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How to Measure Your Leadership

 

The success of the indispensable leader is not measured in the number of units produced but by the number of people they can inspire. One of the clearest metrics by which great leaders can be judged, is to the extent that their teams work with passion, conviction, and purpose.

 We are all longing for authentic leadership that invites us into a culture created around something more important than personal accomplishment. The indispensable leader is the conduit through which their followers are able to join that kind of a culture.

Indispensable leaders understand that the effectiveness of their leadership is dependent on how well they serve, love , and inspire those around them to greatness.

Leaders, differentiate yourself by how well you serve, how deeply you love, and much you inspire. Make a difference not by how many games you win, but by how many lives you impact.

Indispensable leadership starts with a commitment to helping others succeed. Define your leadership by a different set of metrics, a new kind of data. 

Don’t settle for average, never settle for “just good enough”, instead, strive for indispensable. Dig a little deeper, train a little bit harder, care a little bit more and watch the people around you rise to greatness.


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What Makes You an Indispensable Leader

The modern economy is moving away from people to act like machines and towards people who can add a different kind of value. The blue-collar jobs on factory floors are slowly disappearing as technology encroaches on an economic model of years past.

The new economy demands authenticity because people can smell inauthentic leadership a thousand miles away. We are starving for original thinkers and artists who can cultivate an experience that wows and inspires us.

The leadership of the future will no longer be measured in the number of units produced but by the number of people you can inspire. Indispensable leaders are the ones who creativity overwhelms their sense of duty; who are able to problem solve in a world that spits out new challenges minute by minute.

Only you can make yourself indispensable. Only you can push yourself to explore the nuances of your craft when most people settle for being mediocre. Only you can push past your perceived limits. A mediocre leader simply completes the task assigned to them, but an indispensable leader  pushes past the boundary of average and into the realm of possibility.

Don’t settle for average, rather, strive for indispensable. Dig a little deeper, train a little bit harder, care a little bit more and watch the people around you rise to greatness. 

Start exploring, start creating, start making yourself indispensable today.


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Why Moderation is Essential to Strong Leadership

The word “moderate” hardly evokes sentiments of strong leadership. Yet, I believe that a direct correlation exists between a leader’s moderation and their capacity to lead with distinction. In an age where polarization has become the norm – in so many important areas of life: politics, morality, social issues, sports etc. – “moderates” have been marginalized.

Put succinctly, moderation is essential to great leadership because the strongest leaders understand that moderation is not just about finding a “middle-ground”. Put another way, moderation is not simply discovering the equidistant point between two competing extremes.

Instead, the moderate leader develops the skill to deftly navigate the inevitable complexity of leadership without becoming overwhelmed by the challenges of the moment. This “moderate” approach gives their team the stability, strength, and steadfastness that they will need in times of challenge.

Moderation is essential to strong leadership because strong leaders are able to unify the ever-shifting tectonic plates of competing personalities, interests, and half-truths that make up their team. In unity there is strength, and moderation is essential to managing the complexity and inevitable tensions within your team or organization.

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Why Humility Matters

I want to define humility by listing three defining characteristics that are true of humble people. I hope that by constructing an accurate definition of humility, we will begin to recover the crucial role that it plays in our leadership, on our teams, and in the world.

 

Humble people have an accurate self-awareness

In an era of selfie sticks and Facebook, we are more aware of ourselves than ever before. The concept of ‘self’ is constantly on the forefront our minds as we design our lives – and our social media pages – to reflect the pristine picture of how we want others to perceive us.

In contrast, humble people don’t feel the need to paint a perfect picture of an “ideal life” for others. They have the ability to zoom out and objectively assess the merits or shortcomings of their character. Humble people embody a disposition that is less concerned with the image they portray and more concerned with the quality of their work, the effectiveness of their lives, and the content of their character.

 

Humble People Think of Themselves Less

As C.S. Lewis wrote in his classic book, Mere Christianity:

“The thing we would remember from meeting a truly gospel-humble person is how much they seemed to be totally interested in us. Because the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.” (C.S. Lewis)

Humble people refuse to play the “self-esteem” game. They are not self-deprecating or self-congratulatory, but instead they are self-forgetful. Meaning, they don’t think less of their accomplishments by putting themselves down, nor do they inflate their own ego by elevating themselves over others. True humility is characterized by a quiet confidence and a genuine interest in others. Pastor Tim Keller said it best when he said humble people are like ‘toes’:

“The truly gospel-humble person is a self-forgetful person whose ego is just like his or her toes. It just works. It does not draw attention to itself. The toes just work; the ego just works. Neither draws attention to itself.” (Tim Keller)

 

Humble People have True Freedom

As New York Times Author David Brooks put it:

“Humility is freedom from the need to prove you are superior all the time, but egotism is a ravenous hunger in a small space—self-concerned, competitive, and distinction-hungry.” (David Brooks)

Humble people have true freedom because they have learned to rid themselves of the cumbersome shackles of comparison. Achieving superiority over others is not a box that humble people are trying check. Instead, humble people have set themselves free from the need to feed their ego as it relates to comparing their accomplishments to those around them.
The burden of comparative score-keeping frees the humble person to concentrate on improving their own performance, character, and moral integrity instead of wasting their energy worrying about how they stack up against others.


To summarize, the virtue of humility matters primarily for two reasons. First, humility gives us the freedom to become the leaders we were created to be instead of the person we believe others think we should be. Second, true humility leads to wisdom.Wisdom helps us become better leaders. Again, we turn to author David Brooks for helping us grasp the how wisdom helps us win as leaders:

“wisdom isn’t a body of information. It’s the moral quality of knowing what you don’t know and figuring out a way to handle your ignorance, uncertainty, and limitation.” (David Brooks)

Great leaders have cultivated the wisdom to adeptly handle their own ignorance, uncertainty, and limitations. They are able to navigate the inevitable pitfalls of their own pride because they have wisdom to guide their path. Ultimately, humility is the key that unlocks our ability to govern ourselves, lead others with wisdom, and navigate the inevitable blind-spots within our own character.

 

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How to find Happiness

At the core of the human experiment is our quest to fill our lives with things that we believe will make us happy. There is nothing wrong with the desire to be happy, of course everyone wants to feel good about their lives. Rather, the pursuit of happiness as an end itself is a foolish pursuit because happiness is a byproduct of sowing the right seeds rather than constructing the right circumstances.

The biggest lie that leads to unhappiness, is that we have duped into believing that “having” will make us happier than “doing.”

The “having” group of happiness seekers looks for fulfillment in possessing “things” that will give them the satisfaction they desire. This is your classic, “keeping up with the Jones” type of scenario. The latest gadgets, cars, houses, or accessories become the arbiters of happiness as each new purchase brings with it the hope of eternal satisfaction.

The problem with the “having” philosophy is our human ability to adapt to new environments. The novelty of new “items” wears quickly wears off until we arrive at a new normal.

The “doing” group believes that experiences, not stuff will lead to a more fulfilling existence. Science also backs up this claim. In one experiment, researchers gave two groups participants $ 100 to spend.

One group was directed to spend the money on a material good, the other group was directed to spend it on an experience (i.e. a concert, a meal with friends, a show, etc). The researchers then measured the level of happiness in each group of participants through a series of surveys and found that the group who had spent the money on “doing” something was significantly more satisfied than the group who bought an item or good.

The important lesson here is that when we prioritize experiences, people, and “doing” over things, stuff, and “having” we are going to be happier. Happiness is a byproduct of prioritizing people over possessions. “Doing” strengthens our relational bonds, allows us to invest in important relationships, and keeps us away from buying into the lies that consuming more will make us happier.


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