Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
The power of habit is a motivator for trust.
Why don’t people question or wonder if the sun will rise in the morning? It has erased all questioning, wonderment, and second guessing by the power of habit. When we as leaders are habitual in our ethical practices we will erase all suspicion and wonderment concerning our motives. Habit is produced and exercised from our character and is motivated by our core values and principles. Our belief system and code of conduct is what propels our actions in a consistent manner. Habits are repetitions of action that have become knee-jerk responses from the well worn grooves in our minds.
Habits are not a destiny but they are the means by which a destiny is achieved. The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, becoming more productive, facilitating social change, becoming a better leader, and achieving success will be by habit. Once leadership consistently makes decisions that are ethical, and this pattern is imprinted on the minds of the citizenry, then leading that nation, community, or city will be the result of the force of character. When people trust leadership, the morale and mood of the country improves, and a calmness will ensue.
People like leadership to be predictable. They want to know that every time they can trust them to make the moral decisions with the public’s best interest at heart. Predictability in leadership is not boring but a consistent pattern of behavior that captures the whole of society and moves them forward. Habitual moral and ethical behavior will silence the critics without wasting time in debate. Integrity will embarrass the irresponsible attacks of the opposition. In other words, character and integrity leaves such giant footprints that it swallows the shallow meaningless attacks of those looking for a little hill to make a mountain out of it.
Leaders should always remember that it is easier to maintain character than to rebuild a reputation.
Fame is a vapor, Popularity an accident. Riches take wings. Only one thing endures, Character.
– Horace Greely
Dr. Reuben Egolf – Chairman of the USGLCouncil