Good leaders have many common traits and behaviors. We’ve explored many of them through this blog.
For example, good leaders often surround themselves with good, smart, effective people; good leaders have a sense of purpose and are able to communicate that purpose with those around them; good leaders have certain values they live by and to which they hold themselves accountable.
I also believe good leaders try to make decisions and take actions that they can be proud of. In other words, good leaders operate so they can “look themselves in the mirror” every day.
Check out this video clip and short blurb from a 2014 NBA Playoff game between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers.
In the clip, a Pacers player is seen blowing into a Heat players’ face in an apparent attempt to distract the Heat player. Of course we know ultimately this didn’t work as the Heat won the series and went on to play for the NBA title. However, I can’t help but wonder how the Pacers player felt the morning after the game when he looked himself in the mirror. Was he proud of his actions? or Was he ashamed and embarrassed by his actions?
I guess we’ll never know for sure but I contend that good leaders typically don’t take actions they won’t be proud of and on the occasion they do make a mistake, (because everyone – even good leaders – make them) they address the mistake, apologize for it, take responsibility for it and then move on. (check out my March 3, 2014 blog post “Hard to Say I’m Sorry and Other Leadership Anthems)
So, if you want to be a good leader – heck even if you just want to be a good person, start thinking about the consequences of your actions before you take them. Think about what you will see in the mirror tomorrow morning.