The Value of Leading with Merit
“This above all, to thine own self be true” – William Shakespeare
Merit is one of those words you may not think about much, yet holds great value.
Merit speaks about worthiness, strength, quality, value and excellence.
In terms of leadership, if you choose to lead well, run your life and business efficiently, you are going to have to look at what you claim is worthy of respect, praise, excellence and worth.
Let's say you are a CEO of a Fortune 500 company and you just found out they are contributing to the destruction of the Amazon rain forest, and you just happen to be an advocate for saving the rainforest. What do you do? This is your job, your livelihood yet the values of the company that you work for, no longer match your own. It comes down to an issue of personal integrity.
Merit has everything to do with standards. What are the standards that you live and work by? What are the deal breakers?
When you hold standards based on your core values, integrity is something you are going to have to lead with, or it will cost you in terms of sanity, stress and cell tissue. You cannot go so far against yourself and not suffer. Integrity means being true to yourself and the values you hold. .
When you step out of integrity with yourself, and drop your standards, you may not pay for it on the front end, but you will pay for it on the back end, in loss of health, revenue and opportunities.
The negative spiral of stepping out of integrity with yourself, means you will probably be out of integrity with others.
Bad business, bad relationships, bad health, faulty finances are the results of stepping out of line with your standards, your integrity, your merit.
Merit allows for divinity, as it is “on par” with excellence, nobility and the virtues.
What actions are you going to take to increase your merit? What already has merit in your life?
As a leader, merit stands for integrity born of authenticity. This isn’t about living up to someone else’s standards. This is about exemplifying your own. So, if your boss is killing the rainforest and you want to save it, what has merit for you, will be the right choice.
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