Three weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about Mark Miller’s new book, The Heart of Leadership (you can read the post here). I hope this isn’t a spoiler, but the book follows a young man named Blake through his own process of figuring out what makes a leader. He discovers five traits that represent the “HEART” of leadership:
H – Hunger for Wisdom
E – Expect the Best
A – Accept Responsibility
R – Respond with Courage
T – Think Others First
I have encountered three things that especially highlight the heart of leadership over the weeks since I wrote the original post.
For “A” (Accept Responsibility), there is a phrase I heard in the heat of a tense conference call that demonstrated why quiet and measured can be as effective a leadership technique as loud and aggressive. The context doesn’t matter so much — just picture clients unhappy with vendors and very worried about goals that had not been met and the very real possibility of children being adversely affected. When one party wanted “pants on fire panic,” the other party responded, “If we panic, we probably won’t solve it as efficiently.” For 19 years, I have been the client and not the vendor, which is almost certainly “easier.” I respect a vendor who had the discipline to not sound defensive, but to sound responsible.
For “R” (Respond With Courage), I read a concession message by Noam Branson, a candidate for political office, that really vibrated with courage and selflessness. The closing paragraph states, “And if I can leave you with just one request, it is not let the disappointment of a single evening discourage you from remaining engaged. For all the superficiality and theatrics of politics, there is also at its heart a majesty that is worth fighting for. Our values do not rise and fall on one victory or one defeat, they endure and take new form in every season and every debate. And the cause for which every one of us worked will be just as important tomorrow as it is today.” (Read the full statement here.)
For “T” (Think Others First), I would like to share the efforts of a young man here in town named Garrett. He and his mom Robin are working together to make a difference this Thanksgiving with “28 days of Thankfulness.” They are collecting items for Second Harvest of the Big Bend as well as for a local nursing home. For Second Harvest, any non perishable food would be appreciated but canned fish and meats are especially good for the protein as well as whole grains (white/brown rice, steel cut or rolled oats, and whole grain pastas). For the nursing home, Robin (who is familiar with this population) recommends light blankets, socks, puzzles (can be used), sweatpants, costume jewelry (like from Country Dollar), and stuffed animals. Please contact me and I will either get items from you or provide you the information regarding how to deliver them directly to Garrett. (Donations have been lagging a bit and we really want him to see that people will step up!) Kudos to Garrett for, as a young person, “thinking others first.”
As you can see, I didn’t list an “H” thing or an “E” thing. Would love to see your contributions in the comments regarding ways you have seen the heart of leadership exemplified.
For every comment I receive, I will enter you to receive a copy of The Heart of Leadership. It’s a great read! I will choose the winner next Sunday (11/17/13) at 10 a.m. EST.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book The Heart of Leadership for the purpose of this giveaway.