Leadership is not
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Archive for July, 2008
Leadership is not
When I write about youth, I always come back to the Hero’s Journey. Yesterday on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, I heard an interview with the actress Anna Deveare Smith. She has written a book titled Letters to a Young Artist: Straight-up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts-For Actors, Performers, Writers, and Artists of Every Kind.
She made some great points about the unique journey of the artist and maintaining your authenticity. Her advice is not only for artists. As you develop as a leader, your unique voice and authenticity are key ingredients of your leadership abilities. You have to be ready at times, to go against the wishes of society, so develop your courage and strength to believe in yourself.
When you run into a difficult situation at work, the best ally you have is your own truth. By your truth, I mean how you view the situation and identify what you want to do about it. When you clearly state your truth without extreme emotions or bias, people listen. But, most importantly, you know where you stand. It is from a centered place that you best represent your interests.
I recently had the opportunity to be a guest on Tom Floyd’s “Insight on Coaching” internet radio show. Also on the show were Troy McClain from the first season of The Apprentice and Elizabeth Jarosz from the second season of the show. It was a lively conversation. It showed me that for the contestants on the show and its viewers the learning keeps on going. The Apprentice deals with issues we all face at work. Troy spoke about the intensity of the time limits when he was performing tasks on the show. He learned that under intense time pressure, little bumps become grave errors. He also learned to work with adversity. Elizabeth said that she learned that when leading a team, you need to find a cause bigger than yourself to rally the group. They learned and we learned from watching them.