that the way we interpret a message aligns with the speaker’s intentions and goals for that message. When practiced well, active listening helps to establish rapport between communicators, aids in problem solving, and allows us to build trust.
#2. Responding Instead of Reacting
When faced with high-stress (or frankly low-stress) interactions, we sometimes have the tendency to react emotionally to a stimulus. Think of the last time your felt scared, embarrassed, or threatened. What was your reaction? Did you scream, curse, cry, shut down, gossip, run away, or fall to your knees? When our emotions are triggered, it’s easy to take them as absolute truth and sometimes act dramatically to express our frustration, humiliation, or fear.
To respond instead of reacting to an uncomfortable situation requires us to pause and notice the feelings that we are having. It is helpful in these moments to take a breath, take our time, and assess the situation for what is really going on.
Perhaps a coworker offended you with a callous remark. Rather than internalizing the remark as true, going off on your colleague, or talking down about them to other coworkers, practice the following:
In assessing your immediate reaction to the comment, you can better understand how to respond. You might:
Responding rather than reacting allows us to build more compassionate communication, which can help minimize emotional roadblocks that stand between us and meeting our goals.
Communication is our most powerful tool. Let’s agree to sharpen it, shall we? We hope you join us in being more effective communicators in 2019. Let us know how you’re doing; we’d love to hear from you!
One more thing...
Ever wonder why we do the things we do? Our exclusive webinar Beyond Talents: The Seven Motivations explores the seven motivators of human behavior and provides tips and tricks to unlocking the key to your personal motivation. Help ensure that you’ll meet your 2019 resolutions by signing up now and attending this Members Only Free course!
Date: January 25th, 2019
Time: 12:30 ET/ 11:30 CT
Duration: 90 min
One of the biggest growth opportunities we see for professionals in our corporate leadership workshops is with those who want to be effective team leaders but haven’t quite figured out the formula. Being a leader is tough. You’re not only managing organizational goals, but you’re also managing people, which means that you sometimes have to get creative in keeping your team on track while keeping your teams happy.
One area team leaders get bogged down with is decision-making. Making decisions for ourselves is tough enough, but when we are responsible for other people’s lives and our organization’s successes, the stakes are even higher. Effective leaders learn to make decisions with more ease over time. Here’s how.
Effective Leadership Skills: A Decision-Making Starter Map
One of the hallmarks of successful people is that they know how and when to make decisions. To this end, the following are three things you can do to help you make the right decisions – quicker:
Note: Of course, “right” is subjective; what we mean by "right" in this case is making the best decision with the tools/information you have available at the time.
1. Weigh Your Options: For example, let’s say that one of the decisions facing you as a team leader is whether or not take a territory from one sales rep and give it to another. In this case, you have two options, (i) let Sales Rep A keep the territory; or (ii) give it to Sales Rep B.
So, how do you decide what to do? This question brings us to the next step, which is to . . .
2. Predict the Outcome: This step causes confusion for many because an obvious question may be, “Can you really predict an outcome?” The short answer is -- that’s not important.
Well, look at it this way, the fact that you’re even considering taking a territory away from Sales Rep A to give to Sales Rep B means that you’ve come to some kind of conclusion about how that territory is being handled; otherwise, it wouldn’t even be on your radar, right?
So the secret to success at this stage is to ask yourself some hard questions, such as,
Why am I considering this doing this?
What are the consequences of doing so?
Am I willing to move forward once I’ve made the decision?
3. Evaluate the Risk. Risk is what keeps many of us paralyzed – even when we’ve evaluated the pros and cons of a given situation and we have accumulated all of the data, it can be hard to make the leap and actually make your decision known.
While they may be afraid of risk, effective leaders realize that it’s part of the job and they move forward anyway. These leaders are able to gauge what they have, what they need, and how badly they want to achieve the desired outcome. They can be resolute in the decision that they’ve made because they are acting from a place of strength and can back up their rationale.
The key to success at this stage is to know your strengths, your talents, what motivates you and use them to overcome obstacles.
In short, when you know and trust yourself – your gut instincts – you’ll become more confident with decision-making and a stronger leader.
Making better decisions is a skill that can be developed, much like being an effective team leader. Of course, there are many nuances that you’ll need to develop in order to do this. These three steps are a point from which to start.
Join us this Friday, July 20, for a StrengthsGenius.coach complimentary webinar: How To Make Successful Decisions with Ease and Confidence
The competitive landscape of business today is constantly changing. Technology and globalization allows for exponentially more progress to be made, but it also means that our tasks and goals are constantly changing. Besides making short-term tactical decisions, one must be able to comfortably and confidently execute tasks requiring long-term, strategic decision-making.
Make Successful Decisions With Ease and Confidence is designed to help you understand what is at the heart of all decisions and why we have difficulty making them.
You will understand the decision-making process from start to finish and learn:
· The beginning process of problem solving
· How to stop second guessing your decisions
· 2 other reasons why decision making can be difficult
Simple Registration Here
(There will not be anything "sold" on this call).
Lori and Shari
To discover your Top 5 Strengths click HERE.
