How often do you use statements that include the word “always”? “I always do the right thing.” “She always gets it wrong.” “That always happens to me.” Extreme phrases of any kind are hard to live up to. I was reminded of that recently when I was honored to receive the Red Scott Award. The award is given to the Vistage Florida Chair who best exemplifies the spirit of Vistage following what Red felt were the real tenets of great Chair leadership: Always putting their member’s needs ahead of their own, always making it a top priority to assist their fellow Chairs, and always putting the organization’s needs and well-being ahead of their own.
Red Scott was a terrific mentor, leader and person – as you know if you have read some of my prior blog postings. He achieved great fame and wealth, and yet was respected as a humble man. I have tried to follow in his footsteps to be the best person I can be. Now that I have received this great honor, the pressure is on for me to do even better.
The “always” statements associated with this award can be challenging at times. It often takes much less effort to put your own needs first, and worry about the impact on others later. Behaving unselfishly can also mean getting rolled over by someone who takes advantage of the situation. When that happens, it’s easy to think, “Why bother?” The answer, of course, is because it’s the right thing to do. Remember, as a leader, you are always being watched by your employees. If you can focus on always trying to do your best, that’s all anyone can ask. Even leaders are human, after all!