I’ve been studying what makes individuals, teams, and leaders perform at a high level since 1993. I became a positional leader in the world of work in 1984 – the same year I became a father. Miss and I both wanted a big family and wanted to start while we were young. I was in my second job since graduating from college in 1981. IBM had hired and fired me within the same year – CompuServe hired me almost immediately. CompuServe was selling electronic mail and other leading technologies of the day. We were very small but so was everybody else. Within two years I was promoted from salesperson to Branch Manager and was responsible for a team of 8 – 10 folks. So, I began to learn about leadership from being a father and manager at the ripe age of 25. I’ve been learning ever since. I am a slow learner. For instance, I didn’t learn how to read a book until about 8 years ago when my partner, Larry, forced me to read Mortimer Adler’s book titled appropriately, How to Read A Book.
I had no idea.
I’ve been reading and writing ever since and slowly more learning has seeped into my system. Slowly. I’ve been writing about the importance of one’s literal core since I started BTL back in 2002. I knew this was true I just was too weak to do what I knew. It wasn’t until one of my clients kicked my ass and made me read one particular page out of the book, The Primal Blueprint, that I finally converted my learning into PA (productive action). Sadly, it was August 1, 2010. I had known my literal core was central to my health for 8 years before I began to act on my learning.
The melody line to all my learning on leadership can be summed up in one thought – Leaders are believers. And, leadership rarely starts at the top so stop wasting your time looking for it – start it yourself right where you are. As my new friend Jim would say, “Stop being a private.” Leadership starts when you start it yourself regardless of where you are. Leadership starts when you stop looking up, looking around, and looking away. Leadership starts when you look within and begin to believe. Leadership starts with you. Please, friend, don’t be as slow a learner as me.