The Rubric – Part1 – Be!
Remember Freshman Comp 101? It is the one course that every first-year college student in every university is required to take. In this class, students focus on the three stages of writing: Prewriting, writing and rewriting. It’s a class that most college students are pretty passionate about…they either hate it or love it. One of the tools commonly used in Freshman Comp 101 is the rubric, which is basically a set of printed instructions.
The rubric serves as the basic framework for the assignment, a checklist of sorts that outlines the objectives for the assignment at hand. Rubrics also have a measurement component that serves as a tool for self-assessment and reflection. They force you to pull out the magnifying glass and take a long hard look at your work. I always loved receiving a rubric; it was a trusted friend. The rubric told me exactly what was expected and provided the insight necessary to get there.
This weeks blog posts are a rubric of sorts as it relates to Leadership 101. The three objectives we’ll look at are the foundational building blocks that I’ve used throughout the years as I’ve had the opportunity to serve in various leadership positions. I’m sure that none of it is original to me; rather it is a conglomerate of principles that I have gleaned from those who have paved the way before me. This accumulation of knowledge and best practices has enabled me to follow in the footsteps of the leaders who have gone before me…people like Tony Cooke, Denise Burns, Ken & Lynnette Hagin, Jeff & Beth Jones, Dean Radtke, and many more. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have been mentored and invested in by these men and women of character. Their examples have challenged me time and time again to be the very best that I can be.
So, without further ado, lets check out the first objective:
Objective One: Be
The concept of “being” is paramount. There are many important characteristics that a leader should embody…discipline, dedication, faithfulness, humility, confidence, responsibility, openness, creativity…the list goes on an on. While all of these traits are vital, they’re all rooted in one word…character. It’s square one for all the other “be’s.”
So, what exactly is character?
Well, the definition of character is sometimes hard to nail down. We all have an idea of what is meant by the word character but it’s not always that easy to define…yet we all know character when we see it.
William Wilimons is quoted as saying this about character:
It is the basic moral orientation that gives unity, definition, and direction to our lives by forming our habits and intentions into meaningful and predictable patterns that have been determined by our dominant convictions.
I love that definition! It’s a black and white quote in a grey world.
Simply put, character is who we really are. It’s what we do when no one is looking. It refers to the kind of person who acts in a certain way on a consistent basis. Character is the inner realities of the self...it’s an accumulation of our thoughts, values, words and actions. It’s our motives, intentions, attitudes, beliefs, disposition's, all rooted and grounded by our moral convictions.
Character remains the single most important factor in leadership. A person must BE something before he or she can DO anything. A person of character not only tells the truth, but also is truthful. They have a strong moral inner compass that leads and guides them in every decision. A leader possessing character is a force to be reckoned with and are positioned for success. Charisma may get you to the top but it is character that sustains you.
So, just as any good college prof would do, today I challenge you to do a self-assessment. Pull out the rubric, look at the character objective, and if need be, edit your life.