"Two men look out through the same bars: One sees the mud, and one sees the stars."- Frederick Langbridge, A Cluster of Quiet Thoughts
Let’s say that you placed second in a writing contest. How would you respond? Would you jump for joy and get excited about the possibility of even better results the next time? Or, would you be discouraged and contemplate excuses to not participate in the future?
Life is filled with choices. Every day, we have a variety of opportunities in which to choose our reaction and the resulting thoughts around the conditions and circumstances of being human. Unfortunately, habitual pessimism puts us at risk of living a self-defeating life. By consciously choosing optimism, we open doors for a more rewarding and fulfilling life.
So why shift your perspective?
Well, optimism has been linked to positive moods and good morale; to academic, athletic, military, occupational and political success; to popularity; to good health and even to long life and freedom from trauma. Not a bad return on investment for developing our “Glass half full” muscle, right?
On the other end of the spectrum, the rates of depression and pessimism continue to climb, affecting people of all ages. The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe that difficult events are their own fault and will undermine their happiness for a long time to come.
Optimists Tend to Expect the Best
As you might suspect, we happen to be eternal optimists. Trust us, we have both been confronted with some hard knocks. What differs is the way we (optimists) perceive difficulties. We decide that the circumstance is a temporary setback. We even believe that these “contrasts” in our otherwise joy-filled experience will somehow serve us through learning and growth. This is also referred to as positive re-framing.
It would be a rare occurrence to hear an optimist proclaim, “Things will never get better,” or “I’ll never get it right”. Instead, when the going gets tough, optimists actually get tougher. They persevere. They just don’t give up easily, they are also known for their patience. Inching their way a step closer to that goal or what some might perceive as an elusive dream.
People respond positively to optimists:
Optimists tend to be proactive and less dependent on others for their happiness. They find no need to control or manipulate people. They usually draw people towards them. Their optimistic view of the world can be contagious and influence those they are with.
Our world, so divided in these times, could benefit from a healthy dose of optimism. Our experience is teaching us that this an especially desirable trait in all communities. Those who share optimism are generally accepted while those who spread gloom, panic and hysteria are often not well received.
What would happen if we started a movement focused on What Is OH SO RIGHT with people, teams, organizations, towns, counties, cities and so on? Want to join these 2 cock-eyed optimists and an amazing tribe in focusing on possibilities?
PS: If you do want to learn from these two optimists, join us on July 20! As a member of the StrengthsGenius.coach community, you receive access to a monthly community webinar- simple registration here- Make Successful Decisions with Ease and Confidence.
This is for you if you 1) ever have "buyer's remorse" after you have made a decision, 2) feel guilty after you have made a decision or 3) just need validation for the process of how you make your decisions. Simple Registration HERE Make Successful Decisions With Ease and Confidence
As a member of StrengthsGenius.coach you have unlimited public access to all materials, webinars, and self-development opportunities and we hope you can join us-
As we sat down to write this article, we initially chatted about sharing a variety of ideas that are likely very familiar to you already. You know, things like: defining success is different for each person; that some define it as a balance between life and work (a.k.a. spending more time with family and friends); and that yet others define it around some professional achievement, or some juxtaposition of money, fame, power, influence, material goods, etc.
Then we got clear that the message we really want to get across is that real success begins with knowing who you are, what your strengths are and what you really want out of life; in short, what makes you happy. Most of us have pursued success, at lease at some point in our life, based on a pre-determined definition of success. We never stop to ask – and answer – the question, “What does success mean to me?” The last two words in that sentence are critical.
You see, over the years, we’ve noticed that there are few things that tend to stump people when it comes to answering this question. As you define what success means to you, keep these in mind. You can absolutely break through the barriers that can keep you from reaching your full potential.
3 Things to Keep in Mind When Defining Success
I. Know What Motivates You: Many of us go through life without ever knowing what really motivates us. This is an integral part of defining success because it strikes at the heart of aligning our passion and our purpose.
Take a moment to complete the following seven motivators. Some would say they are the “real” reasons why we do what we do. They include: (i) social motivation; (ii) recognition motivation; (iii) money motivation; (iv) influence motivation; (v) achievement motivation; (vi) power motivation; and (vii) purpose motivation.
If you don’t know which of these principles motivate you, it’s like driving without a map. Yes, you’ll get there...but will it be where you want to go?
II. You CAN Have It All: Many of us buy into the limiting notion that we can’t have it all. In truth, you absolutely can – if you first clarify the "ALL" as what you really want.
In our experience as coaches, one of the reasons people think they can’t have it all is because they are pursuing goals that are not in alignment with their authentic self.
III. What Scares You? Author Judy Blume said, “Each of us must confront our own fears, come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives.”
You see, the reason most of us have such a hard time defining “successful” on our own terms is that we’re afraid.
“Afraid of what?” you may be thinking. What we hear most often include: what others may think; how it will impact our families; that we’ll lose “x;” that we won’t gain “y” and so on. Instead of confronting our fears, we keep living up to someone else's definition of success. How many people do you know who stay in a job they hate – that pays a lot of money – because everyone would think they're “crazy” to leave it?
