I like reading about people who lead or who led in their life based around actions. I think I enjoy those because it makes me feel good about humanity. They go through hardship (and sometimes that doesn’t even scratch the surface) and they rise above everything to make a difference.
Okay, I’m a sucker for a good story. I’ll admit it.
That brings me to our leadership book presentations. Every presentation we had today was very informative, interesting, well thought out and on a great book with great lessons to teach us. The books that are written about specifically about leadership and different leadership traits and tactics are great because they outline and explain different parts of leadership. The tactics, the traits, and the style help people understand how to be a good leader and how to help others lead. I like putting terms to things I see bosses or higher ups do.
I don’t want to knock on those books because they are valid, but when it comes to leadership, the books that resonate more powerfully with me are books about people, their life and their leadership. They just seem more powerful and their message lasts longer. Like “Desert Flower.” I will remember the hardship that the Waris Dirie went through and what she is doing trying to change it. I will remember her fighting against FGM, leading against those who practice it, and raising awareness in the world for it. She is a leader because she took her life and turned it around. Now, she is changing it. She fought for what she believes in, and she fought for her life.
She is a leader, and while everyone didn’t go through what she went through, or is in a position to change the world, stories like hers are great to hear. But what we can do is watch, help out, and hope that we would fight to change the world when the right cause comes around. It’s powerful, and I don’t think I can say that enough.
As for the books about leadership, I like them because they put terms to things I witness. They also make me think deeper about how my actions affect others and vice versa. Without those, I don’t I would fully understand the leadership styles of books and stories like “Desert Flower.”
PS – I hope this Tim Tebow book I’m reading is good…because otherwise, I might get struck down from above for not liking Tim Tebow(‘s book).
One Comment on “Leadership Lessons…from a book or from a person?”
Eric–it’s definitely true that actions speak louder than words! One of the things Stephen Denning advocates for and communicates about is driving others to action through words. However, I agree with you in that this method can only take you so far and motivate so many people.
Living by example is always a good tactic. It can work for employers, employees, major corporations, and even in daily life when we help a friend or treat a stranger kindly. I know that I’m more motivated to do good when I see others doing the same; almost like a pay it forward system.
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