I find this sort of thing motivating. Shout outs to Bill and Helen Reeves and Joe and Jill Wolfskill:
From Peter Scazzero, “Lessons in Leadership and Differentiation” (Part 1); Feb. 20, 2013
Leaders have a number of key tasks if we are to operate out of high level of integrity. These include:
- Confronting myself. Am I calm and clear about what God has given me to do? Where am I doing the easy thing, not the best thing for those around me? Where am I abandoning my own values? How am I allowing fear to cause me to ignore problems?
- Mastering myself in the face of anxiety. When we don’t, we end up looking for validation from other people. We end up using the people we aim to serve.
- Tolerating discomfort. There is never a good time to change things. In fact, it is impossible to create change while maintaining stability. To kindly bring up hard things others want is one of our critical tasks.
- Getting clear on my goals and steps. This is hard work. The alternative, however, is much worse. Once I have my goal, the next great challenge is to think through the steps to get there – in the right order.
In what ways might you be doing an easy thing in your leadership today and not the best? Where are you not thinking things through but taking the easy way out by focusing on the short-term?
Our oldest works for Deloitte in Dallas. He recently asked for my recommendations on books that tell about leaders who led even though they had limited resources. Here are my recommendations:
Founding Father: Rediscovering Geo. Washington by Brookhiser
What do you do when your soldiers are hungry, don’t have proper clothing/shoes, and some have already deserted? Washington’s m.o. gives lots of practical help.
Five Days in London: May 1940 by Lukacs
Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness by Shenk
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Millard
I’ve read several good books about President Jackson. None have been duds. All of them taught me fascinating and important things about Jackson.
Jon Meacham combines some of my favorite features for biography: wonderful wordsmithing, lucid prose, an eye for the salient details, and a nose for smelling out the proper drama.
If you are looking for a terrific biography of Jackson, this is the place I would recommend.
Just watched this amazing man on 60 Minutes. Found his number online. Gave him a call. I wanted to know a piece of literature he found compelling. His answer: Shakespeare’s King Lear.
President elect Trump’s pick for Secretary of Defense. Jim Mattis on important principles about leadership, always improving, and being a voracious reader.
Seven Things I Wish all of Them Would Stop Doing:
Mocking one another and then saying they still like so and so.
Saying, “I’m the only one on stage to do thus and such.”
Quoting the Bible
Fearing that an admission of an error in judgment is a sign of weakness
Calling a thoughtful change of mind, “Flip flopping”
“As the number of books on leadership skills and strategies increase, the number of available leaders decrease.”
I say this, of course, with my tongue firmly in cheek.
There is a very serious point that must be made: leaders don’t become that way by reading books on steps and strategies or simple formulas for success. Leadership can be messy which is not the sort of thing that is easily reducible to cleverly laid out principles.
What is one quality you respect the most in the best leaders you have seen?
I was browsing through some of the key books they read at West Point. Not surprisingly, there were no books on the list which offer any real argument for pacifism.
This got me thinking more about education, and what a true education requires. I know some, perhaps many, would say the reading of thoughtful critiques of the military-industrial complex too risky for undergraduates at West Point. I’m not so sure.
I think some wars are “just,” though war is always ghastly in so many ways.
Too many of us Christians live in echo chambers where our views are never challenged. I think we too could benefit from reading critiques of those from outside the faith. We just might learn a thing or two.
From Jonathan Rose, The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor (Yale University Press).
My interview with Professor Rose on his endlessly fascinating book can be found on Patheos: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2015/06/13/saturday-book-interview-jonathan-rose/