Posts Tagged ‘Dan Rockwell’

Dan Rockwell summarizes and I expound and our leadership blogs often complement each other very well.

So, while Dan Rockwell’s post doesn’t explore the depths of the differences between unquintessential leaders and quintessential leaders, this list is a very good overview.

green apple unquintessential leaderIn Dan Rockwell’s latest blog post, he describes the characteristics and the effects of “green apple” (unquintessential) leaders on organizations. He contrasts that with the attributes and effects of “ripe apple” (quintessential) leaders.

Please take a few minutes to read Rockwell’s post.

Then, as always, because this is what quintessential leaders do, let’s each assess ourselves to see whether we are green apples or ripe apples. As individuals. As team members. As leaders.

As Rockwell states, we all can exhibit green apple traits at times. That’s part of being human, unfortunately. But my request of each of us today is not to evaluate someone else – as Rockwell proposes at the end of his post – but to evaluate ourselves.

Then via comments here on the blog, share with us a green apple trait that you have successfully turned into a ripe apple trait and tell us how you accomplished that. There is much we have to share with each other in our collective journeys to become quintessential leaders.

I’ll put the first one out there. I’ve struggled with anger – sometimes rage – all my life and still do at times. I’ve always worked hard, thanks to a late-night heartfelt talk with my mom when I was around eight years old about it, to contain, control, and eliminate my anger in every part of my life. Sometimes I’m successful. Sometimes I’m not.

But in the course of doing some really stupid and potentially dangerous things during my life when anger and rage got the best of me, I realized along the way that not only was I hurting myself by getting so worked up, but I had the potential to hurt others because of my lack of self-control.

So, I learned and am still learning that anger is my dangerous emotion. I always need to be conscious of that and be aware when it makes its sudden and flashpoint appearance. I immediately extricate myself from the situation that causes it. I walk away. I breathe deeply. I walk and talk myself through it until I get calmed down. Most of the time, this takes less than half an hour today (it used to take a whole lot longer, so I know I’m making progress here overall).

But, within the last year, I got a needed reality check that this is something that still is a pretty deep-rooted green apple trait that I have not completely succeeded in turning into a ripe apple trait.

I had a deeply personal situation where it took months to get over my anger and rage about the events surrounding it. red-appleEvery time I thought I was over it, it came back in full force – and, at times, even more strongly than when the situation and events happened – and consumed me all over again.

But the upside of this is that I was aware of it and my wholehearted desire was to eventually overcome it. So instead of giving up, quitting, and accepting it, I really worked very very hard and diligently on changing it, and with time and diligence, I made progress in ripening this trait.

But I know it’s still there and I know it’s a green-red apple trait, so my work is not done.

What is the green apple trait you are actively working on to turn into a ripe apple trait?

The quintessential leadership articles being recommended this week are not tightly related, but I think as you read through them you will see some common threads and connections.

Four Pillars of LeadershipIn Mike Myatt’s article, “Four Pillars of Stable Leadership,” he discusses the four elements of the quintessential leadership trait of stability. Stable leadership is critical to building trust and being trustworthy.

I think this paragraph summarizes very well the benefit of stable leadership: “Few things positively impact an organization like a stable tone from the top. A humble and resolute confidence, a sure hand, and a steady calm inspire belief in a leader’s competence and capability.  Stable leaders not only know where they stand, but they also leave no doubt in the minds of others as to what matters, and what will and won’t be tolerated.”

Unfortunately, stable leadership is a rare commodity in most organizational structures today. This includes our personal lives, our work lives, our social lives, and our religious lives. As quintessential leaders, though, we must be the exceptions to the rule in society where it seems now that ego, the big “I,” and situational ethics and relativity predominate the top-tier positions in most organizational constructs.

We must always be the ones to hold fast to humility, to absolute right and wrong, to consistency, to fairness, and to remember that each of us is part of a bigger “we” and not the solo big “I.” 

Why Leadership Training Doesn’t Work,” by Erika Anderson, is a thought-provoking article about the way quintessential leaders build future quintessential leaders versus the way most organizations approach leadership.

Her point is that true leadership building is involved, interactive modeling and mentoring in the course of work, not sitting in a classroom and telling the same old hackneyed stuff – that, by the way, has never worked and still doesn’t work because it has nothing to do with the real world – and expecting people to know how to be leaders.

Mentoring and modeling is the best way to train and learn in the area of leadership. I’ve learned what quintessential leadership is and isn’t by experiencing it and doing it and helping build future quintessential leaders in the process in the real world. And those lessons could have never been taught  – or learned – in a classroom.

Dan Rockwell’s article, “How to Be Humble Without Being a Loser,” contrasts the characteristics of haughty (unquintessential) leadership and humble (quintessential) leadership. The traits of a humble leader include many of the same traits that build trust and make us trustworthy. The humble leader traits list is simply who we, as quintessential leaders, are striving to be and become.

The 5 Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace and What You Can Do About It” by Cy Wakeman may, on the surface, seem like an odd choice in this list of articles, but quintessential leadership is dependent on what he discusses here. In fact, these rules that Wakeman identifies apply equally to life, so they’re important for everyone to know. 

In my post, “The Quintessential Leadership Balance Between Facts and Feelings,” I talked about how quintessential leaders do not allow emotions be the engines of their decision-making. Wakeman comes at this same conclusion from a different angle: emotional expensiveness and how it affects a person’s overall value to an organization (he lists some of the traits of being “emotionally expensive”). 

And although I’ve never thought about the formula he uses in concrete terms, it is the exact formula I tend to use in hiring new team members and giving more responsibility to existing team members.

The formula is: YOUR VALUE = Current Performance + Future Potential – (3 x Emotional Expensiveness). Look at how heavily emotional expensiveness affects the result of this equation. As quintessential leaders, we cannot afford to be emotionally expensive nor we can we afford to have team members who are emotionally expensive.

In Umair Haque’s article, “How and Why to be a Leader – Not a Wannabe,” he contrasts the characteristics that separate quintessential leaders from everyone else (the wannabes). While I don’t agree with some of the words he chose to show the contrasts, the information contained here is solid.

I hope we as quintessential leaders are constantly and consistently questioning and transforming every step of the way, as well as having values, truth, architecture (quintessential leaders build; wannabes hit numbers and quotas targets), and enjoyment/passion.

I hope you’ve all had a productive week and the quintessential leadership journey has been forward-moving. Thank you, as always, for sharing some of your time with me and allowing me to share some of mine with you.