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Shipping cost cannot be calculated. As he came closer to the German lines, Patton was hit. Patton was thirty-two years old. In fact, it was surprisingly easy. According to St. He felt that love was all around him, like a subdued light. He had not failed them; he had shown his courage and faced his fears. He was dying; but he had no fear of death. He had not failed them.
Patton was carried off to an ambulance. He then commanding the U. It is here that he struck up a friendship with another young officer, Dwight David Eisenhower. The two men bonded over their shared military enthusiasm and love of strategy. But it was mostly over their love of tanks.
The sudden transition from the highly-charged experience of combat, where one is com-manding men in life-or-death situations, to domestic tranquility can be jarring and difficult.
Main Text of Book
Patton felt the loss of camaraderie and sense of purpose. He also faced uncertainty about his career in peacetime. For a man driven by a belief in his own destiny to lead troops in war-fare, peace was more frightening than war. Making the situation even more painful, it was the practice in the U. Army to reduce returning officers to the rank they held before the war. Patton lost his rank of colonel and reverted to captain. During these interwar years, Patton met another officer whose destiny would be bound up with his own.
Both men were commanding tank units. Eisenhower had not been sent off to France during the war but had established and run the largest tank training center in the United States—Camp Colt, at Get-tysburg, Pennsylvania. In many ways Patton and Eisenhower were strikingly different. Patton could be painfully direct.
At times he was an insufferable egotist, and he often sought to intimidate with a well-practiced scowl. His wealthy background allowed him to enjoy an upper-crust way of life in a hardscrabble army. Eisenhower was self-effacing and came from dirt-poor beginnings. His disarming smile charmed everyone who met him. Those who knew both men at this early stage of their military careers had the feeling that George Patton would achieve greatness. Eisenhower, on the other hand, was usually underrated, his easygoing manner masking a burning ambition. Both of us were students of current military doctrine.
Part of our passion was our belief in tanks—a belief derided at the time by others. By June , the regular army was reduced to only , men. The American public embraced a pacifism inspired by a vision of the future in which war was a relic of the barbaric past. America settled into a period of inno-cence and isolation. In the United States military ranked seventeenth in size among nations with a standing army. Patton decried this national mood and the dismantling of the army in a letter to his sister dated October 18, The United States in general and the army in particular is in a hell of a mess and there seems to be no end to it.
Even the most enlightened of our politicians are blind and mad with self delusion. They believe what they wish may occur not what history teaches will happen. In this eviscerated post-war army, trying to build support for the tank proved an impossible task.
The leadership had no interest in making room for a new weapon in the shrunken army. Like their fellow junior officers, Patton and Eisenhower suffered post-war reductions in rank, deplorable living conditions, and miserable pay. A passionate belief in the crucial role that tanks could play in the future and the will to make it happen seemed to sustain both men during this period.
We believed. We wanted speed, reliability and firepower. The two men once took a tank completely apart, down to the nuts and bolts, and reassembled it, apparently to satisfy their curiosity and to understand every detail of its intricate assembly. Over endless dinners and drinks they would debate and discuss tank tactics and strategy, expanding their discussions to include a small but growing circle of like-minded men.
Winning converts was not easy, but Patton and Eisenhower were zealots. Patton was number three. But his army was part of a whole organization and his operations part of a great campaign. This quote is a good encapsulation of their friendship that began in the late s. Ike thought Patton to be a leader of men exemplar. But he was only as good as the company in which he fought. Better yet—the tank company in which he fought.
- The Keys.
- General Patton: "Old Blood and Guts" - History.
- The Librarian - a collection of five erotic stories.
- Hochbegabte Jugendliche und ihre Peer-Beziehungen (German Edition);
- How Blues Evolved Volume One.
- Die Schatten Hölderlins (German Edition).
But it was not just a speech, it was a performance. Americans love to fight. Americans love a winner. Americans despise cowards. Death must not be feared. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. An Army is a team. This individual heroic stuff is pure horseshit. By God, I do! Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Sure we want to go home. We want this war over with. Keep moving. Let the Germans do that. There is still a tendency in each separate unit. That is not the way to win battles. That way I can keep firing my pistols! Better known for his profanity than for his prayers, George Patton was actually a devout and religious man.