Success Defined: Conclusion
The bottom line...success is as individual as each human being. Once you grasp this fact and do the work of finding out what it really means to and for you, then you’ll have taken the most important step to achieving it.
To discover your Top 5 Strengths click HERE.
Have you ever yearned for more fulfillment in your career than your existing role offers? Maybe you even have a sense of what that role might look like, or better yet, have your sights already set on a position within your current organization or another. If you are ready to embark on the journey from day-dream to dream job, you must first realize that SUCCESS STARTS WITH YOU.
In this moment, are you crystal clear about why you are ready for the next position? Are there skills or behaviors required for the position that require sharpening? Have you considered who could mentor you in the best approach for securing this position?
Thoughtful planning does not always require a multi-page strategy, however; taking focused action is well supported by a road-map for achieving your goal. We find the 3 x 3 MethodTM an invaluable tool in setting the course for smooth sailing towards that goal:
1. What are my top 3 reasons why I am ready to go for my next position?
2. What are the top 3 things I need to learn to get to be a great candidate for the next position?
3. Who are the top 3 people that have the position I want, and when can I schedule a lunch or phone call with them?
When you take time to understand where you are now and what you can do to get what you want, it becomes easier to make a plan to get it and make the decision to work for it. Attached is a worksheet you can use to help you get started.
3x3 Method Worksheet.pdf
Of course, we highly recommend you rely on your natural talents and strengths to help complete this.
Thinking positive can get a person a long way in this world, for success. But why is it so important in a role where we deal with others on a consistent basis?
Because we are around people all the time, doesn’t mean that it is always fun, or all people are fun! …or nice! You know what I mean? It can get lonely out there and tough to stay positive on some days.
What can happen? Whatever we hear, our mind picks them up and finds a way to deal with them. Our subconscious mind is like a guide. It only knows how to find a path to something. So, if we think (or hear) negative thoughts, it will find a path to make that thought a reality.
Here is an example: If a person is trying to lose weight and keeps saying to themselves, “I am so fat” (Consciously), the subconscious will guide the person to continue being fat.
It’s the same when we hear things around us. The old cliché, “You are who you hang around” is really true. Our subconscious mind is where our behaviors are driven from.
In order to keep a positive mindset, we need to DECIDE what the goal will be, with those less than positive people, prior to any interaction.
Is it to just communicate information?
Win a debate?
Give encouraging words?
Once you decide, before the conversation, your “reactions” will be less negative, as you had already decided how to control your own behavior.
Don’t let negative or difficult customers or team members’ rain on your parade! Take control, practice self-management, and gain confidence. It starts with you and your mindset first!
PS. Using your top 5 Strengths to reframe how you think, is one of the best places to start. What are your top 5? Find out HERE.
One of the most consistent observations we make during our corporate StrengthsGenius seminars, is the sincere desire of professionals to become effective team leaders that haven’t quite landed on a formula for success. After all, getting diverse personalities and perspectives aligned to accomplish a goal can be a challenging landscape to navigate.
The angst of making errors in critical decisions can bog a team leader down. Understandably, there may be a lot riding on it including the possibility of a career shortening event should things go wrong.
One of the hallmarks of successful people is that they know how and when to make decisions. Lean in to the following three suggestions to moving your decision making forward by making the best decision with tools and information available at the time.
1. Weigh Your Options: Let’s say that one of the decisions facing you as a team leader is whether to transition a given territory from one sales rep to another. Clearly, there are two options in this case:
(i) let Sales Rep A keep the territory; or (ii) give it to Sales Rep B.
2. Predict the Outcome: This step causes confusion for many because one might ask, “Can you really predict an outcome?” The truth is that you can predict a variety of outcomes. We call it the possibility game.
First consider the fact that something led you to the conclusion that a territory change might produce a better outcome, otherwise it wouldn’t be on your radar screen. What are the positive and negative possibilities associated with both sides of the equation, either moving the territory from Sales Rep A to Sales Rep B, or not.
The secret to success at this stage is to exhaust all the potential outcomes you can predict and get clear about the purpose of the move. Ask yourself why you are considering doing this and if you are willing to move forward once the decision is made.
3. Evaluate the Risk. Risk is what keeps many of us paralyzed – even when we’ve evaluated the pros and cons, and gotten all types of data and input from others. And, this is what separates effective team leaders from others.
While they may be afraid of risk, they realize that it’s part of being a leader – and move forward anyway.
The reason this stage stumps so many is because it goes to the heart of their situation, ie, what you have, what you want, and how bad to you want the outcome. The key to success at this stage is to know your strengths, your talents, what motivates you and how to overcome obstacles.
In short, when you know and trust yourself – your gut instincts – you will become more confident in making decisions – and be a more effective manager as well.
Making better decisions is a skill that can be developed, much like becoming an effective team leader. Of course, there are many nuances you will develop on the journey. These three steps give you a point from which to start.
To discover your Top 5 Strengths click HERE that can help you make decisions quicker.