Here at South Orange County Detox and Treatment, we are continuing our Word of the Week series with a tribute to “leadership” as we approach the upcoming mid-term elections. As we have discussed before, finding connection with people who are interested in bettering their own lives, as well as the lives of those around them, is one of many necessary components of a Solid Recovery Program. In order to ensure that the people who we are associating with while in recovery are the types that will not only be supportive of us, but will also hold our feet to the fire of accountability, apply rigorous honesty, and not tell us what we need to do, but rather show us how it is beneficial through actions of their own. In other words, we want to find those individuals who exhibit “Leadership” qualities so that we may begin to understand what these qualities are, and why they would be advantageous to our recovery if we could also put them into action.
One aspect of a good leader is that they are able to obtain desired results. There are many implications to this type of impact that a leader may have on others. The most important being that those who surround themselves with individuals like this, will be more prone to “Talk the Talk” rather than stating aloud their intentions, while not following through in “Action”. Effective Leaders are also honest and up front about things they believe needed to be stated. They do not crumble or acquiesce to threats, and they stick behind their principles not only during times of convenience, but in times of trial where these principles will inevitably be tested. Great leaders also share the ability to Influence; this doesn’t always indicate that these abilities will be used for noble intent, but that only makes honesty, integrity, and compassion all the more invaluable traits because without them, we would not be confident in the trust we are granting to those we choose to hold in high esteem. Leadership that is not based at least partially on trust becomes void and irrelevant as quickly as the individual proves they are not worthy of trust. Finally, the most important quality of a leader is the ability to inspire. Inspiration is the center point of which all other qualities constellate around and that is because to truly inspire others, one must personify all of the qualities that we have stated previously. Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock has seen the outrage the public has justifiably felt towards leaders and politicians who profess one agenda or idea, and then when no one is looking, exemplify through action that do not adhere to these principles within their private lives. Once this bond is broken, it is often the case that it is never mended at which point leaders fail to serve their primary purpose. Dwight Eisenhower famously said, “The supreme quality of leadership is integrity”.