“Great leaders feed on courage, conviction and compassion.”

Having moral opinions is not the same as having moral convictions. You will argue for your opinions but you will die for your convictions. We admire people who have the courage to take a stand in the face of adversity and honor their convictions when they are morally based and bring value to others.

Here are seven convictions that all courageous leaders model with humility, regardless of the personal cost:

First, they believe in people. They believe they are worth the investment of their time and energy to develop, empower and deploy to significant opportunities, not just mundane routines. If your team members aren’t increasing their skills and feeling better about themselves every day, of what value is your leadership other than increasing the bottom line profits?

Second, they believe in telling the Truth. They understand that honesty is telling the truth every time, and integrity is telling it even when it’s uncomfortable. Telling the truth is no longer a core value in most workplace environments. Without truth, trust, the glue that holds every team together, is difficult at best, or worse, impossible.

Third, they believe in servant-leadership and shun every hint of command and control models. They detest the title of boss. They no longer have direct-reports, but see themselves as a direct-support to everyone on their team.

Fourth, they believe in the brevity of life, the uncertainty of tomorrow and live each day as if it were their last. They look through the same lens when considering each team member, their life as human being and their contribution to the team.

Fifth, they believe that great individual talent may not always be the best fit for their team. When choosing team members, they are not looking for the best talent, but the best person. Someone who has the basic skills, a willingness to learn, but most of all plays well with others.

Sixth, they believe in being a hope dealer for tomorrow, not a dream killer. They passionately look for ways to enhance the daily work experience that causes their team to want to show up tomorrow, not find an excuse to be AWOL.

Seventh, they believe you must win the hearts and minds of people before you ask for hands and feet. That requires more than a weekly paycheck. They know if you ignore people’s emotions and their ability to think for themselves, you de-energize their passion to produce quality results.

Without courage, conviction and the ability to understand people, you may be a boss, but you will never be a leader. Courage, conviction and compassion are the breakfast of all Champions! What have you been eating for breakfast lately? Would your team like to change your menu options?