His profanity was merely a device to capture the attention of his soldiers. Throughout his life he prayed daily and attended church almost every Sunday, even in wartime. Patton prayed to do his best, he prayed for solace in times of trouble, and he prayed for victory in times of war. In his many trials, Patton turned to God and found remarkable serenity. The public Patton was brash, self-confident, and boastful. In his private supplications to God, however, a different Patton emerges— humble, uncertain, and seeking guidance.
For Patton, God was not a distant and impersonal being but a companion with whom he had a personal relationship. And whenever he achieved anything important, whether it was his admission to West Point or a victory in battle, Pat-ton always gave thanks to God. For the first twelve years of his life, Patton was educated at home. His aunt read to him three to four hours a day. Her fundamental text-book was the Bible. He sat beside her in church each Sunday as she recited the liturgical responses from the Book of Com-mon Prayer, and he developed an amazing capacity to repeat passages at length.
He was in most respects a traditional Christian, but he had an unshakeable belief in reincarnation and asserted that he had lived former lives throughout history—always as a soldier. To be successful, Patton believed, a man must plan, work hard, and pray. A man prays to God for assistance in circumstances that he cannot foresee or control. Prayer does not have to take place in church, but can be offered any-where. It is power. In this sense, prayer was no different from training, leadership, technology, or firepower. He was a sincere believer. He even directed his chief chaplain to send out a training letter to every unit in the Third Army on the importance of prayer.
When the chaplain began his sermon, Patton ostentatiously took out his watch. Not surprisingly, the chaplain concluded his sermon exactly ten minutes later. I told them that I was going to relieve any preacher who talked more than ten minutes on any subject. I will probably get slapped down by the Church union. He would not tolerate defeatism in prayers or sermons. He insisted it was not a sin to kill if one served on the side of God, citing the Old Testament story of David slaying Goliath. Patton would swiftly communicate his displeasure at ser-mons that dwelt on death or families whose sons would never return home.
Instead he demanded sermons and prayers which emphasized courage and victory. We went to a Memorial Service at the cemetery at It is no myth that one Sunday morning, after attending church services as he always did, he stalked into my office in the Army barracks in Nancy, France, where I was the senior duty officer.
I shall be delighted to lead you against any enemy, confident in the fact that your disciplined valor and high training will bring vic-tory. Put your heart and soul into being expert killers with your weap-ons. The only good enemy is a dead enemy. Misses do not kill, but a bullet in the heart or a bayonet in the guts do. Let every bullet find its billet—it is the body of your foes.
Battle is not a terrifying ordeal to be endured. It is a magnificent experience wherein all the elements that have made man superior to the beasts are present: courage, self-sacrifice, loyalty, help to others, devotion to duty. Remember that these enemies, whom we shall have the honor to destroy, are good soldiers and stark fighters. To beat such men, you must not despise their ability, but you must be confident in your own superiority. Remember too that your God is with you.
One hundred ninety-two men were killed, 2, wounded, and 2, were captured or went missing. Two weeks later, General Patton took over command of II Corps from Fre-dendall and wrote this letter to the troops now under his command: All of us have been in battle. But due to circumstances beyond the control of anyone, we have heretofore fought separately. In our next battle we shall, for the first time on this continent, have many thousands of Americans united in one command.
In union there is strength! Our duty. We must utterly defeat the enemy. Fortunately for our fame as soldiers, our enemy is worthy of us. The German is a war-trained veteran—confident, brave, ruthless. We are brave. We are better-equipped, bet-ter fed, and in the place of his blood-gutted Woten, we have with us the God of our fathers known of old. The justice of our cause and not the greatness of our race makes us con-fident. But we are not ruthless, not vicious, not aggressive, therein lies our weakness.
Children of a free and sheltered people who have lived a generous life, we have not the pugnacious disposition of those oppressed beasts our enemies, who must fight or starve. Our bravery is too negative. We talk too much of sacrifice, of the glory of dying that freedom may live. Of course we are willing to die but that is not enough. We must be eager to kill, to inflict on the enemy—the hated enemy— wounds, death and destruction. If we die killing, well and good, but if we fight hard enough, viciously enough, we will kill and live. Live to return to our family and our girl as conquering heroes—men of Mars.
