Tag Archives | Character

Culture Leadership Charge – A Question of Character

Your character is showing!

Every interaction we have with others demonstrates our character, for better or worse. If we treat people kindly and act in service, our character is showing. If we demean, discount, or dismiss others, our character is showing!

In today’s episode of my Culture Leadership Charge video series, I make the case for strong service character. What our workplaces, families, and communities need – right now – is high moral and ethical quality of interactions from each of us.

My Culture Leadership Charge series features short (two-to-three-minute) videos that describe proven culture leadership and service leadership practices that boost engagement, service, and results across your work teams, departments, regions, and even your entire company.

Each episode’s “charge” is a challenge for everyone in your organization – not just leaders – to refine their behaviors and ensure everyone is treated respectfully at all times.

You’ll find my Culture Leadership Charge episodes and more on my my YouTube channel and my my Vimeo channel. If you like what you see, please subscribe!

View @scedmonds #Culture #Leadership Charge video series on @YouTube http://drtc.me/ytube & @Vimeo http://drtc.me/vimeo Click To Tweet

Photo © Lisa F. Young – Adobe Stock. All rights reserved.



How kind and “of service” are your organization’s leaders? When people feel authentically cared for, what is the positive impact that you see or experience? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Subscribe to Chris’ mobile updates, texted right to your smartphone! Text VALUES to 72000 or head here.


Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


vimeo_logoChris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips are also available on Vimeo. Subscribe to Chris’ Vimeo channel.


podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Culture Leadership Charge – The “Managing by Announcements” Fallacy

How well are new policies and procedures embraced in your organization? If you’re like most companies, it all depends on how well – and how quickly – those new expectations are embedded as practices.

It doesn’t matter what the change is – it could be a new software system or a new purpose statement. What matters is what happens after the change is announced. Yet most leaders operate under the faulty assumption that telling people what is expected ensures alignment to the change.

This fallacy is known as “managing by announcements,” where leaders announce the details of a change, then expect that all players will immediately embrace the new expectations.

In today’s episode of my Culture Leadership Charge video series, I share how leaders can increase the success of new processes or procedures by embedding them, reinforcing them, and celebrating them – not just announcing them.

My Culture Leadership Charge series features short (two-to-three-minute) segments that describe proven culture leadership practices that boost engagement, service, and results across your work teams, departments, regions, and even your entire company.

Each episode’s “charge” is a challenge for everyone in your organization – not just leaders – to refine their behaviors and ensure everyone is treated respectfully at all times.

You’ll find my Culture Leadership Charge episodes and more on my my Vimeo channel. If you like what you see, please follow me there.

Don't miss @scedmonds #Culture #Leadership #Charge video series now on @Vimeo http://drtc.me/vimeo Click To Tweet

Photo © tempakul – Adobe Stock. All rights reserved.



What is your experience with leaders “managing by announcements”? How have your best bosses helped embed the new approaches effectively? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Subscribe to Chris’ mobile updates, texted right to your smartphone! Text VALUES to 72000 or head here.


Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


vimeo_logoChris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips are also available on Vimeo. Subscribe to Chris’ Vimeo channel.


podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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September 2015 Leadership Development Carnival

leadership_carnival logoI’m delighted to host this month’s Leadership Development Carnival.

This carnival features thought leaders in leadership, engagement, service, and culture every month. I know you will enjoy these great posts – please share them if you find them valuable.

Wally Bock says it’s not the difference between quitting and not quitting. Winners quit smart. Learn more in his post, Winners Never Quit?

Neal Burgess believes that leaders know how to bring out the best in their employees – especially those who are creative and innovative. These employees know how to generate, create and produce ideas and turn them into breakthrough results. Learn how in Bringing Out the Innovator in Your Employees.

Moving from peer to boss is one of the most common and challenging transitions in a leader’s career. In Randy Conley‘s post, Moving from Peer to Boss – 5 Steps to Success, he outlines five ways that anyone can employ to move or coach someone through this career milestone.

David Dye might raise some eyebrows with his post, The Leadership Heresy You Can’t Live Without.

If you’ve ever been passed over for a promotion, Joel Garfinkle says now is the time to act. His post, How to Ask For and Get a Promotion, offers a list of actions you can take immediately to improve your visibility.

David Greer‘s post, Trust from the Inside Out, shares his insights after a series of eye surgeries. His focus is that us humans judge quickly, often based on what we see – not on what is within the other person’s heart.

Understanding the world around us is essential to effective leadership. Nobody is more important to your leadership success than understanding your boss. Bruce Harpham‘s post outlines the 4 part observation strategy to understand your boss.

Mike Henry, Sr. suggests leaders can improve their effectiveness with an Attitude Adjustment – Focus on Others.

John Hunter asks, “Why do you hire dead wood? Or why do you hire live wood and kill it?” in his post on the Deming Institute.

Effective leaders make use of compelling stories. Karin Hurt shares her “STORIES” method for crafting exciting stories that will energize your leadership and team.

