PRODUCER’S NOTE: You know the old saying, it is not what you say but what you do that counts. John believes that is especially true when it comes to leadership. In essence, leadership is not a right because you have a graduate degree. Those are a dime a dozen. It is a privilege that you have to earn.

The difference between good leadership and bad leadership is frequently a question of motive.

Leaders like to use the phrase “on a mission” to describe their role as a leader.  For whom? Is this a mission about building a solid, high-functioning team and strengthening the organization operationally and financially with exceptional service?  Or is this mission more about enhancing your brand and burnishing your personal, national reputation for that next better job? 

I come from an industry where too many leaders are more interested in their career trajectory.  Their current job is just the “next step” on the ladder.  They will cut corners and whack costs because their corporate owners want a particular financial return.  This goal seems far more critical than quality, safety, or satisfaction. 

Leaders should remember that the words they choose to describe their work are important but not as critical as their motives and daily actions.