The reputation of our army, the future of our race, your own glory rests in your hands. I know you will be worthy. Uncertain of the role, if any, he might play in the coming invasion of Europe, Patton took a sightseeing trip to the Holy Land and Malta. The general was as affected by the Crusader sights as he was the Biblical locations.
The general considered himself a descendant of the warriors, part of the same lineage of warriors who gladly risked their lives for a noble cause. We took off by plane for Jerusalem at and crossed the canal just south of Lake Tenes, which is near where the children of Israel crossed.
It never occurred to me until this flight that, at the time the Jews crossed, it was unnecessary for them to ford anything, because there is a stretch of desert from Bitter Lake to the Mediterranean which had no water on it. However, they did get across and Napoleon crossed at about the same place and also lost his baggage when the wind shifted. It is a much less formidable obstacle than I had gathered from the books. Beersheba and the surrounding country do not look too difficult, but certainly away from the wells the country is an absolute sand sea, and it is difficult to understand how Allenby ever moved a cavalry corps across it.
From Beersheba we flew over Hebron and Bethlehem and turned westward just south of Jerusalem, finally landing at Aqir, near the coast, where we were met with some cars and driven thirty miles to Jerusalem. It consists of nothing but barren stony hills on which a few olive trees eke out a precarious existence. We did not see a single beehive, although there were quite a number of mimosa trees.
General Patton: “Old Blood and Guts”
On reaching Jerusalem, we were met by Major General D. McConnell, who commands the district. He gave us a British priest, who had lived a long time in Jerusalem, as a guide to see the sights. We entered the city through the gate which Tancred stormed when the city was first taken A. It is run by a composite group consisting of Catholics, Greeks, and Copts, and by a strange freak of chance, or British political insight, the doorkeeper is a Mohammedan.
It struck me as an anomaly that, during my entire visit to Jerusalem, I was guarded by four secret service men, and the oddest part of it was that, when I entered the Tomb, the secret service men came in with me. People must have very little confidence to fear assassination in such a place. What do I need to learn? What books do I need to read? What seminars do I need to attend? What can I learn from the mistakes I made in ?
The key to moving forward is the first step. Every destination needs to be broken down into incremental markers or indicators on the way to the destination. What is the first thing you need to do to get you moving in the right direction? As you begin, focus on the actions required and not the end result. A small step is easier than a leap. Once the first step is made, it is easier to continue down the right path to your desired destination.
Leading Matters: John L. Hennessy on the Leadership Journey A. Didn't See It Coming T. Asking for help makes most of us uncomfortable and we often go to great lengths to avoid doing it. We fear rejection. We fear that people we think less of us. But the truth is we need the help and support of others to succeed. To be sure, leadership is fundamentally about asking people for help. Making matters worse, our intuitions about what should make others more likely to help are often dead wrong; our fumbling, apologetic ways of asking for assistance generally make people feel far less likely to want to help.
We hate imposing on people and then inadvertently, we make them feel imposed upon. But for some reason we forget that when it is our turn to ask for help. Research shows that people actually like us more when they have been able to help us. It makes them feel good too—unless they feel compelled to help. So what are the subtle cues that motivate people to work for us?
Instead try these three ways of asking others for help: In-Group Reinforcement Those members of our group are the most likely to help us. The Positive Identity Reinforcement Most people like to think of themselves as helpful because it is part of what it means to be a good person. We reinforce that with gratitude and appealing to the things that matter to them. They need not bother.
If we feel we are not making an impact, we are likely to lose motivation. People need to clearly understand the impact of their helping. Research shows that when people are unable to get any kind of feedback about how well they are doing on a task, they quickly become disengaged from it. And be sure to follow-up. Let them know how things turned out. It is practical advice for anyone asking for help in a way that will leave both parties feeling good about the relationship. Beyond the Drama Triangle Y. The GuruBook J. There's a Password for Every Door H.
