Recently in preparation for a speaking event with a group of Air Force senior leaders, I reviewed two key documents issued in 2020 by the incoming Chief of Staff USAF General C. Q. Brown. Though he did not say it specifically, it was implied that we should avoid duplicity. He sets the example through his openness, honesty and vulnerability. What you see is what you get. A great leader doing his best to lead with honor.
Authentic leaders consistently live in harmony with their values, even when no one is looking. Their walk matches their talk. They resist the temptation to achieve ends by less than honorable means. They are true to others in order to be true to themselves. This is the foundation for “leading with honor.”
My experience tells me that if you want to lead with honor, you must become a warrior. You must be willing to engage in battles against your fears, your situational temptations to deceive, and your natural instinct to put yourself first and take the easy way out. You must be willing to endure suffering and sacrifice for the sake of higher values.
In my two books about the leaders in the Hanoi Hilton POW camp system, Leading with Honor and Engage with Honor, I share many stories about our courageous leaders. They are the type of leaders we need today. I hope the courage and perseverance they exhibited will inspire you to lean into your fears and break free from all hindrances that hold you back, so that you truly can lead with honor.
Read the entire article and watch the coaching on this topic – “The Key Leadership Ingredient”