Leading Blog






05.05.10

Are You Living Out Your Why?

Reduced to a list of techniques, leadership is uninspiring. Leadership that is uninspiring is stagnant. Eventually it will need to be replaced because all involved are just going through the motions—doing time—atrophying. The leader is superfluous.

Techniques help us to manage the function of leadership, but they are not the essence of leadership. Techniques don’t connect with people, passion does. Passion inspires because it comes from inside of us. Our passion is who we are. It’s authentic because, like leadership, it is something we live. It is our why.

Inspiring leaders keep the why front and center by living it. You can not fake passion for long. Eventually it is undermined by the comments we make, the look on our face, and the way we treat others.
When the eyes say one thing, and the tongue another, a practiced man relies on the language of the first.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Watching someone live out a why is compelling. It makes people want to follow, connect and be engaged. It forms the basis of trust and the moral authority that is the spark of the leader/follower relationship.

Leaders go first. John Adair wrote, “Gandhi and Mandela had acquired the right to demand what they had already given.” Their authority came from their example.

A leader inspires best by example. And as John Baldoni once wrote in his book on leading by example, “It all starts with character.” Are you living out your why?

Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:08 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Leadership



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