Remarkable Leadership Begins Unremarkably

Sometimes I think dreaming big is a cowardly excuse for doing nothing. If we dream big enough, we can justify inaction today. Nothing’s ever big enough to achieve really big dreams.

Leadership is earned by unremarkable daily practices.

The fear of being unremarkable invites the pursuit of dramatic change. Simple unremarkable behaviors seem insignificant. In the end, stagnation prevails.

sometimes I think dreaming big is a cowardly excuse for doing nothing - fox

Leaders don’t become remarkable when they reject the power of unremarkable behaviors.


NFL hall of fame football coach Tom Landry didn’t win a game his first season.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak offered to give their idea of a personal computer to Atari in exchange for jobs in the company. Atari declined.

The desire to make a difference doesn’t make you remarkable. Sincerity doesn’t overcome stagnation. Wanting change – while staying the same – wastes sincere desire.

Desire to make a remarkable difference requires unremarkable beginnings coupled with unremarkable behaviors.

Unremarkable behaviors:

Unremarkable behaviors lead to remarkable results.

  1. An affirmation given once a day becomes culture building.
  2. A coffee conversation shifts someone’s mindset.
  3. An introduction sparks a transformative friendship.
  4. Trying one more time finally delivers results.

Key ingredients:

Unremarkable behaviors become remarkable when they are outward-facing and forward-looking. Serving yourself and fixing the past make you unremarkable in the worst possible way.

The enemy of remarkable success is blindness to current opportunities. Great aspirations destroy potential until current unremarkable opportunities are firmly seized.

Unremarkable development:

Remarkable success is sustained by persistent personal development.

Humility enables development – arrogance blocks it.

Leadership development is achieved by:

  1. Listening deeply to disappointment and frustration. You never grow while pretending things are just fine.
  2. Shifting a mindset from self-serving to other-serving.
  3. Taking on a new challenge.
  4. Trying on new behaviors.
  5. Connecting with mentors or coaches.
  6. Reflecting on both process and result.
  7. Adapting and beginning again.

Theory without practice produces illusions of competence.  

Remarkable contribution begins unremarkably.

What unremarkable behaviors make a remarkable difference?

banner keynotes coaching