Leadership Development …apparently that’s my thang’. It’s not what I went to school for, my degree is actually in accounting. I only practiced for two years though – I hated it! …Mostly because I was one of many young newbies right out of college (circa 1990) being abused in Corporate America. The work environment was so brutal. So, I took a $10,000k pay cut (actually, I got “laid-off”) and accepted an entry-level job at a local TV station. I spent the next 10+ years in Sales and Marketing. Currently, I’m on the non-profit side of biz in the behavioral health field. Go figure!
So who led me here??!
As it turns out, a lot of people. …First and foremost, my parents. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t always “happy” with the rules I was supposed to follow, but life isn’t always about being happy. My parents modeled a beautifully, imperfect REALITY-BASED life….and so did yours! Nobody’s childhood is perfect and…by the way, your childhood is over.
In my time growing up, your emotional well-being wasn’t part of the equation. You learned through cause and affect what was right and what was definitely WRONG! There were expectations to follow and work that had to be done…the right way! Yes, there was abuse of ego. People did have “anger management” problems…but there was also structure and a sense of “WE”. Mission came before money. Life wasn’t a perfect science…but then again, it wasn’t meant to be.
Life IS… supposed to be RELATIONAL.
Many people along the way of life will leave footprints on your soul… and an impact on how you choose to lead your life. One person that comes to my mind was this hard-nosed Jewish guy that I worked for. He was my boss when I was a young sales executive. The rule was that you needed to be out of the office at 9am. Your job was to go drum up business, not sit in the office. You could do your paperwork on your own time! At 9:05, if you were still hanging around, he would clear your desk with one sweep of his hand and tell you to get the F out!
Today that sounds a little harsh, right? In actuality, this guy was one of the best in the industry! He never asked anything from you that he didn’t expect from himself. He was a great listener, mentor, and leader. You learned the business the right way. His passion and commitment to his employees led him to being a well-respected business man. Jonathan G. was a boss I will never forget. He taught me the worst you will hear is “NO”! He was one of several leaders in my life who taught me to relate better in the business world…and to STEP IT UP!
We’re at the crossroads of change. Managing outcomes is passé…developing Leadership is the evolving model. Don’t let fear run your game and don’t take short cuts. Get in trouble for the right reasons and get out of your ego!
Our employees are looking to us to lead them…How we do’in?? Take a look in the mirror.
Here’s some advice from Ashton Kutcher from the Teen Choice Awards….(a highly unlikely source for all us middle-aged know-it-alls!)
Are you ready to lead?