Personal honor is a gift a person gives to himself or herself; it is a code of ethics by which one lives and conducts oneself. One’s honor is one’s personal integrity, which is maintained without legal or other obligation. At this juncture, a leader must understand that personal integrity includes each commitment one makes to oneself and that such personal commitments are every bit as important to keep as those made to one’s constituents. It is that inner essence, the spiritually backed standard, that makes one what one is.
A leader must have an inner sense of honor, such that one’s word is one’s bond. In olden days, a contract between two people was sealed with a handshake and each party’s word was at least as sound as a legal document—or even sounder.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was a shining example of a man with personal honor because he was through and through a warrior, but one who had the courage and wisdom to see that peace was the only road to the security of his country—and he chose to take that road no matter how difficult. While honor is normally thought of in terms of men, it is an attribute shared equally between men and women, which brings us to the subject of balance between a leader’s masculine and feminine aspects.
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Text © by Chris Maser 2010. All rights reserved.
This article is excerpted from my 1998 book, Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Development. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL. 235 pp. It is updated in my 2012 book, Decision Making For A Sustainable Environment: A Systemic Approach. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. If you want more information about this book, want to purchase it, or want to contact me—visit my website.