Leadership has become a standardized approach to the operation of an organization. As I listen to people describe the function of leadership in their organization, it is often difficult to identify the values that inform what leadership means. It is much easier to identify the cultural practices that cause leadership to be ineffective.
It is clear to me that children are already in tune with the idea that they can make a difference in people’s lives. This raises the question for parents of how to talk with their children about being persons of impact.
I drive long distances to think. The side of my brain that is focused on safe driving allows for my creative side to think uninterrupted for long stretches of time and distance. I drive with a pen and my journal on the seat next to me. Yes, I do pull off the highway to write down notes. There is a kind of sorting out of thoughts that takes place for me as I drive.Today I begin a 50 day road trip across the country.This trip is more open ended. I have destinations, but no absolute route to take, and with that, the time to wander, and time to think.Here’s some of what I’ll be thinking about.
“I did a bad job.”This is how Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens described his performance after the Celtics were eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the 2019 NBA playoffs.When was the last time you heard a prominent business or political leader make this claim? Leaders may acknowledge that there are problems and challenges for their organization. It is rare to hear someone own the failure of their performance like Stevens.
Imagine having a clear sense of what you believe about yourself, being able to say with conviction, “This is who I am and what my purpose for impact is.” From this perspective, we have somethingto offer an employer or a clear direction for the future. This is not simply a picture of our usefulness in life. It goes deeper than that. It is a picture of what motivates us to be at our best. It helps us to see ourselves functioning with impact in the social and work situations that we encounter every day. It helps us to know where we do not want to be.