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!