to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; obey: to follow orders; to follow advice. To imitate or copy, use as an example: They follow the latest fads.
It's Tuesday again, and you know what that means... today is Truth Be Told Tuesday. Thanks for checking in.
Last week I touched on the brevity of life and how things tend to change in short fashion. Whether it pertains to profit or pain, simplicity or suffering, in most instants our life's situations will change in seven days. Last Tuesday the front page of the USA Today displayed stories on President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin's differing views on Syria, the leaking of sensitive and top-secret documents by Edward Snowden, Edward should go straight to jail by the way, and the fact that marriages in the United States were on the up swing after a 5% decline during our countries recent recession.
Today only Snowden made front page.
Only 33% of last week’s news was this week’s news. 33% is a good number for all of us to remember. Many times only about a third of what was important to us a week ago is actually important today. The lesson is not to sweat the small stuff because stuff changes.
Stuff happens: Psalm 118:8
As I reflected during this past week about change I realized the one thing that never changes is the great amount of poor leadership we have in our country. More specifically, the grotesque amount of mangers we have in our country versus the limited amount of leaders the United States displays.
I heard Jay Bilas of ESPN, and a former Duke Blue Devil basketball player, say that the difference between being in charge and being a leader is that anyone can be in charge, but not everyone can be a leader. Bilas went on to say that when he was overseas a military "leader" shared with him that it was important that every time his soldiers were about to eat that he made sure they ate before he ate.
He wanted them to eat first.
Being a leader is about modeling the behavior you want to see from all of those around you.
As I said, we see more people in charge than we see leaders.
It made me think about my household and me: "am I in charge or am I a leader?"
If I'm honest with myself I'm in charge more than I'm a leader, and I want that to change… today.
See, the great leaders in business and sport have one thing in common. The Lou
Holtz, Steve Jobs, and Bill Parcells of the world have the same quality within. Nick Saban, Abraham Lincoln, and Billy Graham all entertain the same "thing." It's the why?
It's all about the "why."
Billy Graham: Trafalgar Square, London, England (1954)
At the end of the day, leaders spend less time telling you about the "how" and "what" of what they do, and spend more time communicating the "why" they do what they do. It's about the "why." When I'm at my best as a father and husband I share with everyone involved the "why". When I'm at my worst I'm all about the how and what. "Just do what I say" is an inadequate slogan and an even worse mantra. When I practice that behavior I'm more interested in the result, and less interested in the other person and in the "journey's" comfortable companion, growth.
Why is this important?
It's important because people don't buy what we do or how we do things. They buy "why" we do things. The greatest buy in we can create as a friend, a sales person, a parent and spouse is to share with others, with complete authenticity and sincerity, why we do what we do. Why we say what we say. Why we think what we think.
Then and only then do we have the greatest chance for complete buy in; to create trust and to develop relationships with deep roots.
The better we can communicate the "why" in our life the greater chance we have to experience relationships at a higher level. People trust people when they hold in common "similar" beliefs, visions, and dreams.
Think Nelson Mandela.
This is where managers and people-in-charge go south.
They're all about the how and what, not the why. Don't believe me, how many times have you said to your children; "don't ask me why, just do it"? I know I've used that phrase too much in my lifetime.
It's much easier to tell someone to do something rather than share with them why you want them to do it.
Even the military tells you at the beginning the "why" after that, don't bother questioning. The military should be that way. There is no room, nor time, to share with a solider the "why" every time they feel they need a reason to do something.
Get the message in the beginning and let's move on.
I know it is not that easy with children, but I'm not necessarily talking about small children. With all that being said, I do think we can begin to communicate the why to our children at much earlier age than we ever thought.
When your a great leader people follow you not because who you are, but because of what your vision means to them personally.
Bill Parcells: Hall of Fame Induction (2013)
I forgot to tell you: "Mangers have power points, Leaders have vision." When you know something like the back of your hand you don't need a power point to communicate your bullet points. Give me a guy or gal with passion, purpose and a vision- all grounded in truth -any day of the week over a power point.
I will follow that person almost anywhere he or she will go.
Finally, in the summer of 1963 250,000 people showed up on the National Mall in Washington DC to hear Dr. King speak. There were no invitations sent out. There were no text messages, tweets or Facebook messages shared. No pictures were on Instagram or group emails sent to organize the event.
And as great as Dr. King was he didn't have the market cornered when it came to eloquent speech and great ideas.
Martin Luther King: I Have A Dream (August 28, 1963)
All Martin Luther King had was a "why", and that why was his dream, and in the end that's all he needed. And because that dream of equality resonated with millions of Americans he was able to create change; significant change. In the end, people didn't show up that hot August day for Dr. King, they showed up for themselves.
And by the way, Martin Luther King gave the "I Have a Dream" speech, not the "I Have a Plan" speech. Dreams, not plans, inspire people. Leaders have dreams.
Is your dream worth following?
Just ask Walt Disney how important, and inspiring, dreams are. Ask Old man Disney about buy-in.
When managers become leaders and fathers/mothers become nurturing parents; when politicians become public servants and people-in-charge become people leading the charge is when we have the greatest chance for true success; real buy in. Then, and only then, will sales people surpass their "manager's" quotas, athletes will experience something far greater than a victory and parents will begin to hear the words "I understand" more than "why?"
Stop right now… don't allow yourself not to share with others your why anymore. Begin today to tell people your why, share with others your vision, and ask people to follow you in the chase of your dreams. Little secret here… if your dream, your "why", is about more than you, then and only then, will you have the greatest number of followers.
Don't be in charge, lead the charge.
Hint… it takes more than seven days to lead a charge, it takes a lifetime. What is your why? Who is following you? Who are you following?
That is my "Truth Be Told" for June 25, 2013 (tbtt . #11)
sbb . 1239
Seven Days . Chris Botti (feat. Sting)
. “Stuff Happens” – image provided by CanStock photo
. Billy Graham: Trafalgar Square, England, London (1954) - photo by CORBIS
. Nelson Mandela – photo by Yousuf Karsh
. Martin Luther King: I have A Dream” – photo provided by Joshua Cogan