When introverted and extroverted leaders take a step back and approach conflict in a healthy way, they can achieve extraordinary results. Jennifer Kahnweiler‘s Smartblogs post, Introverted and Extroverted Leaders: Bring on the Battles helps both focus on the results they are each trying to achieve.

Jill Mallack offers advice for leaders to keep in touch with what’s going on. Don’t be blindsided: Be a Leader Who is in the Know.

Susan Mazza‘s post, How Leaders Drive Behavior, examines how people naturally start to notice what you choose to frequently shine the spotlight on. That’s how they learn what they should focus on, which amplifies whatever message you send.

Dan McCarthy‘s article, 3 Little Words, explains why “I trust you” is a vitally important message in our workplaces.

Robyn McLeod presents WAIT! Why am I talking? where she shares the acronym WAIT, which strengthens your communication skills, listening skills, and leadership skills.

Eileen McDargh wonders “Is Amazon’s Bezos Busted?” Eileen posits that Bezos is pretty disconnected from the daily reality of Amazon’s corporate headquarters.

As part of the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum, Jon Mertz got Daniel Pink’s take on generations, career, and leadership. Pink even shares the one thing he believes Millennials should remember when developing their own leadership skills and mindsets.

Jennifer V. Miller tapped practitioners and experts in career management and leadership development to determine the best practices in filling a company’s leadership pipeline. Read their recommendations in Tips for Running a High-Potential Leadership Development Program.

Want to learn How Feedback Can Help Your Employees Succeed and Grow? Read Tanveer Naseer‘s post.

Do you include stories that influence people in your leadership tool kit? Or do you resort to data-speak because that’s what you learned to do? In her article, Learn to Tell Stories that Influence, Dr. Anne Perschel presents six elements will help you build effective stories.

Steve Roesler offers three practical actions for leaders who might be wondering what they can do to coach their people in his post, Do Your Leaders Coach?

John Spence‘s video blog, Vision, Mission, and Values: More Than Words On Paper, outlines why John thinks your organization needs to formalize these elements.

In 3 Lessons from the Attack on Amazon, Michael Lee Stallard shares three important lessons for leaders.

Jesse Lyn Stoner believes people don’t resist change. Change is a normal and natural part of living. The only time you stop changing is when you’re dead. What people resist is having change imposed on them. In her post, 3 Guidelines to Avoid Resistance to Change, she outlines ways to invite people to participate in the change process that will minimize resistance to change.

In his article, Collective Leadership: From the Bottom Up, Jim Taggart looks at leadership through the lens of a volatile, unpredictable global economy, driven heavily by technological change. What has happened to leadership in the process? Has it evolved to become more “collective” in our interconnected, complex world? Read Jim’s post to learn more.

Linda Fisher Thornton ponders What’s the Difference Between Ethical and Unethical Selling? See if you can relate to these descriptions of ethical and unethical selling, and take a moment to consider the important leadership questions that follow.

Bill Treasurer‘s post, Leadership is Freak’n Hard, explains how good leaders nearly always start out as bad leaders. They become more effective by first becoming less ineffective. Doing that requires a careful understanding of what makes leadership so freak’n hard.

Thomas J. Walter presents Creative Destruction: Philosophy in Leadership, where he shares how his leadership team moved from maintenance and management to intellectual stimulating actions to boost effectiveness.

One of the best ways to nip a turnover issue in the bud and to potentially gain a competitive advantage over competitors is to fix your leadership issues, with the greatest bang for your buck being at the frontline level. This post from Mary Ila Ward suggests 2 Steps to Keep People from Quitting.

And from my Driving Results Through Culture blog, a rather sobering post about employee engagement – Work: Where the Human Spirit Goes to Die.


Subscribe to Chris’ mobile updates, texted right to your smartphone! Text VALUES to 72000 or head here.


Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


vimeo_logoChris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips are also available on Vimeo. Subscribe to Chris’ Vimeo channel.


podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Everyone Has Values

Good luck gesture with fingers crossed behindI had a wonderful conversation online recently with a leader who disagreed with me. I love to engage people with different points of view in a respectful manner (from both sides!).

My post and podcast last week (Surround Yourself With Values-Aligned Compadres) prompted the discussion.

Twitter discussions are interesting. The 140-character limit means one has to be crisp & clear with sometimes complicated concepts. Let me paraphrase our conversation.

This leader said, “I wish more people had values. Too few do!” I believe I knew what he meant – that many people don’t seem to act in alignment with values. My take is that everyone has values. Everyone aligns to their values daily. We can observe their values by examining their plans, decisions, and actions.

I responded with, “Everyone has values. Bullies have values. Teen gang members have values. They just hold values that are different than my own.”

The leader said, “I don’t think thugs have values!” No question about what this leader believes, right?

My responses might have helped this leader see this concept from a different angle.

My experiences with values alignment began formally four decades ago, in my YMCA days.

