So many leaders lead without truly understanding their own philosophy on the art of leadership. Would you say this applies to you? If so, you will want to be sure to join me and Steve Woodruff for this week’s Leadership Chat as we welcome Mike Figliuolo, Founder and Managing Director of thoughtLeaders LLC and author of the new book, “One Piece of Paper.”
Mike’s book is designed to help leaders at all levels of an organization distill their complete philosophy of leadership down to one piece of paper, including their views on (directly from the book):
1. Leading Yourself: what motivates you and what are your rules of personal conduct? What do you want “future you” to look like and stand for?
2. Leading the Thinking: where are you taking the organization and how will you innovate to drive change? What are your standards of performance for how you will safely get to your destination?
3. Leading Your People: how can you lead them as individuals rather than treating them like faceless cogs in the machine?
4. Leading a Balanced Life: if you are burned out, you are worthless. How do you define and achieve balance?
Mike does an eloquent job of making the case that all four are equally important, though several are rarely covered in leadership training and development initiatives, or in leadership models themselves.
What I connected with most personally in this book is how strongly Mike feels that you’ll know your leadership philosophy when you have a strong visceral and emotional response to your leadership maxims, defined as your principles or rules of conduct. As Mike states,
“Maxims must be emotionally meaningful, so you need to delve into your personal experiences to find those phrases, images and stories that stir you to your core. By having your maxims elicit an emotional and physical reaction, the likelihood that they will change your behavior is exponentially higher…Maxims can be found in painful lessons you have experienced and distilled down to their essence. They can also be drawn from incredibly positive experiences. They can be inspiring song lyrics. They can be images that stand for something you find deeply important…”
I believe I connected so strongly with this mindset because it’s how I feel about your personal vision and the vision you create for your organization. If they don’t stir you to your soul then you’ll likely find yourself walking down the path half-heartedly, and eventually wandering off.
Distilling your leadership philosophy – words that stir your soul and you commit to live by – down to one piece of paper is like creating and articulating your vision – somewhat arduous but immensely important. But I say, “somewhat arduous” only because, as Mike points out,
“The hard parts of the leadership maxims process are the introspection about and the personalization of your philosophy. It can be difficult to remove the veil of “professionalism” and accept your own humanity. It is scary to put the real you out there for everyone to see.”
But as Mike goes on to explain,
“It is exponentially more powerful to expose the real you to the people you are supposed to lead. This is what it means to be authentic, and the more authentic and direct your leadership philosophy is, the more powerful it will be.”
Join me, Mike, and my extraordinary Co-Host Steve Woodruff tomorrow night for Leadership Chat as we talk about how powerful it is to discover your leadership philosophy, distill it down to one piece of paper, share it with your organizations and teams, and then live it fully! You won’t want to miss this meaty discussion!
Don’t forget – my new eBook, “The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership” launches on November 27th! Sign up for my newsletter to get notified of the launch!
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