"The Man, The Mission, The Passion" Husband, Father, Attorney, CPA, Steward Leader, Entrepreneur, MBA, Author, Builder, HBS OPM 25 Class, Mentor, Teacher

360-Degree Leadership

waterdrop400.jpg“Every action, every word, teaches the belief system that motivates it. What did you teach today?”

360-degree leadership is the concept that at some level we ALL are leaders, that we all impact others by our emotions, thoughts, and actions.

Everyone has the power to make an impact, to influence, to make a difference. And this is a practical definition of a leader: one who impacts, one who creates a response.

Leadership is not just a top down affair. One can effectively lead sideways and even upward.

As a leader, I know that my actions are impacted by the attitudes, initiatives, resourcefulness, and enthusiasm of those I lead. The greater the level of support I sense, the more swiftly I feel confident in moving forward, and the broader and more sweeping will be my vision.


Personal Power vs. Positional Power

clarkkent1.jpgPower may be thought of as either positional or personal.

Positional Power is external to you. It is your important job title, the thick wad of money in your wallet, the fancy car you drive, your impressive house, your degree from that Ivy League college. Because these things are external to you, they may be taken away from you.

Personal Power is internal to you. It is the skill set that earned you that important job title, it is the knowledge you gained studying hard to get into that Ivy League school. It is your ability to stay cool under pressure, it is your can-do mindset. It is your character, your resilience, your persistence, your patience, your intelligence. Because these things are internal to you, they cannot be taken away from you.


The Leader’s Path: Evolving Points of View

22189345.jpgI used to oppose the minimum wage, for some excellent reasons that reflected sound economic reasoning.

Over the years I’ve gradually switched sides. You probably can safely say I’m a proponent of minimum wage, at least up to a point. All those excellent reasons are still true, as well as the sound economic reasoning.

Why the change? It was part of my path to leadership.

I’ve spent a lot of time as a leader, and lot of time observing human motivation, what makes organizations, people, and societies tick.

As a result I’ve become more a behaviorist, more a student of human beings and less a traditional economic theorist I was taught to be when an MBA student.

As a leader I’ve learned that people have to care about the mission of your organization, that they have to buy in. The same need for buy-in exists for society as a whole.

I’ve come to believe that it is important for the success of society that as many people as possible have a stake in the success of that society. A job that pays a meaningful wage is an excellent start toward that stake.

Call it my version of the “big tent theory of the social contract.”