In the 1970’s I was actively involved in values clarification. A couple of my bosses used values clarification in our work teams. I used it with my camp directors and counselors to ensure we were all on the same page with how we’d treat each other, how we’d treat our campers, and how we’d treat their family members each summer.

In all the values clarification sessions I ran – for literally hundreds of people – not one person failed to come up with their personal values. The values might have varied widely from person to person – especially with how they defined their values – but every person was satisfied with their values list.

I also learned how values-aligned teen gangs are. The national project I directed looked at teen programs and what the teens of “today” (in the early ’80’s) were looking for in their lives. We conducted hundreds of interviews with teens and parents. One of the most valuable resources for us was a study that came from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.

That study found that teens were looking for three things. First, they want do do things that are cool, different from things they do with their families. Second, they want to belong to a group (as opposed to isolating themselves). Third, they want to do things with that group that advance their group’s meaningful purpose.

In our discussions of this powerful data, we realized these three things are true for teen gangs. Gang members are as values-aligned as US Marines or Zappos team members. Those three groups hold very different values, but each embrace their “team” values deeply.

This data and my experiences lead me to believe strongly that everyone has values. We experience others’ values in the ways they treat others (including how they treat us). We experience others’ values in the decisions they make. We often question their decisions from a values standpoint. In our heads, we think, “I would never do that! I value my independence (or family or faith or whatever) too much to go down that path!”

Right now, we each are acting on our values. The beliefs and principles we hold dear guide our individual plans, decisions, and actions.

By formalizing my values, I can quickly assess how well I’m living them each day. And, I can quickly assess the values of people in my life – at work, home, community, etc. – and can then assess how aligned their values are with mine.

And I can choose who to hang out with, who to work with, and who to spend my life with.

What do you think? Do you agree that everyone has values? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © Catalin Pop – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I play all instruments on these recordings.


Subscribe to Chris’ mobile updates, texted right to your smartphone! Text VALUES to 72000 or head here.


Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


vimeo_logoChris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips are also available on Vimeo. Subscribe to Chris’ Vimeo channel.


podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Your Character is Showing

business woman lyingThe 2016 US presidential race is heating up, which means the time is ripe for truth-stretching, name calling, and worse.

This week’s “I’m running for president” announcement by one candidate was so filled with distortions and untruths that fact checkers immediately pounced.

In another case, a news anchor was suspended for six months for “misrepresenting” his reporting experiences. In an interview this week, the anchor said his ego drove him to embellish stories.

What causes humans to embellish, to lie, to discount others, to take credit, or worse? Financial gain or showing they are smarter than others or winning while someone loses are outcomes that may drive us to lie.

For me, it all boils down to character – moral character. And, moral character matters.

Moral character is at the heart of many philosophers’ ideologies. We can learn about virtue and character through the writings of Aristotle, Plato, Heraclitus and others.

In fact, one of Heraclitus’ most popular quotes is “ethos anthropos daimon“, which roughly translates as “character is fate” or “character is destiny.”

Being of strong moral character means we are trustworthy. We are reliable. We do what we say we will do. We treat others with dignity and respect. Not once in a while, not most of the time, but all of the time, in every interaction.

Every plan, decision, and action reveals our character. We may think that our selfish drive is invisible to others, but it is not. It is amazingly transparent and consistent. If we are self-serving, it is obvious. If we are of service to others, it is obvious.

I have utmost control over the quality of my moral character. Should I be of grace and of service today, or should I screw everyone over so “I win” and they lose? It’s my choice.

Maintaining strong moral character takes effort, energy, reflection, and intention. It doesn’t happen naturally. We live in a society that reinforces “I, ME, MINE,” daily. If we want something different, something that serves others more than ourselves, we have to invest in those behaviors and those decisions.

Even when you are successful in aligning to strong moral character, others around you might behave in less giving ways.

For example, my worst boss asked me to lie. Years ago, in my non-profit executive life, my branch team of volunteers and staff worked our butts off to raise $25,000, which was double what they had ever raised before. But at the campaign’s closing dinner, with 300 people in attendance, my boss told me to get up in front of everyone and tell them we had raised, not $25,000, but $30,000. I refused, and announced the real total.

My boss wasn’t happy. Neither was I. He felt that I let him down. I felt that he had revealed his true moral character, and I had discovered his values were much different than mine. I didn’t want to interact with him anymore. I left that job as quickly as I could.

Make the choice today to be trustworthy, to do what you say you will do, to be kind, to be gracious, to express gratitude for effort as well as for accomplishment, to be reliable, to be respectful with everyone.

You’ll be able to hold your head high – and you might even influence others to be more respectful and of service, over time.

How do you maintain your strong moral character? How do others whom you respect demonstrate their strong moral character? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © Steven Coburn – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I play all instruments on these recordings.


Subscribe to Chris’ mobile updates, texted right to your smartphone! Text VALUES to 72000 or head here.


Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.


vimeo_logoChris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips are also available on Vimeo. Subscribe to Chris’ Vimeo channel.


podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.


itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.


The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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