EXTREME LEADERSHIP

How to Put More Love, Energy, Audacity and Proof into Your Work

KEY TAKEAWAYS

ABOUT THE SEMINAR

Steve Farber

About the Trainer – Steve Farber Steve Farber is continuously raising the stakes of leadership to the extreme. He is an executive coach, speaker and a best-selling author. His first book, The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership was recently named one of the 100 Best Business Books of All Time. His second book, The Radical Edge was hailed as “a playbook for harnessing the power of the human spirit.” His newest book, titled, Greater Than Yourself, was recently... Read More

Thanks very much. Good afternoon. It’s great to be here with you guys. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover so I’m going to jump right in and I’m going to start by comparing some notes with you here in a little bit because you know I’ve been at this work of leadership development now for 20 years and I’ve had the opportunity to work with just about every kind of organization you can imagine in just about every kind of industry you can imagine. From top to bottom I’m creating cultures of leadership. So I’ve been involved not only in the practice of leadership in my own companies and Tom’s company, for example, but I’ve been involved in the study of leadership, researching about leadership, writing about leadership, speaking about leadership, coaching about leadership for 20 years…

Cultivating love. Love and business are not two words that we typically utter in the same sentence right? And we tend to think that love has got no place there. A lot of people feel this way and that’s why it makes them squirm when I start talking about it. Love’s got nothing to do with business and frankly that point of view is flat out wrong. At the very least it’s misguided. At the very least it misses the point and in fact, what we’re going to find is – and I don’t expect you to take this at face value. I want to make my case for this alright, but I think what we’re going to find is not only is this word not inappropriate, love is at the very foundation of leadership. It’s at the foundation of any great leadership act and not only that, it’s at the foundation of any great thriving competitive business.

The problem that we create and the mistake that we often make is that we assume that that’s enough for people, that because it’s important it should be enough and it’s not. Human beings have a very deep primal need to be a part of something great. So non-rhetorical question #2 addresses that directly and it’s some variation of this theme. What do I/we really do here? What’s the higher meaning and purpose of our work? There’s no magic way to answer this question but I just want to get you going on the right track and again, let me be very specific as to what I’m asking you do to here with this question. The first step is to take the time that this deserves to really think about this and really reflect on this and you’ll see that it relates to the first question about why you love your work. It relates to your history of how you got to be doing the work that you do. It relates to the people that you work with. It relates to the impact that you think you could have on the world. All of that stuff comes into play in trying to answer this question and I’m asking you to do that just for yourself; just reflect on it for yourself first. When you think you’ve really got the answer to that – and this isn’t about marketing spin. It’s not about coming up with a snappy phrase; it’s all about the authenticity and the sincerity in this. When you have the real authentic sincere answer for yourself and think about this in the context of your team or your company, whatever context makes sense for you. Once that clarity is there and it’s real…

So I want to start out by defining the word “audacity” in the context of extreme leadership and there are two parts to this definition. So first of all we can say that audacity is a bold and blatant disregard for normal constraints. You know the old management catch phrase that it’s important to think outside the box, right? We’ve heard that one ad nauseum over the years. The audacious approach to this is more along the lines of what box? There is no box in the audacious mindset. It’s the preverbal blank sheet of paper all possibilities mindset that doesn’t get caught up in all the reasons why something won’t work, but instead is filled with the hope and the expectation that we could really do something cool, something significant, and something meaningful if we really put our minds to it. But the problem with this definition, if we were to leave it here is that it can go either way. For example, have you ever known anybody who you would characterize by this definition as audacious who was – and again I’ll be polite here, irritating, annoying right? There are people who are audacious just to feed their own ego or to attract attention to themselves or to advance their own agenda and they have no care or concern about the impact of their behaviors on anybody else as long as they’re getting the attention. So while technically that might be audacity, it does not qualify for extreme leadership in my book both literally and figuratively.

So what we have to explore here is the motivation behind the bold and blatant disregard for normal constraints. In other words, audacity bold and blatant disregard for normal constraints in order to do what? If it’s in order to feed my own ego we’re not there yet so what is it? I want to share with you my answer to this question. I’m not saying it’s the only one but I do think, first of all, it gets us right in the zone as far as extreme leadership goes and it does give us, I think, the most significant opportunity and perhaps you could even argue obligation that we have as leaders and as human beings in this day in age. So here we go…