General Patton in World War I
Unconditional Gratitude W. What Are Good People? Shake it Off I. The Mood Elevator W. Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less I. Ego Free Leadership E. Conflict without Casualties C. Are You Living an Adult Story? Nothing facilitates community, collaboration, and innovation like humility. Humility is inclusive. It is inclusive of others ideas, others needs, others strengths, other contributions, and the realities that exist outside of our own head.
A humble leader asks more questions and is open to more answers thus deepening the pool of resources they have to draw upon. But it requires a strength of character. Humble leaders are strong enough to admit their mistakes and learn from them. Humble leaders are strong enough to celebrate their achievements of others.
Humble leaders are strong enough to surround themselves with talented people without feeling threatened or diminished. Additionally, Humble people treat others as equals. Humble people are better team players. Humble people are willing to set aside their egos. Humility is the antidote to insecurity that often plagues us. A lack of humility actually drives insecurity. Humility makes your strengths productive and multiplies the strengths of others.
Humility acknowledges a world beyond our own thinking and minimizes our own limitations. A good leader knows this and acts accordingly to produce the best results. Do you have the strength to be humble? But how do we get outside our comfort zone? We avoid it altogether. Or we only do it half-heartedly. All of these things sabotage our efforts. And the stories he includes from managers, executives, priests, baristas, stay-at-home-moms, singers, actors and performers, are helpful and relatable.
And although these people are very different, there is a common theme. Customization—Designing a Personalized Baby-Step Plan This is the ability to tweak or adjust in often very slight ways how you perform a task to make it feel more comfortable and natural. When facing difficult situations we often feel powerless, but we can alter situations to play to our strengths. For example, we can change the words we use or the topics we talk about, change our body language, or change the timing or location.
Clarity—Getting Some Perspective on Your Fears Clarity is the ability to develop an even-handed, reasonable perspective on the challenges you face. It may not really be as far outside of our comfort zones as we imagine. Here are Five Comfort Zone Myths to consider: Myth 1: All it takes to step outside your comfort zone is taking a leap. Reality: Nearly everyone struggles with situations outside their comfort zones. Myth 5: With enough inspiration, anyone can stretch outside their comfort zone. Reality: Anyone can do it, but it takes more than inspiration; it takes effort, persistence, strategy, and a keen understanding of the challenges.
As a result, so many aspects of our societies, workplaces, and geopolitics are being reshaped and need to be remained. And he was better for it. You need a plan to succeed. You have to know more, you have to update what you know more often, and you have to do more creative things with it. Self-motivation is now so much more important.
The more technological we get, the more we need people who have a much broader framework. Quoting Dov Seidman: Technology creates possibilities for new behaviors and experiences and connection, but it takes human beings to make the behaviors principled, the experiences meaningful and the connections deeper and rooted in shared values and aspirations.
Mastering Civility Civility costs nothing, and buys everything. Life is not scripted but we live it as though it were. In doing so, we create boxes that we operate within without ever really seeing the possibilities. And the problem is we think that is reality. We are sabotaging ourselves. We act more like Coleridge and less like Keats. In I Am Keats , Asacker develops a metaphor for two worldviews as expressed through the poetry of two 19th century poets: Coleridge and Keats. Keats was passionate. He was moved by his senses and imagination. Capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries and doubts, he was uninhibited, open, and without judgment.
Coleridge wants to predict an unknowable future. He is logic, order, control and progress. Coleridge wants you to live a productive and mistake-free life. We never see the possibilities. Knowing is safe. And then, heaven forbid, we may have to change. Your old eyes adjust to a new world, and you become more creative and discerning. It is a philosophy says Asacker. Heart, then head. More at: IAmKeats. Surveys show that while some 40 percent of us make them, only 8 percent of us keep them. We may feel exhilarated when we set a big goal, but that soon gives way to anxiety.
There is a way to set goals and achieve them. He did it by getting his pitchers to scale back their goals from lofty to bite-sized, from outcome to process. Instead, Rick refocused his pitchers on short-term, bite-sized process goals. He has to concentrate on hitting that glove. Hitting the glove on a high percentage of pitches is also the most probable path to achieving larger, outcome-oriented individual and team goals.
