ISSUE 101   ISSN 1712-468

Faith is, at one and the same time, absolutely necessary and altogether impossible.

Stanislaw Lem
Polish Science-Fiction Author
1921 – 2006

My Source Experience - Journal

My Source


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This Week´s Inspiration
Leadership Is Not for Wimps


The office or position of a leader; capacity to lead; the act or an instance of leading

Sometimes, the responsibility of leadership and being a leader is a lonely business—especially if you are the only one embracing your vision.

Now before you think this ezine is for business only, leadership applies to everyone in each part of our lives.

The reality and documentary shows are now too numerous to count. They give us a peek into today’s societal values and, more important, the role of leadership in our world.

When you watch TV shows like Super Nanny, Nanny 911,or Honey, You’re Killing The Kids, there clearly is a lack of parental leadership in the family unit. Those parents don’t take responsibility for their family’s condition.

Just last month, a UK mother was in court trying to retain custody of her son who is morbidly obese and just 10 years old. She was feeding him to death. Her lack of leadership could have cost her son his life. Being well intended is not necessarily equal to modeling great leadership.

A school board in Quebec recently banned all cell phones and electronic devices in school during school hours. The devices were not only distracting students, they were being used to cheat and abuse other students and faculty.

As expected, the board’s new Use it and you lose it policy did not sit well with the students. The real shocker came when many parents attacked the board for the policy. The board demonstrated great leadership; the parents did not.

Leadership is not about being popular but being committed to principles and vision—no matter what.

As parents of a 10- and an 11-year-old, my wife and I have daily discussions about their desires and guidelines. There is strong peer influence on our children to engage in activities counter to our leadership teachings. I am certain that if we did not make a consistent effort to show leadership, our children would not be as mature as they are.

Sitting on a school board, I have experienced firsthand the cost of lack of leadership in families. In general, children from parents who show little or no leadership are more disruptive, poorer learners and less respectful, and they lack self-discipline.

In one case, custody of two young children was transferred from unfit parents to the grandparents. That change helped transform the behavior of the children—both under 10—from being unmanageable to becoming two of our top students who really love school! The difference was the leadership example shown by the grandparents.

Many years ago, I was called to resolve a dispute between a credit union board and its longterm general manager. After much investigation, the conflict came down to one issue—lack of leadership by the credit union board. They avoided or deferred decisions that were difficult or controversial. That lack of leadership completely frustrated the general manager because he could not grow the organization.

Here are a couple of leadership characteristics Jim Collins’ researched for his book, Good to Great.

  1. Great leadership, in business or in personal life, has an unceasing commitment to the goal—not the ego—of the leaders.

These leaders are incredibly ambitious—not out of self-interest but for the fulfillment of their vision. This style of leadership is dedicated to the process until success is attained. Quitting is not an option.

Slightly different from pure optimism, this leadership style is committed to the vision—no matter how long it takes.  

  1. Effective leadership is committed to acknowledging the brutal facts.

According to recent research, nearly one third of North American children are now obese. Less than 20% of the parents of these children acknowledge that their child is overweight. Unless they confront the facts, these parents—by their absence of leadership—are severely hindering the future health of their children.

The credit union board needed to admit they had a leadership style- deficiency. They were more concerned about what their members and others would think than about the success of the organization. That was the brutal fact.

  • Leaders will be criticized for blazing a new trail.

In the 5 years since purchasing CRG, I have been challenged many times on the vision and direction of the company. Although I appreciate insight and seek wise counsel, in the end it is my decision and my decision alone that counts. I feel comfortable and confident with our direction and don’t worry about dissenting opinions.

If you have absolutely no negative feedback on your leadership—from parenting to business—you need to determine whether you are truly modeling leadership or taking the safe route, like the credit union board.

  • Leaders know where they are going and what they stand for.

Use My Source Experience Journal for your journey toward clarity and vision. As part of your process, we recommend the following assessments, to give you the facts to build your future.

This Week´s Action Steps

Leadership Is Not for Wimps           

  1. Effective leadership is not a popularity contest.

  1. Do you feel confident enough to do what is right, even if it will not be popular? If Yes great. If No, what are some of your reasons?

  1. Would individuals who know you characterize you as ambitious? Successful leadership requires ambition. What would you have to change to own and demonstrate this characteristic?

  1. Are you prepared—no matter how long it takes, personally and/or professionally—to see your vision through to its realization?

  1. Have you been brutally honest about the conditions surrounding your leadership style? If Yes, great. If No, what do you need to acknowledge?

  1. Achieving leadership success means you are clear about your direction and vision. To ensure you are leading on purpose—based on real information and strategies—get My Source Experience Journalto start you on the right track.

  1. Confident leaders know themselves well. Understand yourself better by using these resources:Personal Style Indicator, Leadership Skills Inventory-Self, Stress Indicator and Health Planner, Self-Worth Inventory, and Values Preference Indicator.

  1. Achieving leadership success is not for wimps. Use these strategies and knowledge to really make a difference—personal and professionally.

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!.

Ken Keis

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