The word “honest” has many shades of meaning in the English language. However, it only has one major opposite. To be honest is to be free of deception. When we deceive, we ensnare others with false ideas or beliefs. We trap their minds like animals. We are false to their well – being. We cause them to believe untruths.
Businessmen are often compared to predators and business to the art of war. Competition is a struggle for survival. It is not a fair fight. There are no rules. These comparisons seem apt, but are they true? Are they merely echoes of our beginnings rather than guideposts to our destiny?
This chapter advocates honesty. It rejects deceit. Honesty is what works for a lot of great leaders of repute. What is it about honesty that attracts them? What is it about deceit that repels them?
I have identified three factors which I believe contribute to an individual’s business success. However, I cannot limit my discussion to three factors for I sincerely believe there are five critical elements which make for a successful leader. I strongly believe in these five principles so much that is why I have them documented in this book. Thus, I bring these five to your attention:
Strength of will. I believe that a business leader must possess the courage of his/her convictions. Many people refer to this as ego. I believe it’s that internal drive and perseverance which allows the leader to draw strength from within he or she during the natural life cycle that any business will encounter.
Vision. I believe every great leader must have a clear focus and clear direction coupled with the strength of will. It’s the road map that the leader follows to take him or her and their organization in a sure direction, and to contribute in that direction during periods of prosperity and periods of difficulty.
Judgment. The ability to make sound, high – quality decisions in a timely fashion and on a continuous basis comes from the persons years of experience, what they obtain through life, as well as one’s innate intelligence.
Communication. A leader must get things done through others, therefore the leader must have the ability to inspire and motivate, guide and direct, and listen. It’s only through communication that the leader is able to cause others to internalize his or her vision and implement it.
Values. Many call these business ethics – the underlying principles by which the leader operates. Whatever term is used, values constitute the leader’s belief system. It will be the basis upon which he/she deals with others including clients, employees and other business associates. It is a reflection of one’s character. It is the blueprint and the foundation for how one runs his/her business.