#AnatomyOfLeadership(4): What Leadership Effectiveness Means

Anatomy4As a younger leader, I read many leadership books. They had ideals, standards and clearly stated the qualities that a leader should possess. To be effective, I had to practice a long list. It wore me out – and I found out why.

Those books addressed only the good and left me clueless on what to do with the bad and the crazy. I got relief when I realized that my weaknesses and complexities are vital aspects of my effectiveness.

On that note, I redefined leadership effectiveness. It’s simply the sum total of The Good, The Bad and The Crazy. The formula would look like this:

The Good + The Bad + The Crazy = Leadership Effectiveness

How does this work?

Focus on the three aspects. None is more important than the other. As much as the good, I suggest that you KNOW, OWN and MANAGE your weaknesses and crazies. Pay attention and think through a management system to handle them.

Your faults and crazies may never change, but you can be in charge. And yes, you can be crazy and lead well.

The Anatomy of Leadership ~ 3

Anatomy3I began this series by stating that every leader is made up of three major parts: The Good, The Bad, The Crazy. I’ve addressed the first two. Now, welcome to The Crazy.

The crazy is the complicated aspects of the leader’s life. It’s those elements that have deep, complex roots that can’t be easily explained or taken at face value – the crazy defies logic.

Usually, these are inward struggles due to different life experiences or the leader’s background. For most leaders, this is the toughest part of their existence. It’s simply complicated.

Leaders avoid talking about these areas of their lives because they grapple with its complexities – sometimes for many years – and lack the articulation required to share it with the public. It’s private and typically not shared.

However, it comes out in symptoms and often shocking behavioral patterns that make people wonder. It’s one reason why a massively successful person would suddenly commit suicide for “no apparent reason” – with no explanation. The crazy does exist and it’s part of leadership.

If that’s the case, what does leadership effectiveness mean in the context of this anatomy? Part four explains it.

The Anatomy of Leadership

Anatomy1Leadership is a big word; it feels strangely weighty – probably why it’s easily misunderstood. However, it’s essential to life. The leadership guru, John C. Maxwell, said that, “everything rises and falls on leadership” – and in this case, everything means everything.

After years of studying leaders, I’ve demystified and articulated the anatomy of leadership and this is it: every leader is made up of three major parts – The Good, The Bad, The Crazy. I’ll breakdown each part in this series.

The Good is the leader’s strengths. This aspect of the leader’s essence adds value to others – folks enjoy this part. Here delivery is effortless because the leader is gifted or has developed in an area. Leaders display their strengths with pride. Also, it’s a tool for integrity.

For instance: Sir Richard Branson is great at entrepreneurship or the U.S. President, Barack Obama, is an amazing orator. These are areas of strength.

Many leadership books encourage people to focus only on their strengths. Sounds like good advice, but I don’t agree. That’s just one part. How about the bad and the crazy?

The Value of a Day

Abstract-Art-masterpieceTwenty-four hours is the equalizer – that’s all everyone gets.

At the risk of sounding cliché: our lives play out in the context of a day and the outcomes represent the degree to which we value our time.

Also, each day brings you closer to (or takes you further from) your goals. This is a negligible, but crucial fact and only those who pay attention enjoy its benefits.

So how’s it working for you? Are you getting closer to your dreams or are they drifting away?

I won’t bother you with time management rhetoric. However, I would like to help you assess the direction that your days would eventually take you. Is it a destination that you would ultimately enjoy?

The effect of a day is subtle. The days add up slowly and suddenly you’re in debt, overweight, rich, etc. It goes almost unnoticed and you find yourself asking: how did I get here?

Are you conscious or alive to your day’s flow? You don’t have to plan a perfect day, but you can be proactive in aligning your days with your goals.

Forget The Hype: Avoid This Stupid Aspect of Entrepreneurship

ForgetTheHypeThe picture of a successful entrepreneur with a large smile on the cover of Forbes magazine is the media’s serving. “She built a billion dollar company in just five years”, are the stories that we see. But are they the true picture?

The downside to this culture is the entrepreneur’s belief that hype is what building a great business is all about.

It’s common for entrepreneurs to paint a picture of what they’re not in order to drive the numbers. They think an inflated ego will replace the principles of good business practice.

Hype is the entrepreneur’s disease.

How do I know this?

I’ve been there.

I know what it means to put up a colorful corporate front with little substance to back it. After awhile, it hurts your competence and you’re unable to move to higher levels because you lack the credibility. It sucks!

My advice: do great business. Focus on the principles, practices and policies of good entrepreneurship.

Hype has its place in product and brand awareness, but it’s not the essence of business. An entrepreneur who’s drunk on hype spells disaster. It’s not a good sign.

Your Idea Believes in You

abstract-art-black-and-white-1706-hd-wallpapersDisbelief!

That’s one of the emotions that you feel when an awesome idea hits you.

Why?

At that point, you doubt you can pull it off.

But this is how it works: an idea knows things about you that you’re yet to discover about yourself. That’s why it comes to you totally confident that you can make it happen – whether you believe it or not. The idea is never in doubt.

Now, the real work is getting you to see and agree that you can make it work. The idea might succeed or fail in persuading you, but it’s not unsure of its choice.

Before an idea knocks on your door, all the resource that you need to realize it has been factored and already in place. It’s no use worrying about how you will do it because provision is sorted. All you need to do is say: yes!

Folks back down on a thought because they don’t see HOW they can do it and that’s a mistake. An idea comes loaded with resources, looking for someone who will agree to the package and run with it.

Will you agree? No more excuses.

Dear Entrepreneur, It’s OK to Get a Job

GetJobTwo, maybe three camps exist on the subject of entrepreneurship.

We have the group of employed folks who think that entrepreneurs are losers who stupidly live on the edge for no good reason.

The other crowd is the entrepreneurs who believe that the employed simply have no balls to pursue a conviction.

Then, there’s the middle – who try to combine both endeavors.

But who is right?

None!

The entrepreneurial journey is not a straight line. We have folks who have never worked for another and guys who worked awhile before starting a business. Others move in and out – balancing employment and entrepreneurship.

We all go about the journey differently. No one should be trapped by one method.

So as an entrepreneur, if you have to temporarily get a job to stay afloat, do it. It doesn’t mean your dream is dead or you’ve failed – sometimes going cold-turkey hurts more than it helps. The idea is to do whatever it takes to achieve your dream.

On that note: relax! A job doesn’t make you any less of an entrepreneur. If you must get one, do it. No shame.