However, all too often, in expressing vulnerability, leaders seem to do so behind a superhero “mask” of invulnerability, so even when they express that they don’t know the answers, they are so hidden by their mask that they won’t and so don’t show what it feels like, as a human, to be in that place.
Staying behind that “mask” means a huge lost opportunity to truly connect.
“Your mind is like a parachute: If it isn’t open, it doesn’t work.”
Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 astronaut
Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, July 20th, 1969.
It all began with the open mind and huge vision of one man.
On May 25, 1961, President John F Kennedy told Congress that the US “should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”
On July 20th, 1969, that vision was realised.
This came only 20 days after the first time any NASA mission had taken someone out of the earth’s atmosphere, and then only for a 15 minute sub-orbital flight.
JFK, however, had the vision to restore confidence in his country that had been dented by the space race and cold war with Russia. He believed that this lunary goal could play a key role in building on the ability of Americans to innovate and achieve. The lunar landing was a massive vision and one that took 400,000 people to achieve, but many historians now look back on it as leading an epochal shift for the USA in the 1960s.
Now you may say you are not JFK, but I challenge you to be your own JFK.
Horizontal Leadership is leading in an inclusive, empowered and trusting way.
Sometime over this summer, I will collate some key blog posts and models under a header of #OpenLeadership as a tab on this site. Open Leadership is a move beyond command and control, a move beyond hierarchy.
It is not new, however, it is simply about leading in an inclusive, empowered and trusting way. As an example, a while ago Chip Conley had told me a story of getting together a group of fellow students when he was starting university some nearly 40 years ago.
This week one of those students, a certain Seth Godin, wrote about that moment. He called it Horizontal Leadership.
“..brings to mind to me a quote from 1770 from the Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke:
“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”
A powerful phrase that has been adjusted and repeated for many years as :
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
So, today I share with you a recent article from a dear friend of mine, the brilliant, passionate and purpose-driven economist, Marla Dukaharan.
In this, Marla calmly and clearly calls out empirically obvious racist and white supremacist actions against offshore (defining that as “not large countries” though the majority are islands distant to the major economic powers) jurisdictions. For this, I applaud her for taking a stand, for saying something. (more…)
Yesterday I wrote: “Golf Trips and Collaborative Leadership” and went into detail about both the value of Collaborative Leadership and what it takes, at Source, to be a collaborative and open leader (and why golf trips are not a positive indicator).
Today a much simple blog, highlighting three things to consistently do as a leader. (more…)
The other day a dear friend of mine, a top elite sports coach and voracious learner and networker around leadership and behaviour, sent me this white paper.
Within it are some powerful learnings for leading collaboratively, yet, as so often, I wonder why corporate leaders and their consultants need to speak in such overly complicated ways.
Today let me endeavour to use Oxford Leadership’s version of the iceberg principle (ie the image above, captured from their white paper), to make a few simple points for leaders to anchor upon if they choose to lead collaboratively. (more…)
The V&A Museum opened in Dundee in 2018, design by Kengo Kuma
Today am inspired by a conversation this week about brave thinking and big ambitions.
I love to work with brave leaders. One of the four characteristics of people who choose to work with me (see the BeMoreYou page) is that they are brave. At it says on that page:
Be Brave. Bravery means you’re open to being uncomfortable, to stretching, as that’s where the growth lies. If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re playing it too safe.
Bravery is a virtuous circle. When you embrace your full potential (discomfort and all). Your vision becomes clearer and your confidence increases, even in the face of uncertainty.
So, let’s talk today about some examples of Brave Thinking leading to Big Ambition for organisations and businesses. May it inspired your own brave thinking and help you conceive and achieve your big ambitions for yourself, for your organisation. (more…)
““..entrepreneurialism can’t be taught and the library full of books attempting to teach it are a waste of time. Short of travelling back in time and putting your childhood self through some sort of trauma you cannot ‘become’ an entrepreneur.”
This week I find myself working with a client leadership team looking to lead transformative behaviour change in their government department.
What they need, at some level, is entrepreneurial thinking, but if Mike is right (and I do agree with him), what can be done to support them around change? (more…)
This is the latest in a sequence of posts on #BeautifulLeadership that all came from tweets and other news items I saw on the same day, November 29th. In the first post, “From Now On“, I noted that “at least four wonderful examples of Beautiful Leadership found their way to me”:
an NBA star and father empowering young women by walking the talk.
a brave woman CEO in the UK leading by example around income inequality, though with some sadly paradoxical behaviour in how I learned of her leadership.
an environmental activism movement masquerading as a large US corporation taking the Trump tax cut it received and giving it back to the planet.
a Hollywood movie star finding the power and passion of a moment irresistible and showing leadership which made real a project that has since touched millions.
That brave woman CEO is Sacha Romanovitch, who left her post at Grant Thornton on November 30th. Let me tell you the story of the tweet on November 29th, and the behaviour around it, giving my take on the broader story of her tenure as CEO. (more…)