I’ve been rereading the book, A Failure of Nerve. A Failure of Nerve is my favorite because Rabbi Friedman understands education, religion, psychology, politics, and now coaching are all trying to improve function within families and are all deeply flawed in their approach. Rabbi and I are like minded…
We lack leaders with nerve. We promote presidents in our corporations and communities who can keep the peace, not by taking a stand but instead by mitigating risk, not rocking the boat, and finding the middle ground kinda like Chamberlain did with Hitler. We hire coaches, consultants, and psychotherapists at record clips to give us the latest insights, knowledge, and, most importantly, the quick fixes to whatever ails us. We expect our marriage counselor to “get ‘er done” in a matter of hours. We demand a litany of outcomes from our next offsite executive retreat. We expect our Politicians to protect our grandchildrens future without us going without anything in the here and now. And, here’s the funny part. As leaders we play right along. Leaders, instead of focusing on the few and building performance based on strength, are listening and attempting to placate the very weak, irresponsible, and unreasonable. Evolution, remember, is true because the positive, strength building traits, are the ones healthy systems pass along. Are you getting this, my friend.
Whatever system you are in, if you are trying to lead it, you are under attack. The more you attempt to influence the system toward strength, accountability, and generation skipping kinda performance, the more sabotage you’re gonna stir up. Expect this. STOP focusing on unreasonable people using logic and reason. Your attempts to fix and change them will largely be a waste of time and source of frustration. Instead, you need to be “unreasonable.”
Focus on the few.
Challenge them. Push them. Make them do what they can, as Emerson coined not so very long ago. The people in the highest positions in your place of work are rarely the leaders people look to in times of trouble. Accept this fact. Stop aspiring for position and promotion. Focus, instead, on building strength. Allow nature to take her course. Remember, the leader, regardless title, always emerges during the crucible. Their words, polish, professionalism, public persona, and gravitas do not define them. What does, you ask? Their lack of anxiety. Does this define you? Slow down and reflect.
Today, work within. Build a better, stronger sense of self. Build your CORE. And, build a bigger dream beyond getting rich, quick. Build your “I have a dream speech,” and make it one that is good and does good. Capture it on paper, collect it in your heart, convey it any way you like – those that matter will connect. Author your OPUS, in other words. Author your labor of love. Once you’ve got clarity within and a clear aim for your newfound strength, remember to ACT. Marry the baby step of PA (productive action) and you will make progress. No guarantee on the outcome, how fast, how high, or how many. It will be good, however. You will be good.
CORE, OPUS, PA. We need a few leaders ready to stand, risky enough to dream, and disciplined enough to productively act their way forward. Happy Mother’s Day weekend, America. We’ve got some work to do. Regardless your politics, religion, or profession we need you to be one of the few; a few with nerve, please…