I recently read Tony Dungy’s book called Quiet Strength. I always liked Tony Dungy even before reading his book. But now, I have an immense respect for him as a leader and a person. The reason why, in a word, is conviction.
Coach Dungy stayed true to his convictions, his beliefs, through good times and in bad. His courage of conviction inspired success! In his book he wrote, “I think people look more closely at our actions in rough times, when the emotions are raw and our guard is down. That’s when our true character shows and we find out if our faith is real.” This is most certainly true of those in positions of leadership.
A successful CEO I know once told me that he believes our actions define who we are. Very simply, if we say we believe in something, but we don’t demonstrate those beliefs, then we are being dishonest with ourselves and with others, and it’s not who we really are. I think that’s fair and it certainly gave me pause to reflect on my own beliefs and actions.
Do I really demonstrate my convictions?
To answer that question I first had to identify what it is I truly believe in, not just as a leader, but as a person. It was not an easy task, but here’s what I came up with.
- Jesus Christ is my savior and prayer is powerful.
- Attitude is everything and it can help determine your success or failure.
- Life is the sum of OUR choices. We have the responsibility to own up to those choices and not blame others.
- Happiness is a journey, not a destination, found in the moments of our lives. Observe and cherish the moments.
- Achievement of success, title, rank or fortune, makes me no better than anyone else. We all deserve the same level of respect and opportunity.
- Actions speak louder than words and words should be chosen carefully.
- Authenticity is key to effective relationships – be who you are.
I intend to keep this list handy so I can hold myself accountable to my beliefs, in good times and in bad.
What are your beliefs? Think about your actions. It will help you define your beliefs.
Do you have the courage to demonstrate your convictions when challenged? Keep your list handy.
Are you happy with your list? If not, then change your actions.