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Is Your Leadership on Solid Ground?

Those tiny cracks in the foundation are a sign something larger is about to happen.


Where do you build your house? Do you build it on the sand? Something that will shift and be unstable? Something that will erode from underneath when a storm comes? 

Look at the recent failures of CEO’s like Elizabeth Holmes at Theranos or Sam Bankman-Fried at FTX.  They did not have a strong foundation.  Look at the politicians we don’t respect or the celebrities who turned out to be predators. There was always paint covering the cracks in the foundation - until those cracks caused a catastrophic failure and people were hurt when it collapsed.

A critical part of the foundation is the ground on which the foundation is built. Modern builders do soil analysis and take care to determine if the house they are about to build will last. They don’t build a home on the sand. They look for something that will hold up the structure they are creating. It all starts with choosing the right ground. It doesn’t matter how beautifully designed a home may be, it will still collapse under its own weight if the foundation is built on the shifting sand instead of upon solid rock.  What type of ground are you building upon?

There are a lot of people who spend a lot of time and money building companies, teams, and even their lives on the sand and then wonder why it all falls apart.  The first sign may be small hairline cracks. Leaders may initially ignore these cracks saying they are just “cosmetic”. But over time, the cracks get longer and grow wider. Leaders may paint over the cracks before guests visit, or before a buyer tours the premises.  But, the paint soon cracks again. 

Those tiny cracks are the signal that something larger is wrong. It doesn’t matter how often the crack is patched and painted over, if the foundation is not set on solid rock, the shifting of the sand below the foundation will continue to create the cracks that will destroy the home.

What are some shifting sands that bring leaders down?

  • Putting profits before their values.

  • Building their brand instead of building their character.

  • Short term results versus long term legacy.

When a leader loses track of their values. They destroy their character.  And, their legacy is not anything that will last. Profits shift just like sand. A brand is all about appearances and nothing of substance. Short term results are just that, short term. A leader’s true legacy is the people or the organization they leave behind. What are we leaving behind for others? Is it worth anything?

The question we need to ask ourselves is “Whatever I am building, am I building on solid rock or on shifting sands?” If the answer is shifting sands, long term success is unlikely.  

Start on solid rock. Know your values. Build your character. And focus on your long term legacy.

By the way, if you do the first two, the third one - your legacy - will be around longer than you are.


  • What are your values and what are you doing to strengthen your character?


Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you.


Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment.

To take the assessment use the QR code above or go to

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