Posts tagged leadership
a little bit of humanity

“Authenticity is about imperfection. And authenticity is a very human quality. To be authentic is to be at peace with your imperfections. The great leaders are not the strongest, they are the ones who are honest about their weaknesses. The great leaders are not the smartest; they are the ones who admit how much they don’t know. The great leaders can’t do everything; they are the ones who look to others to help them. Great leaders don’t see themselves as great; they see themselves as human.”

- Simon Sinek


I grew up believing that leadership was about showing no fear (or at least limited fear) and welding power over the people, the situations and the places that surrounded you. I'm not entirely sure how I developed this viewpoint, because it certainly wasn't from either of my parents. In fact, other than the fact that my mother (hi, mom) is known for wanting things done a particular way, neither of my parents were fearless or welded their leadership with a strong desire to control. Looking back, I'd say that as kids, my brother and I were encouraged to think for ourselves. To discuss, study and challenge the status quo. It was a regular Sunday afternoon occurrence. Roast beef, potatoes, carrots and a little discussion about the topic du jour.

But this idea that leaders showed little feeling or connection - that power equated to showing as little feeling as possible, persisted. Relentlessly. Until about six months ago. And then I became quite human, all at once.

I was bluntly reminded that my goal for authenticity was, in fact, inauthentic if I was hiding who I was or wanted to be. So I've learned - or perhaps I am learning, again (and again and again) - and I'm daily embracing my humanity, my faith, my fear, my kindness, curiosity, vivaciousness and love.

 

action is everything

I've been trekking across the Western half of the US this past week and I've learned a few valuable lessons - 1) Action is everything and 2) A working air conditioner is invaluable in triple digit heat. But back to the first valuable lesson.

There is a lot of talk in this world. People selling, hard selling, up selling their ether. People committing, complaining, asking and advising. And yet, very few are actually doing. Very few are developing and delivering on those commitments. We often hear, "No Guts, No Glory" and that statement has acquired a meaning of pushing the limit and going full-out or bust. Perhaps that's accurate. But here's the thing - at the heart of "No Guts, No Glory" is accomplishment. It's action. We seem to forget that fairly often.

So as not to mince words, let me say it bluntly - talk is cheap. It always has been and it likely always will be. Authentically accomplishing something of merit, that is the heart of action.

It's everything.

 

critical vs. credible

In marketing, we often hear that the key to success is acquiring a critical mass. It's a mythical creature, frankly. Critical mass breaks down like this: your cause acquires followers and then one day - out of the blue - one follower just sets you over the invisible mark and your cause becomes something greater. It becomes a movement.

Said acquisition is a critical mass.

A few months back, at South By South West, I had the opportunity to hear Scott Belsky - of Behance and 99U fame. Scott briefly touched on the difference between critical and credible mass.

I must admit up until that point, I had not thought there was a difference. Yet since that encounter, perhaps particularly because of my work in developing the SF72 platform, I've thought a lot about the difference between critical and credible.

If critical is about sheer numbers to tip the scale towards movement than credible is about the depth of the follower to tip the scale. Not all followers, supporters and friends are created equal. Ask any politician and they will tell you there are certain types of people you need to make a campaign successful - the people who will evangelize on your behalf are worth more than the typical follower.

Quality is worth more than quantity - always has been, likely always will be.