Mentally strong leaders give higher priority to moral capital, a value – based code for living that distinguishes between right and wrong.
In his 2003 book, “The Moral Capital of Leaders: Why Virtue Matters,” author Alejo Jose G. Sison observes that in the Enron scandals, “no amount of human, intellectual or social capital could make up for the lack of moral capital among workers for the long-term success of the enterprise.”
Moral capital is the invisible fiber of integrity, trust and influence each of us has that is an inner-directed goal of holistic means feeding the whole person that shape our character and our life.
Dynamics of Moral Capital
We accumulate moral capital through experiences, achieving success in winning challenges, cultivating relationships, and meaning what we say. It becomes visible through our actions.
Government leaders use their hard-earned political capital to win over support for an idea, resolve a conflict, or impose new policy. A company benefits by the positive influence virtuous employees exert on the corporate culture, with increased interaction with upper management, maintaining engagement, and giving meaning to their jobs, diminishing the propensity of employee or corporate wrongdoing.
Mentally strong leaders understand two conditions associated with possessing moral capital. If you try to stock pile it, it slowly fades away. And if you use it unwisely, you’ve misspent it, and it’s gone.
To lead means to make decisions. To appear unable to make decisions is to appear unable to lead. Every decision comes with risks and consequences with enormous personal political capital risk.
Moral capital does not discriminate between individuals and organizations. Does moral capital matter in decisions? If so, should individuals or businesses focus solely toward good, or should the purpose of business solely be directed on maximizing shareholder returns?
Your Two Opponents
Leaders worth their salt in projecting moral capital through strength must face and overcome internal and external opponents. Your internal opponent is a cunning foe that knows your weaknesses and will stop at nothing to break down your moral capital. It listens to your fears, anxieties and self-doubts, striking when you are at your weakest.
Your external opponent consists of followers, colleagues, and friends who attack your every decision, policy or change. They’re betting on your failure. This foe appears whenever you stumble or whine about your work, or fail to fulfill a promise you made.
There are two ways mentally strong leaders develop a higher level of moral capital for long-term personal success.
1. Accessing the Brain’s Executive Center
Mentally strong leaders purposely access the Executive Center of their brain, located in the frontal lobe, sometimes called the CEO or hallmark of human intelligence. It links and integrates all components of behavior at the highest level, from planning a vacation to organizing a meeting. It is the seat of identifying goals and strategic ability, thinking and decision-making ability, free will and firm intention.
Your moral capital is a reflection of the thoughts and actions of your executive center that shape your character and life. Use your moral capital wisely in pursuit of purposeful leadership and in being authentic, because whatever you do today will resonate in the future.
Although leadership can prove to be stressful and exhausting at times, a leader’s character will be tested, and judged, by how they respond to everyday situations and challenges. Mentally strong leaders in every field must accept that they, and they alone, influence their own performance and shape their own character. They are keenly aware of its broadest influence when accessing it to intentionally lead, make strategic decisions, and modify the attitudes, beliefs, values, or behaviors of their followers.
2. Challenging Unspoken Assumptions
An assumption is an underlying belief that the subject matter is accepted as true or certain to happen, without proof. The mentally strong are quick to challenge assumptions because they see it as an opportunity to maximize future possibilities and welcome it as a mental test of perseverance and resolve.
In contrast, weak minded, lazy individuals purposely duck this path and immediately accept assumptions as true. This is risky because it restricts growth, diffuses confidence, and causes unintended consequences.
Feed your moral capital with a desire for knowledge that breaks down the limitations holding you back. Ask questions to ignite positive action. Ask yourself, is it true? And, what am I accepting about my business and in my life that is controlling me?
How will possessing moral capital matter in your life, in managing people, and leading your business?Mentally strong leaders value moral capital.
If you like this post, I invite you to share it.
If you would like to learn to be more influential in business and life I invite you to contact me here.
Copyright 2017 Jennifer Touma Mindscape Mindscapemind
Certified in NLP and mental game/mental toughness coaching, M.S. in Organizational Leadership Norwich University