It’s tempting to define great leadership only by winning numbers, market share, and a fat wallet. (Our society seeks heroes.) If this were the case, it can be deduced that if you’re not first, you’re a loser. If you’re not winning, you stink. If you’re not on top, you’ve lost.
The best leadership happens before you get to the top.
Are you willing to be the leader no one writes a book about? Are you willing to give and do your best when it’s likely there’ll be no bonus, no parade nor accolades?
When business suffers it affords the unheralded hero the opportunity to create and discover the greatest expression of him or herself. The forces of change can be treacherous, yet what doesn’t have to change is your ability to live and lead from your values.
When others choose to focus on what’s wrong – you will focus on what’s right.
When they want to slash and burn – you will build by investing new ideas, renewed energy and optimism.
When someone wants to blame and isolate – you will reach forward and insist on partnership.
In our new book, Degrees of Strength – The Innovative Technique to Accelerate Greatness, inspired leaders demonstrate how they generate forward momentum even in the nastiest times. They begin by focusing on where they are already leading from their values (rather than where they and others aren’t). And they model the inspiration the rest of the organization craves – and needs to get through the darkness.
Ask your team: If this were our last day as leaders, what would we want our lingering legacy to be? Regardless of what anyone else is saying or doing, what will we do today to ensure we are the best leader we’ve ever been?
P.S. Degrees of Strength will be available to the public in 8 weeks, but you might be able to get a copy early. Register here for more information, excerpts from the book and presale offers.
As I read through this leadership post I was immediately drawn to recalling my own business experiences, wherein I was in the midst of so called dark times… Then, just as now, I could not, for many reasons, acquiesce to seemingly uncertainty of circumstances which surrounded me. Suffice it they were many. Fortunately, some years ago I read of, “…the neutrality of time…(Letter from a Burmingham Jail, Why we can’t wait, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.). These four words and their collective meaning resonate and transcend every aspect of life. Moreover, no matter what we do and/or choose NOT to do, time will still move forward. Within it’s wake and aftermath stands the results of our decisions-their outcomes. No one is perfect, neither nor will he or she ALWAYS “do the right thing.” But what we can do, and I did, is develop a personal mission statement. Be true to it as best you can. Mine, in part, embrace the spirit of excellence/humility, rise above my circumstance as best I can, and move forward accordingly. For some reason this mission statement allowed me to maintain an open mind-open to the disciplines of Pathways to Leadership and subsequent Verus Global. So, I agree, leadership is not always honestly represented on a balance sheet among profit and loss, but rather ones response to adversity. There has to be a greater stimulus than bonus. They are only temporary at best. However, it seems to be that ones mindset may be permanent- such is also the case with change, which is arguably the most reliable means of judging a firms culture-it’s overall response to change. in the midst of such times bonus may not be attainable to the extent you’ve grown accustom. This may be why it is all the more crucial, if ones goal is wellness culture, to adopt methods of degrees of strength in order to sustain wellness culture. I’m really looking forward to reading the new book!
Thad and John – thank you both for your thoughtful responses to the post. You’re asking great questions and contributing thought-provoking comments.
I had the privilege of giving a few opening remarks at a Corporate kick off event. I was ahead of 4 inspiring leaders, challenging myself to say something, anything, inspiring to to the crowd. I googled “leadership definition.” In miliseconds I had 389 MILLION hits. On to plan B. At this point in my growth, I define leadership as influence. Simple, concise. I stepped up to the podium with no notes. Dancing like nobody was watching. Focussed on allowing the speakers to deliver inspiration. I said few words, sat down, and the speakers wowed the crowd.
When your team “win’s the championship,” do you lift up the equipment manager?
When your team finishes dead last, do you lift up the equipment manger?
Not much debate that Thomas Jefferson was a great leader. He carried significant influence The most influential part of his life was before and after he was President, not during.
How are you influencing today? Are you lifting up and moving forward? Are you accountable to the wake behind you? Leadership is 360 degrees. How broad is your vision?