“If you don’t stand for something how can anyone respect what you do?” ~ Miranda Lambert
There are some leaders who have a voice and are not afraid to use it. They have a presence and are confident in who they are and what they stand for. They have a message and they communicate it with clarity, impact and absolute conviction. They are magnetic. They make a difference.
On Australia Day eve I watched the Australian of the Year Awards. I couldn’t be prouder of all whom were nominated for all of the awards. It’s so inspiring to have these incredibly influential, selfless and passionate people on our door step, particularly the winner of the Australian of the Year David Morrison, former Army Chief.
It was a defining moment in leadership back in 2013, when he delivered a very strong message about the unacceptable behaviour of Army members. I can remember applauding the man for his commanding delivery, for his tone and the content of the message. His message was clear, and a key point being “the behaviour you walk past is the behaviour you accept”. I love a strong leader who stands for something. And don’t we know we need more of them!
It was also a defining moment in leadership when he delivered his acceptance speech. This man knows how to communicate with impact and this man knows how to make a difference.
In business it can be easier to turn a blind eye to what is really happening. Time constraints and lack of appetite to deal with difficult situations or have the critical conversations causes situations to fester and become rancid. There is the fear of scaring people away by standing for something or making a hard decision, polarizing people even, causing them not to like us. So what? In the world we are living in today we need to stop being so fearful and stand for something to be relevant and to be heard. Do you really want to end your career or be lying on your deathbed thinking ‘yes I was beige but at least people liked me!’ Personally, I couldn’t think of anything worse.
When bullying, violence and cruelty are prevalent on our society something has got to change and support the great work being done by incredible people in the prevention of it. It’s at the grass roots that things need to change. We are in control of that. You and me. How many times have you turned a blind eye to bullying in the workplace, on Facebook or in the community? The only way to stamp it out is to confront it and not to tolerate it. And yes it’s a challenge.
What are you tolerating around you that you know you shouldn’t?
How can you make a difference where you know you can?
David Morrison has made an impact not only on Australian soil but globally. This is the opportunity we have when we choose to use our voice and communicate a strong and relevant message. Morrison is a champion of diversity but he is also a champion for the values of humanity. Respect for others.
Imagine what this world would be like with more David Morrison’s? More people who are willing to stand up and make sure their voice is heard, to have the courage to stand for something and the conviction to stand by it regardless of what people think. This is how you can create a local and global impact. By not tolerating things that destroy a culture, a workplace, a person’s confidence or someone’s or something’s safety.
This is about speaking out and speaking up for what you believe in to create the change we need in this world.
It starts with one voice.