Posts Tagged ‘quintessential leadership in action’

There are many attributes that define who and what quintessential leaders are – and what sets them apart from everyone else – but these seven are always present, no matter what. (more…)

Pookey’s Sweet Life – Gluten Free is a company that will start out offering cupcake mixes that are both incredibly awesome and gluten-free, as well as easy to mix and bake. However,  Pookey’s Sweet Life – Gluten Free is currently in the process of trying to fund and launch the company. If the funding campaign, which ends in July, does not meet its goal, then the company will not be able to launch its gluten-free products.

The owner of Pookey’s Sweet Life – Gluten Free is a close friend of mine. As quintessential leaders, part of our responsibilities are to pay everything forward. This post is paying forward, because I know the owner is a quintessential leader and I know  that this business, with funding, is going to be successful.

But unless Pookey’s Sweet Life – Gluten Free gets the funding it needs by the first week of July, this company will not exist. And this company needs to exist.

As quintessential leaders, I’ve urged all of us to think outside of the boxes life tends to put around us. Here’s another exhortation to think outside of our personal boxes of life and consider the bigger box of humanity and the confining boxes that being gluten-intolerant puts many of those people and their families in.

As quintessential leaders, we are, by definition, big-picture in how we see, how we relate, and how we respond. This call to action for Pookey’s Sweet Life – Gluten Free enables each of us to show that we are quintessential leaders, not only in word, but in deed.

Pookey’s Sweet Life – Gluten Free has added s brand new perk added for a $15 dollar donation to this very worthy cause. You don’t have to donate $15 dollars, however, to make Pookey’s Sweet Life – Gluten Free a reality for all the gluten-intolerant people out there.

Forget about perks. Think about your family. No doubt there is someone among them who is gluten-intolerant.

Think about your friends. Do you know anyone who is gluten-intolerant? Would you be willing to help them?

Think about yourself. What if tomorrow you were diagnosed with gluten intolerance? Think about how radically your life would change, because most of the bread and pasta products we eat have gluten in them.

What if there were no companies that produced gluten-free products that were not only healthy but also tasty? What if all you had were the mega-produced gluten-free products that are, if not inedible, at least the last resort if you have no other choices?

Pookey’s Sweet Life – Gluten Free offers a wonderful alternative to all the bland, tasteless, and, yes, sometimes inedible products offered commercially now for people who are gluten-intolerant.

Pookey’s Sweet Life – Gluten Free is an incredibly personal venture based on a child’s need for gluten-free food. With love, care, and investment behind all the products that Pookey’s Sweet Life – Gluten-Free will offer, how could any of us not put ourselves in the shoes of parents and children who need these products and had no option but what we came up with ourselves to ensure our children had gluten-free alternatives?

For yourself. For your children. For your grandchildren. For your great-grandchildren. others. For others’ children. For others’ grandchildren. For others’ great-grandchildren.

Consider a small donation to help anyone that comes to mind when you think of those possibilities.

Until we’re in the middle of something health-wise, we don’t often have empathy and understanding for what many others who share our battles go through.

I learned this a few years ago when I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease and Graves’ Eye Disease.

All my life, I’ve been through hell and back with these. And, for the rest of my life, I will continue to go through hell and back with them. That is something I’ve had to accept and adjust to. I’ve tried to change myself so that hell is not so bad for me and everybody else. That is a battle I will fight until the day I take my welcomed last breath.

Although both are autoimmune diseases and thyroid diseases are genetic in my maternal biological family, my struggle with these is not systemic, but instead neurological (which means the standard treatments for them don’t work). I’ve got an overactive hypothalamus and pituitary gland that overload my brain and my thyroid (apparently the weakest system in my body).

There’s no fix for me. And I’m okay with that and work to try to find other ways to fix what, realistically, can’t be fixed in this physical life.

So when I see things that can be fixed, like gluten intolerance, I push for those fixes. Probably harder than most people would. But I know what it’s like to have something that’s not fixable.

Gluten-intolerance is fixable. Or at least manageable. Pookey’s Sweet Life – Gluten Free is one of the fixes. Let’s join together to help in the effort to fix and address something that is fixable in this lif

President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Attorney General Eric Holder and a few other top administration officials gave a nod to quintessential leadership this week by giving back a portion 0f their salaries as U.S. federal government worker furloughs begin to take effect from the sequestration that began March 1, 2013.

U.S. President Barack ObamaPresident Obama will write a check for 5% of his salary to the U.S. Treasury each month,Secretary of State John Kerry while Secretary Kerry will donate his 5% to a charity that helps U.S. State Department employees. Attorney General Holder will write a check to the US Treasury for 14 days worth of his annual salary. Details of how the other members of the president’s Cabinet who are forfeiting a portion of their salaries have not been finalized.

While the actual amounts on money these three people in U.S. leadership positions is small, the symbolism of their gestures – and the quintessential leadership statement they make, is large. And the example they’ve set for the rest of those in leadership positions in the U.S. government is powerful.

To date, I have not read of anyone in the U.S. Congress following President Obama’s, Secretary John Kerry’s, Attorney General Holder’s, and the other Cabinet members’ examples by giving back a portion of his or her salary.

I have always found it interesting that time and again the United States Congress shows how devoid it is of quintessential leadership. While the governing body itself is a chaotic and ineffective mess, they routinely give themselves pay raises – while the people they supposedly represent continue to lose jobs, homes, and sometimes families because of the global economic crisis, which the U.S. Congress had no small part in contributing to because of all the financial lobbying money backing many of its members – and make sure they have the best of health care, consistent income, and guaranteed retirement. 

