Alexander the Great kicked some serious ass back in the day. He didn’t conquer the world by himself, however. Alexander built a great team based on his big dream of freeing the world. Alexander also had two coaches. Aristotle taught him to reason. Telamon taught him to act. I’m no Aristotle or Teleman, but everyday I do what they did – teach my clients to reason and act.
Too often I see undisciplined leaders running on emotion.
This afternoon one of my young clients was all worked up in a ball, poised to act, and kinda pissed at himself that he hadn’t already pulled the trigger. Channeling my inner Aristotle, I slowed him down with some curious questions. Once he removed his trigger finger and lowered his weapon, he picked up his pen and began to write his learning. As he calmed himself, reason returned. He realized his epic fail in regards to his leadership and turned his anger toward himself. Instead of easing up on him, I gave him a few more concrete, leadership lessons. He speaks too much, assumes too much, and doesn’t listen nearly enough. I didn’t speak in generalities, instead, I hit with examples from our practices and made him imagine how often he does this with his mates. He admitted he takes most things way too literally and has a hard time, therefore, rising above the mess and finding the melody line. Instead of his ego being depleted as a result of his hard lessons, I sensed just the opposite – my young client is getting stronger. Good. We ended practice with me reminding him how hard this work is (as if he didn’t already know) and encouraging him that he’s further along than most.
Leader, your challenge is to reason and act. Nobody can tell you, literally, when to do which. Sorry. So, your best bet, your most reasonable act (pun intended) would be to build within. Build your CORE. And, as you gain this clarity around what you believe, why you’re here, how you want to work & live, and where you want your OPUS to take you, you’ll develop the wisdom to reason and act in almost effortless harmony. Almost. Not quite.
Today, my client learned some valuable leadership lessons. He’s conquering his greatest foe – himself. Good…