Saturday, May 8, 2010

Leadership With Love — A Potent Formula For Life and Business!

Has someone ever presented you with a message so powerful, that it energized you? I experienced that exact sensation this weekend.

For many years I have been avidly interested in leadership.  From Steven Covey to Ken Blanchard, I have read a zillion books on the subject.  I have taken numerous classes, and attended conferences, aspiring to hone my leadership skills.  Throughout my quest, I have embraced the thought, that somewhere along the way, a light bulb would come on … that I would discover a “secret formula” for becoming a great leader.

Alas, I am still looking for that “silver bullet.  In the meantime I read a book, this weekend, entitled “Greater Than Yourself:  The Ultimate Lesson of True Leadership.” My friends, this book is nothing short of fantastic!  I met the author, Steve Farber, last weekend, at the SOBCon 2010 Conference here in Chicago.  For information on the SOBCon Conference you should visit their website.  It really is an excellent event.

“Do What you love in the service of people who love what you do.”
–Steve Farber, SOBCon 2010

Steve and I participated on a “mastermind” team together, at SOBCon, allowing us the opportunity to become better acquainted.  In addition to being an accomplished author, Steve is also a gifted public speaker, and an all-round terrific guy!  As an added bonus Steve, like me, is a musician (guitarist) and lives in San Diego, where I resided for many years.

At SOBCon Steve treated attendees to a one-hour session, introducing the “Greater Than Yourself” (GTY) leadership principles discussed in his book.  To say his presentation was inspirational is an understatement.  The following are some of Steve’s thoughts:

  • Leadership by its very nature is an extreme act! — it is rooted in love and motivated by a desire to create a better world  — whether it’s the world of your company, team, neighborhood, or family.
  • Leadership has nothing to do with your title, or your position on an organization chart — It is about who you are & what you do, not about what you say you are going to do!
  • The greatest leaders make others greater than themselves — Philosophers call this the ‘ethic of reciprocity.’  A leader’s job is to do whatever they can, to extend and offer themselves to another, with the expressed purpose of elevating that person above them.
  • “Philanthropize” Your Life — Tune yourself in to the needs of others, and focus yourself to promote their success, their capacity for achievement.

Interestingly Steve uses the writing style of a “business parable,” in his book,  to tell the story of the GTY leadership plan.  There are three tenets to the GTY process, which are discussed at length.  Rather than share those in this article, I implore you to buy and read the book.  You won’t be disappointed.

Towards the end of his session at SOBCon Steve offered this quip, “If the only reason you can think of not to do something is because you are scared to, then you should do it.”

I challenge each of you to read Steve Farber’s book, reflect on the concepts, and then consider incorporating them into your life.  I am embarking on that same journey, as we speak.  I promise to write about my progress in the coming months, as I begin my quest to philanthropize my life. What are your thoughts about the GTY Leadership approach?  Please share them!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie Ferenac May 10, 2010 at 9:42 am

Thank you for sharing Steve Farber’s thoughts, his book is now on my “must read” list. I especially like the idea that leadership is not about titles or positions. It’s important to remember that leaders can come from all rungs on the proverbial “corporate ladder”, and there is always a way to step up and inspire others. Thanks for the energizing post!


Michael M McCurry CMP May 10, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Hi Carrie,

Steve’s book was so good that I could not put it down. I read it in a matter of only a few hours.

The piece of this that is so infectious to me is the concept of making other people around you greater than yourself. I like that idea very much because by doing that I grow too!

Now I just have to figure out who would want to listen to me ??? :)

Thanks for contributing!



Jeff Hurt May 10, 2010 at 11:53 am


I’m a Farber fan too. I’ve used Steve before for an opening genearl session for an association’s 20th anniversary and he was a hit. He’s the real deal and one of those people that practices what he preaches.

This is one of my favorite Farber concepts: “Leadership is an extreme act!”


Michael M McCurry CMP May 10, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Hey Jeff,

OMG, there are so many things that Steve says in his book that hit home with me, and watching him speak at SOBCon was invigorating.

He is a good egg, no doubt, and I think he is on to something really big.

Lets all pay it forward!



Dave Lutz May 11, 2010 at 6:29 am

Mike, very cool! A book like this has a much greater impact when you have a connection to the author. I’ve been studying the heck out of leadership qualities for a number of years. One of my early struggles, was differentiating between management and leadership.

Here’s a few things that I believe makes a great leader:

– Humility – If you got a big head and don’t shine the light on others, you’re missing the boat.

– Diversity – Great leaders don’t surround themselves with YES people. They build a team that has their own ideas, are willing to voice them, will disagree with the leader…all with the common goal of finding the best solution/answer.

– Communication – A great leader knows how to tell one heck of a good story. They’ll get the emotions going and get everyone excited. (This is the one I continue to try to work on. I’m usually just the facts kind of guy.)

Good luck on your journey!


Steve Farber May 13, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Thanks so much for all the kind words, everybody!


Hank Wasiak May 22, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Steve really energized the sobcon conference and I found myself nodding and agreeing with all of his great points and lessons. I learned a lot and his talk reinforced many of my personal beliefs and the way my partner, Dr. Kathy Cramer, and I present and practice asset-based thinking. We definitely are of like mind. In addition to the great quote that Mike listed above, I loved Steve’s descriptions about that “OSM” that defining moment we all eventually have that gets us in touch with our internal power, beliefs and confidence. (Ask Steve to tell you how he defines the OSM)

Thanks Mike for writing this post and reminding me how much I enjoyed Steve’s presentation.

Hank Wasiak


Michael M McCurry CMP May 22, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Hi Hank,

I agree… Steve did energize the SOBCon conference, as you did.

My mind is still spinning with all the possibilities that came from all the discussion at this event. I will ask Steve about how he defines OSM.

Thanks Hank, for contributing to the discussion.


Reply June 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Could I register for your articles??


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