Leadership is the art of inspiring others in a team to give their best toward a goal.
In his book Humilitas, John Dickson identifies three aspects of leadership.
1 – It’s an art. Leadership is flexible, depending on the goals of the organization, and intuitive, depending on the personalities involved. That is to say, it is an art form.
2 – It’s about others. A leader is not just a high-achieving performer with a high-D personality. The real power of effective leadership is maximizing other people’s potential.
3 – It’s oriented toward a clear goal. Leadership, at its core, is about coping with change. Not change for change’s sake, but movement toward a goal necessarily involves change. Managers cope with complexity. A leader lives with a discrepancy between the world he wants to inhabit and the world he actually inhabits.
My son, Cooba (age 6), found himself in a battle with his Math timed-test.
48 addition problems.
3 minutes to get them done.
Over and over, we practiced and attempted to knock out those 48 problems within three minutes.
Over and over, we failed.
At the height of his discouragement, it the idea hit me:
He doesn’t need to do 48 problems in 3 minutes!
He needs to do 16 problems in one minute… then 16 more… then 16 more…
Or, 8 problems in 30 seconds… then 8 more… then 8 more…
With a newfound focus, razor sharp, Cooba dominated the test. Step by step, 30 seconds at a time, he accomplished the goal.
What big, hairy, timed-test is staring you in the face today?
How will you gain your razor sharp focus to take it down?
You always told me I, “Marched to the beat of a different drum.” Thanks for saying that. It’s served me well.
The drum beat you march to these days, Mom, is incredible. Thanks for the way you serve Sunday Lunch for the whole family every week. Thanks for the Wednesday afternoons with you spend with the grandkids (they love it!).
Your marriage is a tremendous example for Liz and me. Inspiring!
I think it’s cool that you have an iPad, surf Pinterest, and think that Facebook “might be worth a little bit of your time.” Way to keep learning new things!
You are tough. The way you handled your shoulder injury last year was quite the obstacle to hurdle and you never let it get you down.
I appreciate that you hold loosely the little things and stand firm by your convictions of the big things.
It’s tough to fully communicate how thankful I am for you. Thanks for teaching me so much.
Happy Birthday, Mom, I love you!
On Monday, Cooba brought home the sharing bag for his kindergarten class. He said, “I have to bring something from home and tell my class about it.”
I saw this as a great opportunity to craft a nifty three-point speech together. He preferred to put his football into the sharing bag. So I asked him, “What do you want to say about the football.”
Without knowing it, he wrote the speech right there by saying, “Well, I like do play football with my friends and by brother. I like to watch the Hawkeyes with my dad too.”
“And what is your favorite thing to do with the football, run, pass, catch or kick?” I asked.
“I like to run with it. And I hold it like this,” he explained while demonstrating proper ball-carrying form by covering the nose of the ball.
Perfect! We had it. The speech was complete. And then we began to practice.
I sat on the floor and he stood up to share. He nailed it! Then we took some family time for Cooba to share his speech again. He was thrilled!
I can’t wait to hear about how his speech goes at school today.
It’s officially the season of half marathons for our family as Liz ran her first one of the year last weekend. We were excited for this one because she would be running the familiar trails of our home town and the kids and I would be able to “stalk” her along the route to cheer her on. The goal was to see her at five or six different spots along the route.
But when race day morning arrived, it was raining, the kids were slow to rise, and simply staying home weighed heavily on my mind. It was the easier option. But then I thought about the story I wanted to tell after this run. The story I wanted to tell was not, “Hey, we made our way down to the finish line to cheer ya on. Way to go, Honey.”
I wanted to tell the story about how we were, “All over the course offering our encouraging cheers to the runners.” That was the story I wanted to tell.
So, that’s was the story we lived.
We got out of bed, chowed down some breakfast, and trucked our way all over the course. We cheered the runners at six different locations by the finish line and it was a blast. Liz ran wonderfully and it was a thrill to see her throughout the race.
Remember, every decision will become a story to tell.
Question: What story do you want to tell today? Click here to reply.