The Worst Leadership Tragedy
The worst leadership tragedy is *pissing away your potential.
Stop insulting your Maker, degrading yourself, and disrespecting the people around you by wasting inborn aptitudes and abilities.
Neglect and negativity never achieve results.
If I traveled back in time and met the young Leadership Freak, I’d say, “Danny, your first responsibility is developing your leadership. You matter more than you think. But, you won’t matter much if you’re careless about developing your leadership.”
You won’t change the world if you neglect your development.
Fools and losers believe races are won apart from rigorous preparation. Development propels your leadership through barriers into greater effectiveness and impact.
The leader’s first responsibility is
developing their ability to serve.
Life and leadership radically changed when I got serious about developing my leadership. Here’s a suggestion for you…
Take yourself and a notebook to lunch once a month and ask yourself probing questions.
- What is the message of repetitive frustrations? Frustrations are gifts that reveal development opportunities.
- What new connection should I develop? Dr. Henry Cloud, author of, “Boundaries for Leaders,” said, “We develop in the context of relationship.”
- Is life’s trajectory upward or downward?
- What anxiety-points am I facing? Growth includes pushing through anxiety.
- How am I different since “our” last lunch? (“Better,” is not an answer. Get specific.)
- How would I like to be different next month?
- What steps behaviors produce my preferred future?
Bonus question: What would I say to me, if I was sitting across the table from myself?
Schedule a series of lunches with yourself and don’t break those appointments.
*Any word in the King James Bible is acceptable for print. 1Samuel 25:22
What questions would you ask yourself at your leadership lunch?
I love this idea of taking ones’s self to lunch. Ha! Gives new meaning to the phrase “out to lunch”, doesn’t it?
You’ve framed this in the context of leadership, but your reflection questions are relevant for ALL of us. Question #1 is pure gold because it forces us to look for patterns, which can be very helpful in changing behavior.
Great post as always!
Jennifer, the taking yourself to lunch, was my favorite part too. I’m going to try it.
It’s funny how taking yourself to lunch feels like you’re valuing yourself.
Glad you noticed the first question. It reflects something I wish I would have done years ago. Rather than paying attention to repeated frustrations, I either pushed them away or tried to fix them. In my passion to fix, I didn’t take time to look for patterns.
Dan, such important advice. A challenge I see is when leaders are “successful” and think they’ve “arrived” they may stop developing. As responsibility grows, so does constant development.
KaPow! I thankful you added this important kick in the pants.
You matter more than you think is the powerful concept. But if you do not care about developing yourselves, who cares about you. It is very true and powerful concept. People even do not realize this concept throughout their lives, and by the time they realize, it is too late. It means sooner someone realizes, it is better. I appreciate and agree with you that neglect and negativity never bring result. They are perhaps biggest inside enemy. Inside enemy because, no one else develop it, it is we that develop it. We create our own boundary of imagination based on our comfort and convenience. And anything beyond the boundary seems irrelevant to us. And this actually create great difference to our success and failure. Leaders need to challenge and break those boundary of imagination. I do not say we should not have boundary, but we need to see the limitation and impact of those boundaries.
I would like to ask basic question to myself at leadership lunch. How can I enhance my thinking level higher day by day. That is what I want. I strongly believe that our thinking level and our ability to meet those thinking play great role to define our position. So, where we are now, it is because of our thinking. Alternatively, where we want to go is decided by our thinking level.
I kept bobbing my head in agreement as I read your comment. Thanks for adding the idea of elevating our thinking. That’s so important. Even today, I find my thinking is too small, short-term, and stuck. Great stuff.
I would ask myself if I would likes fries with that?
I would ask myself if I was aware I was the only ME, just like me the world was ever gonna have?
I would ask me if I was gonna die at midnight how would I spend the rest of my time left and how would I treat the people I came in contact with?
I would ask myself how it is possible I am so awesomely awesome?
I would ask myself did I go the extra mile in everything I did?
Did I understand if you get the why thingy right the how thingy falls into place?
Did I freely give back what was given to me?
Did I understand the gift, truly understand the gift when my bio mom could not keep me that my Momma found me and loved me and took care of me?
Did I help people clearly see just because it is old does not make it true? Now use Internet humans and do some fact checking and lets RELEASE the thought systems that divide God’s chillin?
Did I learn to laugh at myself cause everybody else is?
Then I would ask myself how dang long this lunch supposed to last I got paradigms to shift?
I strongly recommend fact checking now that we can and see cause we can think! Fact check, then decide not follow cause that is just what I was taught by those before me BLAH!!! They did not have the Internet fact checker we do, USE it!!!!
