Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Irony and the Challenge of Leadership

Moments after watching "An Inconvenient Truth" (a fantastic hard truth documentary about global warming), I turned off the DVD and guess what was on TV? An interview with Gwen Stefani, who was asked....

"Gwen, you are a music writer/ have your own band/ singer/ actress/ fashion icon with your own clothing line.... is there anything you can't do?"

Her answer, "ummm, I can't do math, I can't spell... I don't know, I can't think right now".

That is the challenge facing leaders today. A society that...

  • Praises a woman for her looks only. She can't do math but she runs a company. She can't spell but she is a singer/ songwriter. She can't think but she's a role model. In other words, she is surrounded by people who do for her while she is the poster child because that's what counts.
  • There are women who saw this and did not see the irony, or become offended. We have extremist feminist groups, but we don't have women who object to being treated like objects in the media.
  • Guess what the first song to sell over 1 million downloads over the internet was? "What are you waiting for?" by Gwen Stefani
  • The number one selling football jersey in Canada? Terrell Owens, also the biggest cry-baby and the worst team player possibly in football history. Actual comment from my 17 year old cousin, "I love it when he trash talks!". Enter why Eminem was so popular a few years ago when he still had all his angst.
  • Google search words. Money : 750 million hits. Britney Spears: 36 million hits. Personal Accountability: 1 million. People access and search out 'money' at 107 times the rate that they get off their asses and do something to get it.

A few of you will read this and say "ohh, there he goes again", and a few of those people will be potential leaders. There is the problem in getting others to band to your cause right there... WE often don't band behind the most important causes we need to.

If we have learned one thing it is that leadership is an all the time thing and we don't turn it off when we discuss politics or art or music or our friends. We are leaders or we are faking it. We are faking it if we do not choose to lead ourselves in every part of our lives, and then pass it on.

If we have learned 2 things it is that people like to stay where they are. This means as much work as it takes for you to change, you must work twice as hard to get one other person to change even if you have already gone through what they've gone through. Now try leading a team of twenty and we get a glimpse as to what we actually signed up for. Repeat: leadership is an all the time, all-in, thing.

Are you going to be a leader? If so then this information will not stay with you... it will be passed on and we will realize that people don't need to wait until Jan 15th to recover from holidays.

If you are at work... WORK. If you are a leader... LEAD.

starting right now....

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