Go ahead and cry. Can you tell me where they’ve gone?
“Didn’t you love the things that they stood for?
Didn’t they try to find some good for you and me?
And we’ll be free
Some day soon, and it’s a-gonna be one day …”
Stand for freedom with Abraham, Martin and John.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead (1901 – 1978)
Thank you, Reba.
“It. Is. Not. About. Me!”
These five simple words are easy to add as a daily mantra or prayer to ground you in servant, other-oriented leadership; however, behind those five simple words is a fierce battle. It’s an unseen battle that is waged in the trenches of the everyday and mundane tasks of work and life. It’s a battle that happens in our marriages, our families, the grocery store, our volunteering and most definitely in our leadership. The battleground is our hearts. Servant leadership is a matter of the heart and our hearts are inherently selfish, self-interested and ask the question, “What about me?” I wish it was as simple as deciding to be a servant leader and not a self-serving one so the matter would be settled. The decision may become easier over time, but it’s a decision you have to make over and over and over and over again. The truth is that we come into this world with self-serving hearts. So the battle is waged daily, moment by moment, between our intention to be other-oriented in life and leadership and our nature to be self-serving.
John, manager of customer service, feels in a rush so he brushes over an idea an employee has about a customer compliant and tells her exactly what to do.
Sally, VP of technology, and her team just completed a massive implementation and she “forgets” to acknowledge her team in front of her peers as they praise her work.
Jack’s wife is a doer, always-in-motion person and he decides to sit back and read the paper because he doesn’t want to get in the way.
The choices that John, Sally and Jack made seem harmless and easily glossed over, but they each reveal the state of their hearts in that moment and if the battle being waged in their heart continues to be won by the self-serving nature, a compounding effect takes place that includes resentment, mistrust and “checking-out” by those being led.
There is no easy answer and the battle will continue throughout your life’s journey, but here is a formula to help fight and win the battle.
Self-Awareness + Intention + Action
1. Self-awareness – Be aware of the state of your heart and the fact that there is a battle being waged. Stop denying it and face the facts.
2. Intention – Make a clear, decisive choice to be a serving, other-oriented leader and person and reaffirm this throughout the day with the words, “It’s not about me.”
3. Action – Through study, mentorship and skill building, add servant leadership practices to your tool kit and put them to use.
Continue reading at Lead Change Group.
Rest in Peace, Tony.
Thursday, June 26th, 2014, 7:19 PM, Petco Park
Full version (above) 90 minutes.
Shorter version with highlights from the evening:
We tend to over-complicate things in life, and when it comes to defining what successful leadership looks like, we really, really, over-complicate it. Much of what constitutes leadership success comes down to common sense, but unfortunately it’s not always common practice.
Searching the shelves of your local bookstore (do those still exist?) or doing a search on Amazon.com would lead you to believe that to be a successful leader you’ll need to discover the keys, take the right steps, obey the laws, figure out the dysfunctions, embrace the challenge, ascend the levels, look within yourself, look outside yourself, form a tribe, develop the right habits, know the rules, break the rules, be obsessed, take control, let go of control, learn the new science, or discover the ancient wisdom. Did I say we like to over-complicate things?
I don’t think leadership should be that complicated. If you’re looking for leadership success, consider these seven simple truths:
1. There aren’t any shortcuts – Leadership is hard work and most of it is on the job training. Formal education and ongoing development are essential parts of developing your leadership competency, but don’t think you can transform yourself into a great leader by reading a certain book or taking a particular training course. Great leaders are built by being in the game, not by standing on the sidelines or sitting in the classroom.
2. Great leaders start by being great followers – Most successful leaders were successful followers at some point. They learned how to be part of a team, put the needs of others ahead of their own, and work toward a goal bigger than themselves. In our hero-worshiping culture, we tend to place the spotlight on the individual achievements of leaders, and not pay much attention to how they cultivated those winning ways earlier in their career. Learn to be a good follower and you’ll learn what it takes to be a good leader.
3. There’s no mysterious secret to leadership success – Contrary to the titles of popular leadership books, there is no single, mysterious secret to unlocking leadership success (see truth #1). All those books I lovingly teased earlier offer valuable insights about various aspects of leadership, but most of them tell you what you already know to be true…which brings me to the next point.
4. You already know what it takes to be a good leader – Not to plagiarise Robert Fulghum, but you probably learned in kindergarten most of what it takes to be a good leader. Be nice. Play well with others. Say please and thank you. Do what you can to help others. Of course you have to mature and apply those fundamentals in adult ways like being transparent and authentic with others, challenging people to strive for their goals, holding them accountable, and having difficult conversations when needed.
5. The difference between management and leadership is overrated – Tons of books and blogs have been written debating the differences between these two concepts. Yes, each has its own unique characteristics, and yes, each of them overlap significantly in the practice of leadership and management. Leaders have to manage and managers have to lead. Learn to do them both well because they are much more similar than they are different.
6. Leaders aren’t special – We’re all bozos on the same bus. Leaders aren’t any more special than individual contributors and everyone is needed to have a successful team. If you view leadership as service, which I happen to do, you should consider your team members more important than yourself. Get your ego out of the way and you’ll be on your way to success.
7. Leadership is much more about who you are than what you do – This is probably the most important truth I’ve learned about leadership over my career. I view leadership as a calling, not a job. As a calling, leadership is about who I am—my values, beliefs, attitudes—and my actions are the visible manifestation of those inner ideals. If you want to be a successful leader, your primary focus should be on the inner work that is required, not on behavioral tricks or techniques.
Continue reading at Blanchard LeaderChat . . .
By – Michael Hyatt
“In a Commencement Address at Stanford University, Steve Jobs said,
‘Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.’
Ric Elias was a passenger on flight 1579, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. What went through his mind as the doomed plane went down? In this short five-minute speech, he shares how facing his own death gave him a new perspective on life. It’s well worth watching. (Thanks to Darrell Vesterfelt at the Storyline Blog for sharing this.)”
Right on, Alex. Right on.
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948)