Leadership, part 5

Self-sacrificing love. This is one of my favorites. It’s the creed that lends us such a comforting understanding that we are cared for. It’s the willingness to work for someone knowing that they have your best interest in mind. Will I really follow them anywhere? You bet.

Think of those stories and examples where someone took a band of disjointed, distraught, and disenfranchised people and within a span of time united them under one banner (Band of Brothers, for instance). That is leadership.

But it’s not dreamy, always-smiling to convince everyone that everything’s gonna be alright (as much as I like Bob Marley’s music, I don’t think that that sentence applies unilaterally). It’s being truthful. It’s not hiding the issues or trying to “protect” others from what’s actually happening. That’s a short term strategy. Self-sacrificing love one one that puts others first, and not your ego.

With this in mind, questions that I ask myself are:

  • do I give up for my team?
  • Do I sacrifice out of love and not (potential) gain?
  • Can I serve, invest, pray for them?

Can I live this way, rather than doing it all for my own selfishness or own self-glorification?

Love is always at the core of true, long-lasting leadership. Love also changes people. It melts, molds people into tightly knit communities — where those stories of exceptionally great leaders come from.

Instead, we live when celebrity leaders lead with narcissism, rooted in selfishness and a lack of love.

Everyone takes their cue from senior leaders. We will mimic them, act like them — looking at your country/organization/team/group, will that create a healthy, wonderful or a deadly environment?

Do we feel personal concern from leadership? There’s a high correlation between toxic and amazing leadership. With amazing leadership, we can achieve. With toxic leadership, the clock is ticking.

Let’s not hesitate to show love to our teammates. Let’s rip down the veil that hides love and honestly care for each other. It pays dividends. But even the dividends aren’t the reason we should live that way: it’s love.


Originally published at www.jeffreybeaumont.com.

Leadership, part 4

Last time we explored self-awareness. This time I’m turning to the next one. Resourcefulness.


We all face constraints. They can be hiring constraints, time constraints, travel constraints — and so many more. I’ve complained and whined so many times because I didn’t have “X” or couldn’t use “Y”. Yet my failures are rarely due to not having something, but because I didn’t accept and find another way. Put another way, My loss isn’t due to the lack of availability, but my lack of ingenuity on finding an alternative.

It’s when we find ways to outpace competitors by 25%. It’s when we can find efficiencies that allow us to do the same — or more — with less. It’s what inspires creativity when we don’t see the way through.

Take the Wright Brothers, they were focused on flying yet man had never flown before (except maybe in mythology or for halloween). For years they studied birds and flight patterns. They used their ingenuity and focus to move from Ohio to North Carolina for winds. They explored different types of gliders, weight of wood, and weight of the engine. They had to push themselves and invent (or innovate) to achieve their high goals.

Take it a step further — or years ahead — much of our success in future years is contingent upon our resourcefulness today. It’s how we think, how we act, what we can do today to create ideas, change the approach, and build the case for something that’s around the bend.

As depressing as that can be to me, resourcefulness can be learned. But by being in bad, confusing, and declining situations. It’ll be that way until we can figure it out.

The bottom line for me? Figure. It. Out.


Originally published at www.jeffreybeaumont.com.

Leadership, part 3


Self-awareness. This is probably one of the most difficult one as it’s difficult looking into a mirror to see yourself as others do. I can see myself, but it takes a lot of work — and not to mention amazing friends — to tell you what you don’t want hear. One question I’ve been challenged with and begun asking is, “who are you trying to impress?”

Behavior from Childhood

Another question: “what behavior from my childhood is seeping into my actions today?” I heard a speaker give examples of successful CEOs that made rash decisions because of childhood tendencies. It made complete sense in their heads since that’s how they made decisions from their childhood. Example: successful female CEO leads a nonprofit through much growth…but when there is fighting on the board for the next strategic steps…she resigns. Why? Whenever her parents would fight, should would take flight and run.

So what behavior from my childhood is dictating my actions? How do I see those? How do I overcome? Low self awareness can cause repeat issues and doing the same mistakes I made as a kid….Am I tethered to the decisions I made as a kid? In cases, yes. In others, I’ve grown. But what are they?

Blind spots

We all have them. Most of us have three. If anyone doesn’t have a blind spot, I’ve been told they have four. I think I am excelling in an area and then find out (likely through one or more friends) that I’m failing. Miserably. That’s why having honest, true friends is such a crucial issue for leaders. Without them, we fall.

Without knowing my blind spots and being aware of my childhood tendencies, that will ruin relationships. Let us not allow these to ruin our wonderful relationships we’ve spent so much time cultivating!

Feedback

It demands feedback from friends. “Tell me the brutal truth. Do you think I have some blind spots? What would they be? Don’t edit them”. When our friends answer us, don’t fear. These are coming from people who are rooting for you. They are cheering you on and want to see you succeed.

Failing

Fail. But fail fast and learn. Grow. See this as a journey and not a scantron exam to try and ace. We will never ace is because people are messy, but being a terrific leader can create real change.


Originally published at www.jeffreybeaumont.com.

Leadership, part 2


Grit. Passion and perseverance over the long haul.

Am I really willing to take it on? To pursue even when tired, worn out, or ready to throw in the towel? Grit. That’s what I need to pursue. That’s how, over the long term horizon, I’ll attain.

If grit is what it takes to finish it, the opposite is ease. That’s the Sirens’ Song from Homer’s Odyssey. It’s what calls to us when we’re weak and we decide to yield to their call rather than focusing on getting home.

Growing grit in one area leads to added grit in other areas. Playing basketball on the weekends allows me to push myself physically and push myself to win. That, in turn, teaches me to be gritty in other areas — say, work. It’s one way we can over-deliver and simply avoid doing the minimum. Team activities, like basketball or Riskalyze, sharpens one another…when we work hard, we achieve and fail. In turn we learn from our accomplishments and mistakes and become grittier, more determined, and better people because of it.

Grit. It’s what is necessary in a leader and what I desperately need.


Originally published at www.jeffreybeaumont.com.

Leadership, part 1

I’ve been discussing aspects of leadership for a short jaunt but I’ve been reminded I need to think much more deeply about this.

This will be the first in a mini series on what intangible attributes we, as leaders, must have to prevail. I’ll cover the attributes laid out at a recent conference with one specific question in mind: how does this affect my leadership?

Bill Hybels — a pastor in the Chicago area — in a room of clergy, businessmen, and government leaders stated this one line: “Armed with enough humility we can learn from anybody.” I’ve not forgotten that. Though it’s hinge is humility, I’ve begun asking myself with the question of whether or not I can swallow my pride to truly hear what others are saying.

Conversely, it’s really easy to say, “yeah, yeah, yeah. I know” whether or not I “know.”


Originally published at www.jeffreybeaumont.com.