You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2011.

Welcome, I’m glad you’re here.

My name is Daniel and I’ve been an avid follower of leadership material right from the very first time I had my eyes open to the fact that there was material on it. And who helped me open my eyes? A leader of course. Since that time, I’ve read many great books, listened to many wonderful speakers, seen many incredible movies, been gifted with so many amazing people in my life that have all presented material on the sort of things great leaders do.

It has created in me a passion, a desire, and a lifelong ambition to journey on that most challenging road, the road of the continual pursuit of excellence.

I think it’s important that I somehow have a go at putting a least a starting thought or definition or idea that strongly shows what I see leadership as. I think it’s an immense challenge to try and sum up such a large subject matter into such a small space, however less is more and as Albert Einstein once said “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” so, here’s my simple description of leadership…

Leadership is any thought or act that is worth teaching, repeating or copying.

I see a great parallel between this definition and something that was seen as a crucial message by a wonderful, world-changing, woman who walked the earth and lived a live of service and as such, leadership. To give my definition some more rounding I share something she had posted as something important in her residence. It was Mother Theresa who shared:

People are often unreasonable, illogical,
and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, People may accuse you
of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some
false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone
could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God;

Now, don’t get caught up in the God thing – if you do and that stops you going further due to not having that connection, I don’t believe you are serious about leadership. Leaders are able to consider all people, beliefs and views. If it makes you more comfortable, just take out those final two lines and if you are serious, read on. I see the great connection with this reflection and with leadership as I see so many of the points made in this reflection that can be tied in by simply replacing ‘do it anyway’ with, ‘lead anyway’. All of these acts or virtues are worth learning and doing and the actions of true leaders are done because they are seen by leaders as the right thing to do, not due to seeking any sort of result or payoff.

I’m under no illusions that there are immense amounts of material out there on leadership these days too. I am conscious of the risk of ‘yet another leadership blog’ and just rehashing all of that stuff. I do believe that principles are certainly principles so leadership hasn’t really changed all that much over thousands of years but I truly believe and hope that you agree that my take on some of this may be a little different to the usual ‘stuff’ and that this place will discuss things in a different way than you’ve experienced before.

This place is not, as I see it, about many of the traditional views people may have about leadership and if you are not challenged in thinking here, I am not doing my job. I want to flip some of those views on their head and talk about leadership as not always being the big grandiose type of acts but also great things done in small, quiet ways. Mother Theresa did things like this. Gandhi did things like this. They were so great though in their ‘littleness’ that their acts ended up becoming famous. However, I know so many people who don’t have such fame yet I consider leaders, possibly even more so, as they do those quiet things that are worth teaching or repeating, thus demonstrate leadership. I will also cover how I see and have implemented such leadership in business, in teams, in organisations, just to be clear there is a place, a very strong place, for this type of leadership in those places.

I begin with the end in mind though. So what is the end? Well, if I am to take the great message I have heard repeatedly in my life, that in fact there is no end and you’ve never completely ‘made it’  in the pursuit of excellence, then surely that is the end unto itself. So…

We need to get off our ends and see ourselves as a constant beginning.

This place is a place, my place, to share the different ways I’ve encountered great leaders, how they’ve impacted me, lead me to change, and ultimately been a part of me accepting and living the leadership role that’s been uniquely asked of me through the person I am with the gifts I have and the life I’m being asked to live.

I would love for you to join me so we can journey together for the travel is only the more richer when taken with company.

My ultimate hope is that as we journey together and you face situations where you have been challenged by the sorts of issues that were covered in the reflection that Mother Theresa valued so much, that you will draw strength and in the final wash up you can look at any action you may have taken and…

Lead anyway.