Leadership Principle #1 Lead From High Ideals
Alan told Session 3 of the Salmon Arm, BC Leadership Development Lab (LDL), “Back in the mid-nineties I was working on the maintenance crew of the local golf course. It was an exciting time to be working there. The course was in an expansion phase; new holes were being constructed as well as a new club house. On top of all our regular maintenance duties, we were tasked with helping out on some of the construction projects that were under way. My boss asked me and another member of our crew to work on the construction of some of the new greens we were building. We were working on laying in the gravel drainage for part of the subgrade of the new greens. We were finishing up the last green at the end of the day Friday, after a long work week and we were both tired when we ran out of gravel. The standard for green drainage is a minimum level of 4” of gravel; we had only laid in approximately 2”. My co-worker wanted us to tell our boss that we were finished and call it a day. I didn’t feel right about doing this and knew cutting corners like this would bother me for a long time. I’ve always believed in doing a job right to the highest possible standard possible. I told my co-worker it will only take a few extra minutes to go back and get another load of gravel. This shouldn’t require us to put in that much overtime. He reluctantly agreed to stay and help me finish the job. We finished up and I went home for the weekend feeling good inside knowing that I had done the job right. Monday morning of the following week my co-worker thanked me for insisting that we stay and finish the job right. The project supervisor for the construction of the new holes had checked out our work over the weekend and was pleased with the quality of the grading we had done.
The lesson I learned from this experience is the importance of taking a stand for high standards, never be afraid to do what I believe is right. I learned the importance of standing up for standards to do the right thing, especially when others are trying to pressure me to compromise and cut corners.
The action I call you to take is stand up for what you know is right and stand up for what you believe in. It may not be the easiest path but in the long run it will pay off.
The benefit you will gain is true self-confidence and the self-satisfaction that always comes from doing the right thing and telling the truth.
The Road Not TakenBY ROBERT FROST
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.