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Pushing Off From Leadership Eddies Into The Main Current of Growth

I want to thank both Gary Hamel and Pope Francis for importantly adding to what I believe is an slowly burgeoning, but radically important leadership topic...really a human performance topic. Namely, in order for leaders to grow, for each of us individually to grow, we have to first tackle the old and new stories of our own egos. Becoming clear on our true self-esteem versus wishful or fearful self-esteem opens up a powerful new current from which to lead and create and grow.

Gary took the time to review and turn a recent call to action from Pope Francis, to the broad leadership and bureaucracy of the Roman Curia. Basically, the Pope told his people that they have to Up Their Leadership Game. And the way to do this was by making the work less about them and more about what they were in place to do: to create good works from the bedrock of their faith.

Gary came up with 15 Diseases of Leadership, such as:

  1. The disease of thinking we are immortal, immune, or downright indispensable
  2. Another disease is excessive busyness.
  3. The disease of gossiping, grumbling, and back-biting.

You get the point. Most have to do with protecting some aspect of status or position rather than expanding that potential to deeply grow personally or expand the impact of your leadership.

I'm not qualified to comment on the faith piece of this, but from the leadership and human performance piece, I believe Gary's take on the Pope's wisdom deserves real attention.

It will be easy to brush off a call for leaders' to look deeper at oneself because that's what the ego does...protect its current view. BUT the ego also has a side of it that hungers to look deeper, is chomping at the bit to expand its boundaries and horizons. This greater potential, I believe, is what Gary and Pope Francis are highlighting for us to embrace. Feeding this side of the ego mind allows for real leadership growth.

I don't know know if leaders leading small is so much a disease as an Adult Awareness Deficit (AAD). It seems hard wired into our minds that most of us hit a neurological glass ceiling over the course of our lives. We can be lulled into thinking we have made it somewhere, because not enough trusted voices are telling us we have only hit the eddy half way down the stream...a wide river of consciousness and creation still awaits on the other side of our falsely perceived limits.

I challenge myself and you to explore that side of the river and add our voices to the rancor of those trusted voices.

Erik Sean Larson