Leadership Survey

I took an informal/un-scientific survey of a group of corporate citizens (approx. fifteen people) this week.  The survey related to where (a corporation, professional sports, etc.) an individual might find the "best" leaders. 

The following are the top three places to find the best leaders…according to these folks:

  1. Churches
  2. Professional Sports
  3. Schools (secondary and post-secondary)

Do these responses surprise you?

The Journey

Consider the following:

A journey without sight produces a wanderer.

That quote comes from my dear friend Larcel McGhee.  We all would do well to pour our individual and organizational journeys through Larcel’s quote.

Past Appearences

To see past appearance, is to practice a level of leadership not often found.  Why?  It is a painful and lonely place to go.  Vaclave Havel says that modern man is less and less interested in the meaning of his life.  This trend is troublesome…especially in a world where things are changing so rapidly.

So how do leaders (the real ones) see past appearances?  The following is partial and not all inclusive:

  1. They wait…
  2. They eliminate distractions that cause them to stray.
  3. They constantly reflect.
  4. They know what they were born to do.
  5. They understand that often things are not as they seem.

The Gut

Much has been made of the importance of our gut (that thing in us that says go or stay).  I am in this camp.  That said, there is more to our "gut" than what meets the eye…the eye of the soul. 

One of the reasons people are lousy at their particular vocation, is because they don’t have a clue about the why or what.  In other words why was I born and what was I born to do.  Those that answer those questions tend to be the most productive, and successful.

Once we know the destiny, we can begin to follow our gut with confidence.

Make It About Someone Else

You’ll advance the condition of the world around you, by making your pursuits about the condition of others.  This is not easy!  But the best leaders understand that what they do is truly measured by those they serve.  It makes for a powerful legacy…think about Peter Drucker, Billy Graham or Mother Theresa.

Sometimes the business world stands in opposition to the above.  Sadly, many organizations would be better (profit and otherwise) if they would focus more on serving.  But greed and power are seductive in their nature.  Once you’ve sold your soul its very tough to turn back.

Here are few a tips to maximize serving others:

  1. Don’t create loyalties that prevent you from serving others…in business or private.
  2. Set priorities that give you the freedom to serve others.
  3. Study the life of leaders that were successful in serving.
  4. Get a mentor to keep you accountable.

Unexpected

How do you handle the unexpected?  Does fear come to pay you a visit?  Do you smile and see it as a new chapter?  Maybe all three…

Maybe we don’t fully understand life until we reach it’s end.  St. Paul said we see in a mirror dimly.  Certainly, to indicate that our vision is limited.  I am convinced that making sense of life (inside of our own heads) is futile.

Life will deliver unexpected opportunities and defeats.  We would do well to stay in today.  We would do well to suck out of life all that can be.  In many ways that is what will produce harvest (legacy) to be proud of.  It is a difficult art to master, but happiness is a next door neighbor.

I understand why we need to live by faith.  Life blooms when the eyes are shut.

Ghosts

I saw someone today that I haven’t seen for years.  Feels like days…  My chance encounter reminds me of how life plays out.  You’d think we walked into a movie of our life…a movie that seems to have already begun.

The lady I ran into played a limited role in my life some ten years ago.  Before I knew it, she was gone.  Ten years ago I didn’t pay attention like I do today.  Back then I didn’t realize the "brevity" of life and the scenes within it.  When you’re young you think everything goes on forever.  It doesn’t…

Make the most of your time.

The One Less Traveled…

A friend told me yesterday that he was traveling a road not occupied by many.  By the way he’s on a search for destiny.  Isn’t this a search we all should be on?  Especially since destiny has always been with us.  We get lost…

Robert Frost has been my great friend lately.  The poets words of validation in "The Road Not Traveled,"  resonate inside me.  My friend Bob’s journey to destiny encourages and inspires.

Don’t give up Bob.