Do you ever notice not all feet are created equal? Some people have nice feet and some have ugly feet. For instance, my toes are crooked with a patch of ugly hair on my big toe. I shudder at the thought! But then there are those blessed people who aren’t afraid to where sandals or these women that wear toe rings. Now that’s confidence!
Feet come in all shapes and sizes; fat feet, flat feet, long feet, and small feet! Sounds like a Dr. Seuss story! But for me the worse kind of feet are stinky feet. I do not rub feet, massage feet, or even touch feet! I know some people, when they peel their socks off will make you turn puke green.
Feet are what we stand on. They keep us balanced. Before one can become a great leader, that person needs to be standing on a solid foundation. You cannot discuss leadership without discussing morality. We have people in leadership positions that are, rich, smart, and attractive. But there is a sharp decline in leaders that are moral. These “leaders” truly have stinky feet.
Everyone is apart of an ethical system, whether it is social, company, professional, or family ethics. Ethics can change based on whether you’re apart of a jury or at work, in the U.S. or China, but what usually never changes is a person’s morals.
Morals define your character and only God knows we need men and women with a strong moral resolve. Let’s get something straight, everyone has different morals, and the purpose of this article is not to push my morals on you but rather to shed light on some universal morals that leaders can acquire to build their strength as a respected leader. Let’s look at a few things to help you not have “stinky feet” as a leader and give you a foundation that you can stand firmly upon.
Get In Line!
Profootcenter.com says, “The 52 bones in your feet make up one quarter of all the bones in your body. When they are out of alignment, so is the rest of your body.” (1)
We can draw a comparison to our morality, in the fact that when our morals are out of line so is everything else you do as a leader. When their is cracks in your foundation, the building faces a chance of complete disaster!
“All are agreed, that the increase of learning and good morals are great blessings to society.”
A person in leadership without morals is an abominable monster. Look at men like Hitler and Stalin, they had a great following and influenced people in almost a magical way, but yet led there followers into great genocidal warfare and sought to destroy millions of people.
Let us not look at the extreme but rather a boss or a pastor without a moral compass. A leader without their moral compass is like a ship at sea with their people, dashed about by the waves, wondering aimlessly without any real direction. Get in line, because when your feet bones aren’t in the right place, your whole body suffers as a result.
Standing on Landmines
I had a boss once that told me business is like walking through a field of landmines. And you know it makes a lot of sense to me as I have been managing for several years now. We may not be able to dodge every explosive but we can do some things to help us avoid them to the best of our abilities. Allow me to give you some morals that string through all cultures and countries that will help you build this solid foundation.
- Honesty- Honesty is not the “best” policy, it is the “only” policy.
- Integrity- Integrity towards women and men. No sexual advances. No rewards for promiscuous behavior. Stay professional with no locker room talk and uncouth words.
- Keep your hands out of the money- No money laundering or stealing.
- Create a competitive atmosphere but a safe atmosphere.
“Bank intern who died, after ‘working for 72 hours’ felt pressure to excel.” This is the article from The Telegraph. (2) “citing a reference not my personal opinion.”
A title from investopedia.com, “Enron Scandal: The Fall of a Wall Street Darling” (3)
A Fox News article title runs chills down my spine, “Police: A Florida pastor caught with man’s wife flees naked” (4)
These are all people and board members in leadership position that broke universal rules of moral engagement and society has paid a dear price. Leaders today are not “stepping” on landmines, they are straight up “standing” on them.
We read and hear stories everyday of “leaders” falling into some sort of immorality. They have stinking feet! The foundation they are standing on is corrupted and there for they cannot effectively lead in any aspect.
Walk A Mile In There Shoes
We have all heard the old adage, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” As a leader this should be your motto. Your morals may be different then mine in some aspects, but a universal truth that has rang down through the ages is to treat people with respect and dignity.
“Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
-Some really cool person
Leaders have a moral responsibility to their people, their congregation, their spouses and children, their co-workers, and yes, those pesky neighbors of yours. News Flash: You wouldn’t be in a leadership position, without others following your footsteps.
Leaders lose touch with their people on a daily basis. Walking in other’s shoes can bring them back to reality of the struggle and battle that they are going through. Here are a few actions you can take to be a moral leader with your people:
- Be honest with them. Pay them an honest wage and also be honest with your communication. Do not do them wrong. Do not cheat them.
- Never talk down to them.
- Do not physically or mentally abuse them.
- Despite their personal beliefs, lifestyles, or race, show them dignity.
- Show empathy and get to know them.
- Follow through on your promises.
There are many more things you can say there and feel free to comment on what you believe to be important. Walk a mile in their shoes and remember what it’s like to be responsible for a group of people, the standing you have with them, and their view of you.
Do not develop stinking feet. Hold to the universal morals that can raise your head and shoulders above your peers. Let us restore the confidence people once had in leadership in days gone by. Clean your feet up and wash them real good, so you can be the successful leader.