Archives For Leadership
I usually find Simon Sinek’s quotes of the day inspiring even if I don’t fully agree with them. For example, today Sinek offers this pearl of wisdom:
If everything goes right, we get a good experience. If everything goes wrong, we get a good story.
From one perspective I agree if everything goes wrong you at least get a good story but if you can manage to stay optimistic and work to turn a problem around or just work through it, the problem becomes an opportunity for growth. When you resolve the problem or just work through it and learn from it, you get the good experience and the good story. I do need to qualify that a good experience isn’t not necessary one that we may enjoy at the time but one that helps us to grow. Let me explain.
A few months back my aged mother had a stroke, fell and broke her hip, had surgery and then had another stroke. Her life has been devastated. She went from being a fully independent senior in her 80’s to being hospitalized and requires constant care. My brother and sister who live in the same city as my mother have had their lives radically changed. What little spare time they have in their busy lives is now spent visiting and caring for my mother in the hospital.
My mother’s condition is still unstable which means she goes from being on death’s door one day to showing signs of improvement the next. This constant turmoil is weighing heavy on my brother and sister. Because I live in another province I don’t experience this first hand but I speak with my siblings on a regular basis and have some insight into what they have been experiencing. I have also been speaking to my mother when she is able and have reconciled myself to the fact that she may not make it out of the hospital.
Fortunately, my mother is a woman of faith and believes that she will be moving onto a better place and the physical distress and turmoil she now faces now will soon end. My siblings and I also hold this belief and recognize that the pain and suffering will end because we all face death. This faith has strengthen my family’s resolve because we recognize that there are life lessons to be learned as we go through this unfortunate stage in my mother’s life. I have had in-depth conversations with my mother and siblings that I would never have had with my family if it wasn’t for this unfortunate situation. We are all facing life and death issues that most of us ignore due our hectic lives.
Right now, this is not an enjoyable or good experience in any way, but we are living and working through it and at some point will be able to look back and draw some good from this difficult time. Even though it really doesn’t feel like it right now I also know that we learning and growing in this season in our mother’s life.
The wisdom offered in Simon Sinek’s inspirational post of the day:
“A team’s job is to provide their leader more options. The leader’s job is to give their team the resources to do so.”
will only work if your work environment/department/group operates as a team and you have the right leader.
Unfortunately not enough work settings function as teams and not enough leaders recognize that their priority is to power and equip their teams and most work groups aren’t interested in offering their leaders options. You need both components to make have an highly efficient and productive work environment.
I try to limit the posting of Youtube videos to my Wednesday Watchlist posts and I also try not to comment on the videos I post because in my selection criteria I require that a great video speaks for itself. But after watching this video from Simon Sinek this past weekend I realized that I need to post and share this video as soon as possible. Sinek offers a biological and anthropomorphic explanation of effective leadership and what happens when we don’t have it that I believe everyone needs to watch. The following explanation of the responsibility or cost of leadership is a small sampling of Sinek’s exceptional perspective:
Leadership/alpha comes at a cost. You see we expect that when danger threatens us from the outside that the person who’s actually stronger, the person who’s better fed and the person who is actually teeming with serotonin who actually has higher confidence the rest of us; we expect them to run toward the danger to protect us. This is what it means to be a leader. The cost of leadership is self-interest. If you’re not willing to give up your perks when it matters then you probably shouldn’t get promoted. You might be an authority but you will not be a leader. Leadership comes at a cost. You don’t get to do less work you get to do more. You have to do more work and the more work you have to do is put yourself at risk to look after others. That is the anthropological definition of what a leader is.
I haven’t yet read Sinek’s latest book Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t but if his book is even a fraction as good as this talk I am looking forward to exploring his thought further.