Six characteristics define All-In™ Leaders. When it comes to leadership development, I like starting with one in particular:

All-In Leaders know who they are.

Do you know who you are? Do you know what you stand for? Are you self-aware enough to act with integrity, which means making choices that support who you say you are and for what you say you stand?

Be honest with yourself. If you’re not there yet and wish to be an effective leader, you’ve got some work to do.

The most powerful leaders speak and act in ways that line up with who they say they are and the ideas they represent. Leaders who don’t do this go by another name: politicians.

Tip: Ask at least 5 people you believe will be honest with you the following three questions:

  1. Who am I?
  2. What does my name stand for in this world?
  3. What percentage of the time am I making choices that align with who I claim to be?

Consider allowing your respondents to provide answers anonymously if you’re concerned they might not be completely up front with you. Once you receive your feedback, consider and act on it.


If you learn that few are aware of who you are or what you stand for, learn why. Have you not been forthright about what you believe? Have you held back opinions? Leaders never shy away from declarations that define them. For example: “I stand for the health, safety, and well-being of the men and women who design, build, operate, and maintain our world.”

That’s me. I go out of my way to make my friends and associates aware of my stand, and I do my best to embody that stand I’ve taken every day of my life.

If you learn that you are out of step with who you say you are, follow up to find out what it is that you’re saying or doing that is creating the inconsistency. From time to time, a close colleague will pull me aside and let me know that something I did or said does not align with my stand. This honest feedback is priceless and helps me stay on mission. Every leader needs people in his circle who will call him out. I often play this role with the leaders I coach.

In the spirit of encouraging integrity and growth, let me know if you find this tip useful. Please do not hesitate to share it with your team, and reach out to me to recommend tips for future posts.

Until next time.


Cort’s podcast interview with Dr. James Kelley of the Executive After Hours Podcast

Cort’s podcast interview with Derek Champagne of the Business Leadership Series Podcast

Cort’s podcast interview with Geoff Nicholson of the Success IQ  Podcast

Cort’s podcast interview with Anthony Lannarino of the In the Arena Podcast