Yesterday’s motivational minute raised the integrity question. Today, I have another question. How bright is your light?

Last night I heard a pregame interview with Clemson Tiger head football coach, Dabo SwinneyWhen asked if he was nervous going into the National Championship game with Alabama, Dabo indicated that he was not. “No, I’m excited,” he said. When the reporter asked him how he converted his nerves to excitement, Dabo said something I will never forget. “There is no need to be afraid when the light shining in you is brighter than the light shining on you.” 

What an incredible perspective. It wasn’t surprising to me that with the lights shining brightest in the fourth quarter, Clemson demonstrated winning character, finally making the winning play with one second on the clock

When the game ended and Clemson raised the trophy, I could not help but think that the results were merely a reflection of the leader’s (Dabo’s) heart. The same is true for those you lead. They will be greatly affected by what is inside of you. Do you have a sense of belief? Is your outlook positive? Do you expect the best? If the answer to those three is yes, I’m guessing your culture is pretty positive.

I believe the best leaders place a disproportional amount of their focus on developing their leadership character. While skills are important, character trumps skills every time.

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Again, great leaders demonstrate positive character. It burns within them brighter than the circumstances and challenges they face. If you want to be a better leader, I encourage you to become the most positive person in the room. Your team is counting on you to keep your light burning bright.