How It Translates We can all learn to refocus on hitting that glove. Whatever numbers they produced last year, they no longer matter. Time to prove yourself all over again. Many sales organizations try to motivate their sales forces with talk of raising the bar and hitting even bigger numbers. But that lofty-goal approach can trigger fear and worry instead.
Just like pitchers, salespeople know there are parts of the sales game beyond our control. By focusing on having daily, high-quality interactions with customers, I would make great progress toward putting a dent in my quota. Thinking about how many high-quality interactions I should have each day, I set the initial target at two. Before you laugh and ask what I was going to do after lunch, consider the math.
Two high-quality interactions per day are 10 per week, and 40 per month. As soon as I started focusing on my new simple, short-term, bite-sized process goal — two high-quality interactions with customers each day — I began thinking about my day differently. I began prioritizing those two high-quality interactions with customers above everything else. I wasted less time.
Focusing on that one small change brought about big results. Gratitude encourages, clarifies, motivates, includes, and unifies. But gratitude is good for you too. Gratitude puts you in the right mindset to lead. Gratitude and humility are interconnected. They reinforce each other. We alone are not responsible for who we are and what we do and that is the essence of leadership. We are never truly self-sufficient. In a practical way, gratitude provides guardrails in our life. Gratitude helps us to protect from ourselves. It is amazing how much gratitude plays into avoiding poor behavior and wrong thinking.
Gratitude sets a boundary on our thoughts by making us mindful of others. It helps us to avoid going where we should not go because we are more self-aware. Gratitude requires that we slow down and reflect. Gratitude is the basis of emotional intelligence. It puts other people first. It says you know and you care. While empathy has been found to be essential to leadership, empathy is not empathy if it is silent. It must be expressed. Gratefulness helps to curb unproductive emotions such as frustration, resentment, and revenge. Studies have shown that it is an antidote to depression.
It has the power to heal and move us forward. It improves relationships and is a remedy to envy and greed. Instead of trying to strive with others we are thankful for what they do. Grateful people find more meaning in life and feel more connected to others. In these changing and uncertain times, gratitude is a leaders ally. Life is a continuum. Gratitude allows a leader to appreciate where they are and the resources they have at their disposal to face what life throws at them.
A habit of gratitude gives us perspective. More than a behavior it must come from the heart. It must be the mindset we lead from, manage from, and make decisions from. Gratefulness is grounded in reality because ultimately we must realize that everything good in our life is a gift. Leadership begins and ends with gratefulness. The ability to produce at an elite level , in terms of both quality and speed. To produce tangible results that people value. Cal Newport bases his book Deep Work on the Deep Work Hypothesis : The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy.
As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive. Learning is an act of deep work. An act of intense focus. We are what we focus on and that is increasingly, the superficial. Shallow work adds to our sense of meaninglessness.
There is the Monastic approach that eliminates or radically minimizes shallow obligations. The Bimodal approach that suggests binging on deep work for various lengths of time. The Rhythmic approach makes deep work a habit by scheduling a regular chain of deep work in your day. The last approach and the one Newport prefers, is called the Journalistic approach. Using this approach you fit deep work wherever you can into your schedule. This last approach however, requires a great deal of willpower and practice. The Rhythmic approach may work best to get you started.
Take Breaks from Focus Make deep work a priority by taking breaks from focus, not from distraction. Be Intentional with Your Time Have a plan for your day. If you start your day with blocks of deep work scheduled in, you stand a much better chance of actually getting some deep work done. A deep life is a good life. But a growing feeling of disappointment overwhelmed him. Rush from one meeting to the next, have too many emails to answer on any given day.
There are moments when it seems all we do is fly by the seat of our pants. Yes, every aspect of our work rhythms conspires to throw us off-center! Staying grounded feels like the impossible dream. I used to train actors. Actors study the art of being in the optimal state of mind. Well, you are the actor in your own life, and your life will unfold with more grace the moment you master some of the same skills.
We tend to call them anchoring techniques. Here are a few of my favorites. Beware — what works well for one person will not work as well for another.
