How To Lead and Love in Virtue


I just concluded a coaching session on Skype with a client in Europe. My client said, what is the most important attribute in a man or woman?” I replied, “Virtue.” He then asked what do I mean?

I said, “Everything accept virtue is a shiny object that inevitably loses it’s luster. Virtue remains long after we have departed. It is an exhaustive quest to discipline our desires for those things and people who matter most.”

He hesitated then spoke again haltingly, “That isn’t sexy.”

I clearly understood his point. As on the surface it doesn’t appear so. I said, quite the contrary it is. Virtue is the absence of pride and arrogance. It opens ones faculties for love and passion in ways beyond what is merely expedient.

Happiness is a life of rapture lived from the inside out. That is what one chooses best to be and find in another.

Virtue is that thing if you will, that we long for in our children. When we make ourselves receptive to “that” then we will not only know what it is, but when it is lacking.

Virtue is becoming more than achieving. It is the cultivation of being. To be is better than doing for real change occurs from the inside out. Hence virtue is an authentication of the private persona over the public persona. When we seek this in ourselves we will inevitably discover it in another. And, that releases passion. Love on a profoundly higher level than what we see in the movies. An insatiable desire of being the best we can rather than achieving the most of things that do not matter.

In business it is trust. In a relationship it is the absence of manipulation. Caring for another needs that serves their best interest in the way they desire it. It is integrity. An unspoken expectancy of honor.




Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website

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Posted in Change, Leadership Mastery

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