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Archive for the ‘attitude’ Category

Here is a little story from one of my favourite leadership practitioners, Max De Pree, that reminds us that what a leader does is important.

I often found  the CEO job a rather lonely life where every move is under someone’s observation.  But rather than letting this develop into a sense of strain or tension, it is important to remember that if your actions reflect your words (or intentions) then you are being authentic and effective.

Esther, my wife, and I have a grand-daughter named Zoe, the Greek word for “life”.  She was born prematurely and weighed one pound, seven ounces, so small that my wedding ring could slide up her arm to her shoulders.  The neonatologist who first examined her told us that she had a 5 to 10 percent chance of living three days.  When Esther and I scrubbed up for our first visit and saw Zoe in her isolette in the neonatal intensive care unit, she had two IVs in her navel, one in her foot, a monitor on each side of her chest, and a respirator tube and a feeding tube in her mouth.

To complicate matters, Zoe’s biological father had jumped ship the month before Zoe was born.  Realising this, a wise and caring nurse named Ruth gave me my instructions.  “For the next several months, at least, you’re the surrogate father.  I want you to come to the hospital every day to visit Zoe, and when you come, I would like you to rub her body and her legs and arms with the tip of your finger.  While you’re caressing her, you should tell her over and over how much you love her, because she has to be able to connect your voice to your touch.”

Ruth was doing exactly the right thing on Zoe’s behalf (and, of course, on my behalf as well), and without realising it she was giving me one of the best possible descriptions of the work of a leader.  At the core of becoming a leader is the need always to connect one’s voice with one’s touch. (my emphasis)

Reference:  De Pree M O (1991)  Leadership Jazz.  Melbourne: Australian Business Library, Information Australia. pp.1-3

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Sometimes I am bemused by coincidences.  Having announced two days ago that I will be steeping down from my present job early next year, I was attracted to a brief mention of a blog post I would ordinarily have missed.  But, a post by The Savvy Intern by YouTern jumped out at me – a reminder that we should not fear rule your life or career.

Was it a coincidence?  I doubt it.  More likely the post had passed my sight, but I remained unconscious to it until this time when I was “prepared” for it.  

Some people are often described as lucky, because they “get the breaks” before others, or “they always seem to be in the right place at the right time”.  That’s not the way it happens – more often than not they will have been reflecting on what is happening around them, they will have thought deeply about what they want to do, and to achieve, they are looking for the breaks – so they see the opportunities more clearly and quicker than others.  That’s the essence of luck…been prepared so you can see the opportunities.  Are you ready?

And the blog itself…..  here is a snippet.

What fears are holding you back from going after the job or life, that you want? Being more concerned with what other people think about our choices or our actions, is strange – why would someone else’s internal thoughts be more important than honoring our own desires? It sounds odd when laid out like that, huh?

Read the full post here, it is good: Don’t Let Fear Rule your Life and Career   

I understand that Melissa Anzman (@mellymelanz) is the author of the post.  She has a great website on redefining your career.  Go and have a look at Loosen Your White Collar. Fall in Love with your Job (Again)  

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