The Accident: A Crash That Shattered a Group of Friends
Self-Talk: Affirmations have become the stuff of satire. Too bad. To the cynic, an affirmation may seem too good to be true. Truth is, when you find an affirmation that works for you, the result DOES feel too good to be true! When I feel tired and showing up tired is not an option : I am a vibrant vehicle of light and love. The three keywords — vibrant, light, love — are high energy words for me. They resonate deeply. It shifts my energy, every time. I repeat it to myself, quietly, for about 30 seconds. Combined with a few deep breaths, it activates the cellular energy within me and around me that I am seeking to access.
Do not use MY affirmation. Find the words that affirm YOUR highest good within you. Repeat them quietly. Instantly anchored! Sensory Reprogramming: Mental worry tends to get us unhinged, and classic anchoring techniques shift us away from the mind, back into our optimal states of being. Visualize the sensory details of this place. Calm will return quickly. An anchoring technique, applied with quiet commitment, invokes a powerful inner shift within 30 seconds. Make them a daily habit. And reap your anchoring rewards. Our environment triggers behaviors or responses in us. When to Cooperate and When to Compete.
What Are Your Hidden Strengths? Your strengths will get you in the door, but to make progress you are going to have to become more of who you are and draw on your hidden strengths. Hidden strengths are not weaknesses. They are capacities you have that have yet to be recognized, developed and utilized. They become your Learned Strengths. Your strengths and weaknesses need to be managed. Strengths need to be managed so that they are not overused or overbearing. Often they can be delegated. But the area between the two—your hidden strengths—not only provide a deep pool of strengths to draw on but they will help you to smooth out your rough edges and bring into balance your natural strengths.
Is it Time to Disrupt You? Disruption can be a powerful and positive force. If we are to work with and take advantage of the disruptions in the world around us, we must be willing to disrupt ourselves. Return on Character We live in an age where wisdom is only wisdom if it is supported by numbers. There are two obvious problems with this. First, we miss a lot because we are looking for immediate return. And so it puts our focus on the wrong things.
And secondly, as a result, we tend to assign value to things in terms of numbers. It is assumed that if it gives us the best numbers, it must be the best choice or behavior. Nevertheless, it is satisfying when the numbers do add up. The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity The 5 Choices is a nuts and bolts solution to greater productivity. To improve the situation we have five choices to make in three areas : Decision Management, Attention Management, and Energy Management. This is really the foundational choice to make.
Too often we get caught up in Quadrant 4 spending time or too much time on the trivial things that contribute nothing to our life. Q1: The Quadrant of Necessity. Q3: The Quadrant of Distraction. They are confusing motion with progress, action with accomplishment. These are activities that are neither urgent nor important.
When we get burned out we often go here for escape. If we stay too long, we can experience depression and even despair. These are that activities that will make a real difference in terms of accomplishment and results like proactive work, achieving high-impact goals, creative thinking, planning, prevention, relationship building, learning, and renewal. But you have to make a conscious choice to operate in this quadrant. Identify your roles. Organize accordingly. The five energy drivers are adequate movement, proper diet, sleep, relaxation, and positive social connections.
Your brain is your number-one asset in a knowledge-work world. Fuel it properly. Are You Uncomfortable?
The 24 Hour Rule: Is Your Current Pace Sustainable?
The Ten Golden Rules of Leadership. Do You Have Moxie? They are tough on the outside but soft on the inside. When knocked down they know how to get back up and they can bring others with them because they are likeable. They have a passion for what they do and have a need to make a positive difference in the lives of others. They have ambition and want others to share in it. They know how to pick themselves up after a fall. Street Smarts. They know how the world works and what makes people tick. Baldoni breaks moxie down into five characteristics that you can practice and develop to be a leader that demonstrates moxie.
Each characteristic is brought to life through the examples of leaders who have demonstrated it in their own life and leadership. The first is Mindfulness. Second is Opportunity. She is motivated by a desire to make a positive difference. Third is X-Factor. She has the persevering spirit that radiates resolve.
Leaders with the X-Factor are humble, and their humility attracts others to them. These can all be examined and improved. In addition, look for opportunities to improve through more training and consider taking on responsibilities that stretch you. Fourth is Innovation.
