“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
― Brené Brown
Forgive me as I’m working on some material, thoughts and personnel development for my day job in the marketplace and these are the thoughts I’m coming to. Let me know what you think, challenge or question.
- Management – this is the base expectation for employees in the marketplace. This is largely how do things ‘get done’. Job descriptions are written and measured based upon these base expectations. Showing up on time and fulfilling these expectations is the bare minimum of what it means to have employment. The deeper levels of higher quality management revolve around such things as competence, controls, efficiencies and profitability. Management is pragmatic, it’s getting things done. Great management is doing those things more intelligently and effectively with enduring results beyond the competition.
- Leadership – this is not about things, but about people. Leadership is about the empowerment process of making others greater. Leadership is not only worried about the questions of what, but more about the questions of how and who. Leadership is a broader process of drawing others into the game and allowing them to contribute with a kind of harmony that joins many parts into a cohesive whole. When leadership has the trust of many and the many act and perform with this kind of unified whole within their giftedness, the results are powerfully exponential. Great leadership is not about personal titles or offices, great leadership is about the empowerment of others towards a common goal. It is not a science, it’s an interpersonal artform.
- Personal Identity – here’s the dirty little secret they didn’t teach you about in school or your college textbooks; your leadership and management skills are largely determined by how much you are aware of your personal identity that is rooted in your story. Your story forms your core and it influences everything you do, how you act, how you are motivated and how you motivate, how you react and how you respond. The painful parts of your story create vulnerabilities that when they are touched on, like a raw nerve, will cause you to over-react or lash out in fear. The more grounded and mature chapters of your story allow you to anchor down in raging storms of marketplace life and act with power while others are tossed and turned by the circumstances of the day. Out of your core you know who you are and why you are here. Your core is formed out of your story, you can’t escape it. We all participate in a lived story.
Our lives have to be bigger than our job descriptions. We are more than what we manage or get done. We are more than how others respond to our leadership. If we get our personal worth out of efficiency numbers or what others think of us, we will live and lead largely out of a great deal of insecurity. However, if we dive deep into our personal identity and interact with the vulnerabilities of our story, we will find the power to know who we really are that never changes regardless of the circumstances. That’s the story I want to live and lead others into that same journey for their own discovery, freedom and empowerment. The power that comes from knowing who we really are is not acquired like a commodity, it is learned and honed with deep introspection. This kind of power is not contrived, it is exponential.