Plato said, “The first and best victory is to conquer self.”

We’ve all been involved with organizations that try and address problems by creating more rules, more regulations and more oversight, which frankly often just adds to the cost and complexity of running a business. Addressing underlying sources for these problems if often misunderstood or overlooked – the ability of each person working in an organization to become self-governing.

It isn’t possible to create enough “Do’s and Don’ts” to cover the myriad of choices people face each day, particularly during uncertain times and increased work-loads. Ultimately, we each must address the question of “What kind of person should I be?” Expanding company policy manuals with more rules and guidelines does not address this and can’t produce the desired outcomes we are hoping to achieve.

Companies have a reason to care, if not for the altruistic purposes of creating better people, better organizations and a better society, then for financial and in some cases, survival reasons. When a company fails to maximize the talent in their buildings, to develop not just job skills but also associated “soft skills” and the personal leadership effectiveness needed to excel and succeed, then we undermine the health and long-term sustainable success of any company.

Business leaders of all shapes and sizes may want to consider becoming deliberate about rigorously developing Personal Leadership Effectiveness within themselves and their employees. As they do, they will begin to see positive outcomes in the way of greater focus, personal discipline, creativity, healthier communication, increased respect, and integrity to name a few. They will witness a renewed sense of purpose, passion, positive attitudes and perseverance in the face of adversities big or small.

These are the ingredients to lasting success and to a healthy organizational culture. Establishing and sustaining a thriving character-based Personal Leadership Effectiveness (PLE) culture will ultimately become your single greatest competitive advantage.

You’ve all seen this popping up on the internet:
CFO asks his CEO – What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave the company?
CEO answers – What happens if we don’t, and they stay?

The reality is that most of us have not yet learned or fully developed the ability to master ourselves. Over time society has devalued the importance of the cultivation of character.Character matters! No one can deny having character impacts productivity and performance, communication, relationships, team, customers, our bottom line and the moral fabric of a company.

We don’t live in a perfect world – it’s rather messy, so as organizational leaders, maximizing human capital decisions and mitigating the associated risks are paramount. Do companies live with their current situation or make a decision to invest in their people?

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