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 “Process Praise” Makes You More Resilient

 

Psychologist Angela Duckworth and her research team did a series of experiments in which they observed and measured how different types of praise had a positive or negative effect on a child’s motivation and resilience in tackling difficult challenges. What they found was that the children who received “process praise” (i.e. praising the things within the child’s control: hard work, perseverance, diligence, strategies, focus, etc) were more likely to develop a resilient approach towards difficult challenges later in life.

In one study they evaluated the type of praise mothers gave their young children. Duckworth then followed those children’s progress and checked in with them five years later. They found that the type of praise children were given as toddlers had a huge impact on their attitude towards facing challenges later on in life. The children who received process praise when they were young were more motivated learners and ended up doing better in math and reading compared to their peers who were praised for their talent or innate abilities.

As coaches and teachers, the principle of process praise is powerful as we try to help our team’s develop a toughness that will enable them to deal with the inevitable challenges of life. When we make it clear to our teams that a commitment to the process is the only key to success, we are giving them the tools to be successful both on the court and in life. By praising the process we are implicitly preaching the gospel of hard work, diligence, and focus as the antidote to the challenges that we all face.

Begin today to help your team develop the mental toughness it needs to push through the ups and downs both on the basketball court and in life. Praise the process and watch your team attack the challenges in front of them with tenacity!

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