Friday, January 21, 2011

Leadership and the Self-Deceived

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The Arbinger Institute put out Leadership and the Self-Deception.  The book keyed on how humans keep themselves from true success by putting themselves in a box.  We justify why we don't do the right thing at the instant we have that opportunity (that is a pretty surface review, and if you have an interest in serving others and leading others, you SHOULD read the book).

In our social media driven culture, it seems that everyone wants to be a leader, everyone wants to be a life-coach, everyone wants to be somebody and have otherbodys follow them.  My friend posted on his blog that his 2011 New Year's Resolution will be a strict "Not Read Any Non-Fiction Books."  Read that post. If you don't, I'll tell you that he basically states, pretty accurately, that everyone is trying to find the road to success through the experiences of authors telling their readers which 1-2-3 steps to take.  Now I on the other hand, I will probably read only non-fiction books, but I do understand his point and sympathize with it.

And here's why: I see manybodys, who could be anybodys, become quote machines on the internet.  "Do something great, at some place, to someone, and its profound." -Ancient Chinese, Biblical Proverb from the middle of the 20th Century.  It seems that these quote producers (not the speaker, but the quoter) are quoting these things for the sake of their wanted followers.  They expect Facebook, or Twitter, to take them to the top of the Leadership world! That in twelve-short months, following these three-easy steps, they will be internationally renowned leadership gurus.

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John Maxwell, an ACTUAL leadership guru makes this statement about leaders in Developing the Leader Within You: "If they could not lead themselves, they could not lead others."  He often states something to the effect of "Good leaders lead themselves first."  He explains that true leaders focus on their own growth and discipline, and then on ADDING VALUE to others.  This is the kicker for many wanna-be leaders.  They want to be leaders so they can turn around and see a roaring, seething mass of people cheering their greatness.

Now I do not attest to being a leader.  When I turn around the only person behind me is my wife.  And in all actuality, she's beside me.  (The one person I hope to keep behind me is the devil.)  However, I do want to increase my potential by examining my shortcomings and strengthening my weaknesses.

I honestly believe that if all of our friends and acquaintances, that would like to be more than self proclaimed leaders, sought to increase the value in others through their own personal growth, our society would be benefited.  If the selfishness of desired leadership were exchanged with the selflessness of true leadership, we would have a positive influx of circulatory facilitation, increasing our society's worth.

But I guess that's why not everyone's a leader.

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