Some of you may be asking what is that graphic and what does it have to do with leadership? The picture is a software analysis of the stresses on metal part to test its structural integrity and hopefully after reading the article you’ll make the tie to leadership integrity.
I’m going to bring the series comparing structural integrity and leadership integrity to a close with this article. What is your true mettle? This question aligns well with the theme of structural integrity, or a structure’s ability to perform its intended function safely and reliably over its designed lifespan.
Put It To The Test
Embedded in the structural integrity definition is the expectation that the structure will be put to the test to discover if it can perform its intended function. There are many structural projects that are designed, costed for feasibility, and never built for a variety of reasons. Modern day software analytics can simulate the loads and stresses and produce statistical probabilities of integrity, but the true test is when the structure is built and must perform in real world conditions. Only then is structural integrity truly demonstrated.
Preparing For The Leadership Integrity Test
Similarly, in leadership, training is offered on how to handle legal and ethical matters in preparation to do the right thing. Several of the courses I attended used simulated scenarios and then asked the participants to think about how they would react in those situations. In my experience, most of the exercises did not simulate the pressure and stress of real life. For example, in a classroom it is easy to determine that I shouldn’t directly hire my brother-in-law.
Proving Your Mettle
The true test comes when the leader is faced with daily pressures to deliver and perform according to expectations. High stakes situations are when the phrase “that leader showed their true mettle” is often used. The reference to mettle usually has a positive context, but it can also describe a negative behavior.
The spelling of mettle was derived from “metal”, and over time came to represent the figurative metal, or inner substance of a person. The terms that often accompany mettle include revealed, demonstrated, showed, proved, tested, and evident.
In everyday usage, when someone is said to have proven their mettle, it means they have demonstrated solid character and strength in challenging or demanding situations. It highlights their ability to handle pressure, exhibit resilience, and maintain their integrity.
Today’s leaders must handle high levels of pressure and stress. The tests reveal what truly lies within the leader.
What is your true mettle?
How will people describe your mettle as a leader?
What stresses and pressures are currently testing you?
What do you need to do now to prepare your mettle for difficult situations?
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