Beliefs and Driving Behavior

"We owe ourselves the responsibility to periodically examine whether our conduct is consistent with the beliefs we proclaim and to confront incongruities between our belief and our behaviors." (Dr. Cam Caldwell)

Yesterday during our "four-star capstone" engagement at NLEC, Admiral Phillip Davidson looked our future commanders directly in the eye and poignantly asked, "What is the value of command?"

Powerful...you could hear a pin drop...

He proclaimed, "Commanders with the integrity to succeed at the mission! Integrity as the firm adherence to a code of moral or artistic values…and…the crew must understand this purpose! This must be part of their core belief system: Ready, Right, Resolute!"

So...beliefs are:

  • concepts we hold "true" and help us frame our understanding of the world.
  • value because they direct our thought, words…and ultimately…our actions.
  • subtle and often invisible, but they can be very persuasive when it comes to directing group behavior.

"There is a silent power within your organization that’s quietly moulding the patterns of behavior that will determine your culture. A survey probably won’t detect it, but identifying and shifting it will have a significant impact on performance. We’re not talking about values or behaviors here, but something far less universal and more specific to individual organizations. The dominant, but tacit, influencer that has the capacity to both limit and liberate a business: our shared organizational beliefs." (Carolyn Taylor)

Read more about this silent power here: "The Unseen Force Shaping Your Culture Every Day"

Dr. Cam Caldwell states, "Examining our core beliefs is fundamental to developing a clear understanding of our values and goals and the assumptions upon which those values and goals are based."

I offer (attached document) Dr. Caldwell’s extremely insightful piece and strongly recommend your review, "Identity, Self-Awareness, and Self-Deception: Ethical Implications for Leaders and Organizations".

CAUTION: This is a challenging read. But, I submit this piece is one that should accompany your reference folder as a continual source for self-awareness and ethical leadership.

ABSTRACT. The ability of leaders to be perceived as trustworthy and to develop authentic and effective relationships is largely a function of their personal identities and their self-awareness in understanding and making accommodations for their weaknesses. The research about self-deception confirms that we often practice denial regarding our identities without being fully aware of the ethical duties that we owe to ourselves and to others. This article offers insights about the nature of identity and self-awareness, specifically examining how self-deception can create barriers to self-awareness within both a personal and a business context.