Above the Fray

Seven weeks into our leadership series I would like to take a break and issue a challenge x2. We have looked at the first seven Laws of Leadership.  These aren’t qualities, they’re laws.  They don’t change.  We must change if we want to be GREAT LEADERS.

  • CHALLENGE #1 – Of the first seven laws, which one has been the most revealing? Each message had an ACTION step.  Which one have you taken?  Leadership is not about knowing, it’s about doing.

Are you Above the Fray?  Are you Above the Fray of rumors, innuendos and scuttlebutt?  Do you hold yourself accountable to professional behavior always?  Do you draw attention to yourself though poor decisions and make yourself part of the story?  The pathway to being a GREAT LEADER is Above the Fray.  It is about self-discipline.

Last week, the Vice President of the United States was ridiculed for holding himself to a standard by which he will not dine alone with any other woman other than his wife. Rather than admiring a man for such self-discipline, he has been ridiculed in the news media as if he can’t be trusted.  Really!?!  For trying to live Above the Fray?

I have two similar “standards” that I hold myself accountable to.  I won’t ride in a car with a woman that is not my wife.  Now I have, but not without being uncomfortable the entire time.  I also will not give someone else’s children a ride somewhere without one of my own in the car with me. Why?  Because I can’t be trusted or don’t trust myself?  Nope.  I think we all know better.  I simply want to live Above the Fray.

Those are just two examples of many that I hold myself accountable to.  Living Above the Fray is hard to do.  Sometimes it seems unfair and that your there alone.  Dealing with employees, regulations, laws, rules and life can be exhausting.  It’s next to impossible to live Above the Fray all the time.  But when you choose to live Above the Fray you feel good about yourself, nothing really fazes you and you can respond to the daily stuff with patience, understanding and a sense of humor.

But living in the fray has its benefits also.  You can be argumentative, stressed, exhausted, resentful and deflect responsibility. It’s when you insist on being right or when your fuse is so short that you feel justified in having your own little tantrum. When you are in the fray, you’re in the grip of fight or flight emotions and your boss/employee or guest looks like the enemy.

If we choose to be Above the Fray we will need to be courageous, have vision, be adaptable, committed to continuous improvement and always be authentic.  We will need to hold ourselves accountable to the H5H values and the standards within our respective restaurant operation.  It means we will support, back up and challenge the other leaders in our business to be better tomorrow than we were today.  It means we stop finding fault and find solutions.  It means that we forgive missteps and offer second chances.  It means we don’t throw in the towel but we throw down the gauntlet on being better.  It means we don’t lower our standards but we raise people up to the standard.  It means that we are willing to do what the average leader is not willing to do.

  • CHALLENGE #2 – Are you willing to put in writing that you will begin to adopt the self-discipline to live Above the Fray?

There are many important qualities that can contribute to a person’s achievements and happiness, but there is only one that begets sustainable, long-term success in all aspects of life: self-discipline. Whether in terms of your diet, fitness, work ethic or relationships, self-discipline is the number one trait needed to accomplish goals, lead a healthy lifestyle, be happy and, ultimately, live Above the Fray.

I look forward to reading your responses to this post.

Lead The Way!