A good bit of my work is leadership communication training. Most of the subject matter I have covered for Institute in the past has been in the public speaking, messaging and public relations area. This year in Tucson, I have been asked to teach The Leadership Challenge, a core course for first year.
So what’s a leader and what’s the challenge?
I believe there are only 3 jobs, Doers, Managers, and Leaders. Doers row the boat. Managers get the Doers to row the boat more effectively. Leaders decide where the boat is going, and then they convince the Doers to want to go there.
I think of Managers as left-brained logical. Managers focus on rules, regulations, systems and procedures. Managers are intellectual. Managers are absolutely necessary to the success of any organization. They make sure the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed. For many of us, our management skills got us where we are today.
Leaders are right-brained emotional. Leaders focus on creating a vision; inspiring others to believe it and then motivating them to go after the vision too.
Leaders imagine the dream and motivate team.
Leaders help others be their best.
Creating, inspiring, and motivating are not necessarily courses taught in college political science programs but they are necessary skills that drive growth and success.
For my class, I will ask everybody to review the video, The Last Lecture, before they arrive. Since all of you are leaders, I thought I would share it with the whole Institute community. If you haven’t seen it, it makes for an amazing 75 minutes.
With a projected 6 months left to live because of cancer, Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch delivers a powerful joy-filled, inspiring, and motivating “last lecture” to the university community. If you have never seen it, it’s worth the time:
(Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo )
While I’m sharing things to think about in your busy day, I thought I would cross the line . . . (If you have do not have Christian leanings, no big deal, this audio is much more Stephen Covey than Billy Graham.) Link:http://www.joelosteen.com/Broadcast/Podcast/Pages/Podcast.aspx (#454r.)
Sunday morning, I flipped on the TV to see the final election news and up popped Joel Osteen, the preacher. Since I teach executives to how to tell stories, and he is an excellent storyteller, I got stuck on what he was saying. He was talking about finding the joy in life or living life happy. He said that we have all been given what we need to be happy.
Osteen suggested that we stop worrying about “what we have to do” and start enjoying “what we get to do” . . . even when the actions are the same.
I recognized his theory as a version of what I teach in leadership workshops. It requires what some might call a “paradigm shift.” You might call it seeing the world with rose colored glasses. I call it one of the great keys to successful leadership.
The theory suggests a change in thinking and it goes something like this:
“I have to go to work” becomes, “I get to go to work.”
I have a job and an income, and opportunity help others. Those are great reasons to have a smile on my face.
“I have to pay taxes,” becomes, “I get to pay my taxes.”
The fact that I owe taxes means I have been blessed with opportunity and an income high enough to write the check.
“I have to clean, cook and take care of the kids,” becomes, “I get to clean, cook and take care of the kids.”
I have a home to live in, children to love, and food in the kitchen.”
“I have to interact with my staff and members,” becomes, “I get to interact with my staff and members.”
Every day, I have an opportunity to have a positive impact on the careers and live of the people I work with.
Leaders help others be their best.
What could be better than that?