Sometimes you need to take risks. That means thinking differently, doing differently, and rewarding others who do the same. They are tuned to the future. That gives rise to innovation. They are focused on making a positive difference in their teams and in their organizations. Preparing and developing yourself now sets you up to make better decisions when you do get knocked down. Moxie is full of great stories and examples making it immediately relatable and practical.
It is structured so that you can thoughtfully and tactically look at each of these areas to see where you can better prepare yourself. Baldoni also provides an appendix that works as a handbook to guide you in this. Questions, examples, additional thoughts and action steps help you access where you are at and what you might need to do next. Moxie is not just about your work life, it also impacts every other aspect of your life and positively influences the lives of those you touch. Leadership Impact: Where it Comes From Why do some leaders make an impact, while others flounder after initial success?
How to Find Leadership Blindspots. The 12 Rules of Respect. How to Discover Your What. What Keeps Leaders Up at Night? Balance: The Business—Life Connection. Self-leadership is fundamental to good leadership, but it is not the end-game. Self-awareness for self-awareness sake has a limited value. Through introspection and reflection we can get to know a great deal about ourselves—as far as we know. The problem is that we don't know what we don't know.
Only when we are able to test our assumptions about ourselves, can we know if we are getting it right. It is when we see ourselves in relation to others and in relation to a higher purpose that we really begin to clarify and many times even identify our core values, beliefs and intentions. We can all know who we think we are, but it isn't until we get out and interact with others that we can begin to see where we are right and where we have been fooling ourselves.
Who we are takes on meaning when it is in the context of our relationship with others. Superman's stance on "truth, justice and the American Way" is pointless if he remains isolated in his Fortress of Solitude. His values only have meaning in relationship to other people. All the self-knowledge in the world counts for very little if it is not put to work in the service of others.
Self-awareness that points to your unique contribution in the world is leadership. Who you are is leveraged when it is placed in the service of other people. Surely we must lead with integrity—in a manner consistent with who we are. However, the only way to know if we are really doing that is by looking at how we impact the lives of others—how our leadership is experienced by others. Self-awareness provides the opportunity for us to close the gap between who we think we are or want to be and who we actually are at a particular point in time.
But that can only be achieved with feedback of some kind. It's a book about trust in leadership and the trust that is generated by knowing who you are and leading as that person. At thirty-five, I was already an executive vice president with Turner Broadcasting, overseeing two divisions and reporting directly to the second most senior executive who soon would be named the company's CEO.
I believed that I was very much at the top of my game, already delivering a lot of high-level presentations, and getting consistent positive feedback. I was more than a little offended by the suggestion that I needed any help at all with my communication skills. But I went. In Atlanta, I participated in Speakeasy's exclusive, invitation-only workshop for C-suite executives.
Called "The Leader's Edge," this intense three-day workshop focused on communication style and delivery with respect to leadership. In spite of my initial resistance, I did my best to participate without revealing my conviction that I felt superior to this target audience that needed help with communication and presentation skills. I wasn't the least bit nervous when it came time to watch the video recordings of our individual presentations. I was sure I'd done just fine.
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With the others in our group, I watched as the executive persona of Scott Weiss delivered his speech from the screen. The guy up there looked pretty good. Very sure of himself. Very corporate. Very buttoned up. I expected to be told, as I always had been before, that I was a very effective presenter.
But after a moment, Sandy Linver, the faculty leader who had directed our session turned to ask me a question. Very confident. If you could separate yourself from this person and experience him objectively, would you want to hang out with a person like that on the weekend? But I looked at that person frozen on the TV monitor and thought about it. Reluctantly, I had to tell the truth. I was. I had just admitted that the person I was projecting was not someone to whom I could relate. He wasn't even someone I really liked!
And apparently, I wasn't the only one to be put off by Scott Weiss's executive persona. In our remaining time together, other members of the audience began to offer more specific impressions of how they had experienced me as a communicator, and as a person. Not real. Those were just some of the terms they used. I had never heard myself described this way before. I felt like the emperor with no clothes. I had not gone to Speakeasy for a consciousness-raising experience. But I sure had one. In the weeks following that close and uncomfortable encounter with my own executive persona, I did a lot of thinking.