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A Leadership Lesson from Humpty Dumpty

A couple days ago I ran across a conversation between Humpty Dumpty and Alice. The dowdy egg was being questioned by the girl from Wonderland about the meaning of a word he had used out of context.

“When I use a word, it means exactly what I tell it to mean.”  Translated = Humpty was a bit delusional. Not surprising for a nursery rhyme character, but an indicator of one of the biggest temptations we all face … to live in denial and define things to our advantage.

No one is immune from this temptation. We tell ourselves we are fit, when truthfully many of us lack the self control to push away from the table. Who needs resolutions! We convince ourselves we are generous, but our finances say otherwise. We believe ourselves to be committed to family time, when in reality most of the time our families are together everyone’s face is plastered to a screen.

[Tweet “Leaders who lie long enough begin to believe the lies. Such people really only hurt themselves.”]

If you want to make progress over the coming weeks, begin by refusing to change the definitions. Excellence means there are no short cuts. Integrity (wholeness) encompasses every area, not just the places where it is convenient. And a great relationship requires one to show up and be fully present.

Perhaps the reason Humpty Dumpty had a great fall was because he lost the ability to balance truth and reality. Remember, once he fell no one could put him back together. As leaders, our influence is fragile. Let’s commit ourselves to being men and women who do what is right and refuse to alter the meanings.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

What is one area where leaders lie to those they lead?

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Matthew

4 years ago

Such a great article but I would disagree with the sentence, “Such people really only hurt themselves.” Leadership always impacts the leader and those around the leader. Apart from that sentence, this is so on target!

Randy

4 years ago

Thanks for the comment, Matthew. I appreciate your input.

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