A few days ago I was giving a talk to a business organization, made up of CEO’s entrepreneurs, small business owners, and corporate professionals. Speaking of course, on my passion, “Abundance Leadership”, and how it applies to everyone, how it makes a difference to everyone whom you influence or with whom you interact, how it means growing as a person, serving others, etc., etc.
I was quoting some of my favorite, foremost leadership experts, authors, consultants, coaches, researchers, and observers. My passion was flowing. My audience was captured and inspired (oh so I thought). When I opened the floor for questions, I got one that took me aback.
A longtime business owner (I’ll call him Jake) asked, “Do you have any quotes from real (i.e. “famous”) business leaders?” I thought that John C. Maxwell, Stephen MR covey, Marshall Goldsmith, and Peter Senge provided a pretty strong list of experts for my quotes. But that one question threw me into the realization that maybe not every business owner is reading the leadership books. Maybe some people want leadership as penned by Lee Iacocca, Jack Welch, Larry Ellingson.
I wanted to shout to this person, “Don’t you know who John Maxwell IS? Don’t you realize that Peter Senge wrote what is practically the BIBLE on leading organizations?” I wanted to top off my imaginary response with a final barrage stating that the CEO’s of large corporations don’t necessarily model Abundance Leadership. Some, in fact, treat other people in pretty shoddy ways. That’s not what Abundance Leadership (also called Higher Ground Leadership, Higher Level Leadership, New Story Leadership by various experts) embodies.
However, my need to honor all people, coupled with wanting Jake to save face in front of his colleagues, led me to promise to find some quotes and email these to him.
But there’s one more thought I want to send to Jake, and that’s the fact that someone doing “it” may not be able to explain “it”. Someone who’s leading beautifully and inspirationally has learned from someone else…and the someone elses are the people I was quoting. And even the ones who are being coached to be at their best, only have a limited vista of the actions, knowledge, thoughts, & transformations that are taking place with thousands of leaders around the world. However, the people who are observing them, studying them, coaching them, training them have a huge base of data to draw from. A single leader only has one—himself.
So there. Next time I get that question, I’m prepared!
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.