Friday, 15 June 2012

Let's talk tangibles

First things first, I'd like to start by saying how irritating leadership is... well, as a concept at least. How many articles can you read about being transformational before you LITERALLY transform into something else? Not that it wouldn't be wicked to be an AutoBot, it's just that I don't see how it relates to my abilities as a leader. Wait, I like this tangent ... let's think about Optimus Prime for a second ... talk about leadership! He casually saves all of EARTH and it's not even his own planet. I digress, the point is that we need to blow up the buzz words and start talking like real humans (or OpPri) in order to fully understand what leadership is and, in turn, become better leaders ourselves.

Now, I'm not saying that all of the literature and research on leadership isn't beneficial for our development ... I'm just saying that there's WAY too much of it to boil down to create our own leadership style. If we have any How I Met Your Mother fans out there, it would be a hell of a lot like Ted's first day as a professor ... for those who aren't fans, become fans.

In order to open the leadership Cryptex, I believe that we need to focus on the tangibles. The see, feel, touch, hear, dos and don'ts of day to day leadership ... they make the difference. It isn't the transformational vision of the CEO of AmeriCorpCapitalMarketMegaBros & Co.. It's the day to day moments, the "be all you can be" of every day life ... THAT'S leadership in its truest form.

So what are these moments? Well, they are all around us. To quote Mother Teresa (get used to her, she's my GIRL), "We cannot all do great things, but we can all do small things with great love." Now, I recognize that this sounds pretty damn cheesy ... but hear me out. The thing about small things is that they are never small things. Think about the last time that a complete stranger smiled at you on the street. After the minor  I-may-know-him-but-don't-recognize-him-but-don't-want-to-look-like-a-forgetful-jerk inner panic that you felt, didn't you feel AWESOME? That random dude with the cool hat just looked at you and flashed his pearly whites, for no other reason than the fact that he thought your hat was cool too ... or whatever accessory you were rocking that day. He didn't have to smile - he could've frowned, scowled, or worse, flashed you some weird hand gesture that made you feel uncomfortable... but he didn't. He smiled. A good old-fashioned Mister Rogers smile.

These moments are what I'm talking about. They are tangible. You can feel them, remember them, share them with someone else ... and most importantly, they ignite your heart. They light your pilot light on days when you definitely aren't heating the whole swimming pool to a comfortable 80 degrees (Fahrenheit ... ofcourse, we want to keep our skin if at all possible). These moments make you better, even if you don't realize it at the time. Because of these moments, you are a better person for at least the whole day ... at least. And that is something that should not be taken lightly, especially in the world that we live in today.

So, to finish off my very first post I want to leave you with this thought: How many times a day do you choose to frown instead of smile?

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