I LOVE that the market for leadership development authors, consultants, coaches, and advisors is saturated! A smart friend of mine, best-selling author of the book Get a Job! Your Guide to Making Successful Career Moves and founder of the award-winning W3 Group Marketing agency once told me, "Market saturation is a good thing. That means there's a demand for it."
For me to dip my toes into this arena in 2022 is audacious, because there isn't much that hasn't already been said, proven, written or "meme'd" about the topic.
Not only that, I also don't have my own leadership consulting "firm" with dedicated sales and marketing teams. I haven't written any books on the topic, I don't have a podcast series, TEDx Talks or even a YouTube channel (YET!). So, why am I here and why should you listen?
What I have done is successfully led teams of extremely talented, highly educated employees who told ME that I am a GREAT Leader! That alone tells me that I have some "street cred" in this already saturated market.
I don't care if you have 10 direct reports or 100. If the majority of them are indifferent to you, don't respect you and would not follow you if you went to a different company, then you don't satisfy MY definition of a GREAT Leader. So, let's use that as the entire basis of my #LeadershipReform movement.
"Employees are the only people who can bestow on someone the title of GREAT Leader. " -- Me, The DIY Leader
It's taken me a long time to be able to refer to myself in this manner. However, I'm basing it on feedback from dozens of intelligent, high-performing employees whom I respect and admire deeply.
The way I see it, they worked really hard to mold me into someone whom they'd follow, so I'd be remiss to discount their opinions and not share what they've taught me. They're not just the inspiration behind these articles, they're the Editors of them as well. :)
In my first role as a people leader, I was young and approached my new role from the typical I-have-to-show-these-people-I-deserve-this-role attitude that is often employed by people leaders under the age of 40. However, because I was fortunate enough to have started my career working for a GREAT Leader, I forced myself to take a step back, drop the attitude, and open myself up to them.
"It was the first and hardest lesson in my career as a people leader. However, it was also the best and most important lesson." -- Also Me, The DIY Leader
Once we passed that hurdle... it was a collaborative, mutual-admiration society thereafter, and my job as a leader became much more enjoyable and much less stressful.
When the Student Becomes the Teacher
In my most recent role as a people leader, I followed that same approach from day one. So we were able to cycle through Tuckman's "Forming" to "Performing" model very quickly, expediting our time-to-value as a high-performing team.
Using humor and humility, they validated for me that
I was human too
It was OK that I didn't have all the answers
My respect and admiration for them was reciprocated
We were a better team when we shared ideas
Therefore, as our team grew over the years (always adding, never subtracting), this approach permeated my team in such a way that they bonded with each other and religiously collaborated without any intervention from me. And when I did need their help and we put our heads together, we could make magic happen!
The lessons I learned from them and the innovation that resulted from this type of atmosphere was an added bonus that was integral to solving problems that resulted from circumstances beyond our control.
Becoming a GREAT Leader: Master Class Series
by The DIY Leader
As an instructional designer (ID), I've spent my entire career creating training assets for adult learners. Therefore, I get to become an ID practitioner again to champion the #LeadershipReform movement via my Becoming a GREAT Leader: Master Class Series by The DIY Leader stamp.
This series is the culmination of my 15+ years of experience as a people leader. The purpose is to convey my simple, yet radical, view for transforming the workforce by renovating generic-label leaders into GREAT Leaders.
My ideas aren't new. However, I do believe they are radical because they endorse the "my employees are my top priority" philosophy of leadership, which goes against the grain when you're a leader with a P&L that is used to measure your own value. More on that later!
Program assets will be multimodal and will include
Animated eLearning videos
Interviews (videos and/or articles) with industry experts
Anything else I can leverage to get the word out
As I've stated before, GREAT Leaders must "come to the table" with the following three fundamental characteristics: humility, trust, and selflessness. Consider these three traits mandatory pre-requisites to the Becoming a GREAT Leader: Master Class Series.
Otherwise, no experience required! Click here for an infographic summarizing these traits.
The first module in the series will, of course, be an introduction to the series, with some adult learning principles sprinkled in. (We're trying to change behavior here, folks... so actual learning will be required). However, I hope you'll find it fun and engaging as well.
Someday I do hope to evolve the program such that I do penetrate the market of leaders who do not satisfy the pre-reqs for this series. These are the folks that need #LeadershipReform the most. Baby steps....
This is a collaborative effort, so your suggestions and recommendations are not only welcomed but encouraged. You can email me direct at DIYLeader@leadershipreno.com.
Let the journey begin!