I’m going to need two lunches now… just to get through all the questions.
No seriously, the questions you added are powerful and important. (I’m in a feisty mood this morning)
Well Dan I know my questions might be different or hopefully uncomfortable but different doesnt always mean bad. Remember that dude they put on house arrest for saying the earth revolved around the sun? Different wasn’t BAD and he was right but they wanted to protect their false paradigm, idiots.
Nice to have a place where different opinions are ok!
Like when the idiots put
When you are talking about repetitive frustrations, what does that mean. Can you elaborate on the concept?
Thanks Mark. Great question.
I would explore frustrations with relationships, for example, and see if there are patterns. See if I’m always dissapointed because people don’t follow through, for example. After identifying the pattern of frustration, leadership development begins with taking action to break that pattern. Don’t solve the frustration…solve the root cause.
Living a meaningful life is akin to driving a car. One needs to have a clear windshield and side windows, avoid distractions, look in the rear view mirror, keep an eye on the map or GPS. Your “taking oneself to lunch” is good – akin to avoiding distraction, looking at the GPS, and looking in the mirror at the same time. I like it.
Framing what success means is also important. We can’t evaluate our lives if we haven’t decided what is important.
-He/she who gains the world but loses his/her soul is not successful.
-He/she who is a success at work but loses his/her family is not successful.
As a child I learned a chorus that states it well: “With eternity’s values in view, Lord, with eternity’s values in view…May I do each day’s work for Jesus, with eternity’s values in view”.
Your comment reminds me of “Begin with the end in mind.” Powerful!
It’s true. We don’t stop often enough to reflect on our growth and betterment. We must be able to clearly articulate how we’re getting better and what needs to be done next. The “out to lunch” idea gives us the opportunity to sit and really reflect on our growth and potential. If we don’t recharge ourselves by celebrating all the good we do, we will be consumed by the negativity and nonsense that we’re surrounded with.
Why did it take me so long to realize that my dreams are actually achievable? Why didn’t I notice this 10 years earlier on? Well, at least for once I’m being completely honest with myself.
Great article yet again, Dan!
When people say ‘leadership development’ I often find that they go on to talk about ‘learning’ leadership knowledge or skills and neglect the ‘development’. I like the way your lunch time questions encourage a leader to reflect on and challenge their own development. I’ve come to the realisation that it is the development that enables a leader to use their knowledge and skills wisely. Thank you Dan for sharing these developmental questions.
Quickly scrolled down the comments section and noticed not many touched on one of your main points: developing your ability to serve.
As a leader, I’ve learned (painfully), that learning to literally take a backseat while knowing you have the gift of leadership is extremely difficult to do. Leaders many times are out in front, making decisions, and casting vision. But, if you can’t serve people well, you may hinder your leadership.
The prime example is Jesus Christ, who washed feet unapologetically!
This is a brilliant post, The starting phrase caught my attention and held it, “The worst leadership tragedy is *pissing away your potential”
You read my mind again Dan. Great Post. Creating Awareness at 47 has opened my mind to what ive missed. Making up for it now.
I liked your beginning ‘Neglect and negativity never achieve results’. It reflects the poor state of mind which constantly think of failure, its reasons and the helpless situations by way of likely future consequences. It demoralizes and will obviously lead to frustration.
Self-introspection and the courage to accept your limitations or weaknesses can help to look for alternative solutions. This can be a collective approach in business like situations.
A successful leader always look for opportunities to learn and upgrade himself to adjust to the new challenges of business/life. Winning people’s trust and taking their support to come out of difficult situations are other good ways to ensure future success.
I really like this post because I think a lot of people neglect themselves and have a negative mentality. I do this often too and I complain about things when I am not reflecting enough on myself and making a plan to go further. Thanks for this post – very inspirational!
Thank you, thank you for this article. I love your content in general, but this one is especially meaningful, and very relevant to my life at present.
Thanks for this push, Dan. I need to make this a habit. We don’t grow if we don’t occasionally pause to reflect and chart/re-chart the course.
Where would we be without King James?!!
I really like your advice, Dan. One of the challenges I see in most people (including myself) is that we aren’t always as aware of our strengths and the areas where we are outstanding as we should be. I see it in my daughters. Where I see amazing talent; to them, it’s just the way they are; always have been . . . no big deal. Becoming self-reflective in an arms-length, objective sort of way takes practice.
1 Sam. 25:22: God do so to the enemies of David and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.
Can you help me understand the context of how this passage fits in with your post? Thanks!