I doubt this was what the Founding Fathers envisioned when they spelled out the three branches of U.S. government in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution. What was supposed to have been a legislative body made up of the people, by the people, and for the people has become a cloister of the most wealthy and connected, by the most wealthy and connected, for the most wealthy and connected.

As with every human political system, the Grand Experiment was doomed to descend to its present state because of ever-present human nature, greed, and selfishness, and the inability of human beings to always strive to successfully go through the narrow gate of quintessential leadership consistently and continually.

As quintessential leaders, we should always be mindful that we are human beings too and we must always be checking our own positions as leaders, making sure that our intents, our attitudes, our motives, our actions, and our words are meeting the higher standard of quintessential leadership.

Have we done our check today?

If you like what you’re reading here, then check out our store at The Quintessential Leader where you can purchase, for a nominal fee, eBooks about the components of trust and trustworthiness, examples of communicating vision, how to build teams using performance planning, evaluations, and reviews, styles of control that exemplify unquintessential leadership, and unquintessential leadership pitfalls we all need to avoid.

These eBooks are worth far more in experience and the time taken to put them together than they are priced at. You, as a quintessential leader, can’t afford the cost of not having the information they contain.

You have a choice. Save a few dollars and fail to be a quintessential leader, or spend a few dollars and learn what are some of the things quintessential leaders look like – and don’t look like – and what some of the things quintessential leaders do and are – and don’t do and aren’t. This is an investment in yourself and your team.

I don’t have all the answers either. I am learning just like you. But as I learn, I share my knowledge and my experience. That’s how I become a more quintessential leader. I believe in paying forward. What do you do to become a more quintessential leader? How do you pay forward what you’ve learned and experienced?

Whether you buy my eBooks or not is not important. But what you do with what you learn and what your experience has taught, is teaching, and will teach you is.

Think about that. When it’s all said and said, that’s all we’re left with. It’s a legacy. What is your legacy going to look like?

One of the true voids in every strata of life now, from personal to corporate to national to global, is that of authenticity from the inside out. We live in a society that has been jaded and marred by the realizations and revelations that the people they’ve admired, looked up to, followed, and thought they knew were frauds.

That has destroyed trust and undermined respect for any kind of authority – not abusive, misused and self-seeking tyranny, which is often the only manifestation we currently see in almost every governing structure, from personal to corporate to national to global – necessary to ensure order and progress. And that has led to the deepening chaos and retrograde that we see unfolding today.

I read an excerpt from “Sweetness,” Jeff Pearlman’s new book about Walter Payton, the Chicago Bears’ legendary running back from the mid-1970’s to the late 1980’s, in Sports Illustrated yesterday. And although the excerpt is being criticized for its portrayal of an inner man who was quite different from the outer man, it underscored this point about how important that our inside (who we are) matches our outside (what we do and say), because if those are not in sync, eventually the cracks will appear and we will be unmasked as frauds, pretenders, and wannebes. And no matter how much good we may have effected as a result of our superficial external coating, it will all be scrutinized, dismantled, dismissed, and abandoned, with nothing but the ugly truth of who we really were left as our legacies. 

Authenticity starts early in life. Its foundation is a moral integrity that is absolute – right or wrong, no matter what – instead of relative – right or wrong depends on the situation – and that we do not allow to be compromised nor compromise with. This is the foundation our parents have an important part in laying and we have an important part in building. We choose early on whether to build it or try to get around it by compromising it.

I don’t claim to know all the factors that go into which way we choose. I know that personality and temperament play a part. I know that experience plays a part. I know that what’s most important to us plays a part. But early on, we choose to try to stand on our principles – and suffer the consequences each time we don’t, and the negativity of that makes it less and less appealing – or compromise them.

Compromise is where the inner and outer person begin to part ways and become two separate entities instead of a single whole. The road to living a compromised life starts with seemingly little – although, in fact, they are never little – things. Cheating at a game or on a test. Lying to parents or teachers or ourselves. Stealing something from someone else.

Although getting caught or not getting caught by someone else can certainly encourage us or deter us from pursuing the road to a compromised life – it seemed to me as a kid that I seldom got away with anything without getting caught, and for that I’m now thankful – it seems to me that the strongest determinant is one of conscience. Conscience is what tells us that even if we didn’t get caught it was in conflict with our moral integrity and that dissonance was intolerable so we told on ourselves, made the situation right, and determined not to do that again, and if we did, we repeated the steps of getting rid of the internal conflict by admission, correction, and determination.

If our inner person (conscience) is not authentic, then these wrong acts, because no one else caught them, will not bother us and demand that we admit them and correct them. Instead, exactly because no one else caught them and there were seemingly no consequences – except to our character, which often goes undetected for many years because we become extremely adept at hiding the defects  – they embolden us to make these compromises habitual until they become who we are on the inside. We become liars.

And because we live in a society that mirrors this same behavior, giving lip service to a watered-down and surface version of law and order, but being utterly corrupt and okay with that corruption underneath, we become liars among liars, until there is virtually no truth, no authenticity, no honesty in any of our systems and the people who lead those systems.

I could write a book alone on the number of people I’ve worked with who were in leadership positions who lacked authenticity. I can hold up one finger on one hand for one man who was authentic inside and outside. He stands all by himself as someone I can say I truly respected and truly trusted and who was the best leader I ever worked with.

So to be a quintessential leader, you must be authentic. Who you are must match what you say and do. Your life, if opened up and dissected for all the world, must match the words you’ve spoken and the actions you have both taken and modeled, in every aspect of life. Anything less means moral compromise and moral compromise means failure.