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When I wrote this last week, it was freezing in Melbourne.  It was 12 degrees and the ‘feels like’ on the weather app’ was showing 9 degrees. It quite windy and there has been intermittent rain. Some would say it’s a typical Melbourne winter day. I had to run some errands so I rugged up and reluctantly headed out the door into the weather and down to my car that I noticed was incredibly dirty – by my standards that is. I’ve been on holidays and over that time, my car had gathered a bit of dust and recent rain had made it worse. It did enter my mind to wash it but I questioned that thought; it’s going to rain again today and over the next four days at least so it’s really not worth it.  It will only get dirty again.

Whilst I was driving around doing what I needed to do, I was grappling with the need to wash my car and also trying to talk myself out of it. In the end, I gave in and washed it. Whilst I was washing it and getting rather cold in the process, I was questioning myself as to what is this madness was really about? Why is it so important to me to wash the car on a day like today? The answer was in fact incredibly simple.

It’s part of my standards – my leadership standards.

You may think that this is an odd standard to have and it could be to you, however, it’s important to me. Similar to the clothes I wear, the car I drive and how its presented is a reflection of me and my standards. So it’s important that I am proud of it and is presenting in a way that I am happy with. It’s worth the effort and the frozen fingers to clean it up!

Funnily enough and not surprisingly, when I got to the car wash, I was the only one there which reinforced my thoughts of momentary madness. However, when I was done, the bays were full with a couple of cars waiting. Perhaps a clean car is important to others too!

What is important to you and your leadership standards? Metaphorically speaking; do you have a dirty car that could benefit from a good wash?

It’s incredibly important to have clarity around what your leadership standards are and live by them, regardless of the situation.  It can be inconvenient; sometimes even painful to uphold your standards in various situations especially when your standards are being challenged. However, it is incredibly worth it too. It comes back to how much you value yourself and ensuring that how you are representing yourself is in complete alignment with your standards. That’s when you can stand proud.

Now is a great time to check in with your standards and evaluate if you are in fact upholding them or if you need to improve in some areas to ensure you are representing yourself in a way you’re proud of. Upholding your standards is absolutely worth it – regardless of the weather!


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