There are multiple reasons why I chose to start a leadership blog. One reason was that I wanted to put my doctorate degree to use, rather than just looking at an expensive piece of paper (my diploma). I have a passion for leadership and believe that effective and purposeful leadership happens through service and selflessness. My blog helps me reflect on my own life, and the mistakes and victories I make as a leader. But the main reason I started a blog on leadership was because of the lack of leadership I was seeing from other people in leadership.
I wanted to write a blog about the value and importance of effective, purposeful leadership. There were so many “leaders” that were failing, and some are still failing, at being real leaders. I wanted to speak out about proper leadership skills, attributes, and characteristics that I believe lead to strong, effective teams. I was seeing characteristics in different leaders that did not condone strong, effective leadership. There was very little ownership and a lot of blaming. There was a lot of excuse making and dismissal of issues that needed to be dealt with. The leadership I was watching had a lack of any leadership qualities, and it was hurting the team.
Leadership is such an important role on multiple levels. I believe people think leadership is only for people who have “leadership” titles. The truth, however, is that everyone is a leader, and we all need to take ownership of our choices and pay attention to how we are leading. This is why the quote from John C. Maxwell, “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. Leadership is about one life influencing another” is front and center on my homepage. We have forgotten the importance of humility, service, and selflessness.
Earlier I mentioned that I started the blog as a reflection for my own leadership, and that reflection has turned into a personal challenge. I have learned the value of reflection through my blog, and it has been clear in showing me the areas for which I still need to work. I do not believe I have it all together, and I don’t believe I live out effective leadership everyday. In fact, I don’t believe anyone does, and anyone who tells you differently is lying to you. Perfect leadership doesn’t exist. This is why reflection has been key in the molding and shaping of the areas for which I still need to grow.
My blog has also increased my reading. I have read more books in one year than I have in my whole life, and every book I have read, I have found wonderful truths that help shape my thoughts and beliefs about leadership. I have grown to admire certain leaders such as Brad Lomenick who wrote H3 Leadership; Jocko Willink and Leif Babin who wrote Extreme Ownership; Pat Lencioni who wrote The Four Obsessions of An Extraordinary Executive and The Five Dysfunctions of A Team (this is a near future read). I have also read Fortitude by Dan Crenshaw and American Sniper the autobiography of Chris Kyle. I have learned the value and importance of reading. There is truth in the quote by Harry S. Truman, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
I have also found a love for writing. I enjoy sitting down and spilling my thoughts into a document (or on paper, depending on how old you are). I have an increased appreciation for writing and have plans to write a few books in my lifetime. I enjoy taking what I am thinking about and sharing it in word form. There is something new and special about writing about your thinking. It becomes a medium to review your own thoughts. For those of you who think I write a blog post and never revisit it, I hate to disappoint you, but that’s not accurate. I actually revisit my past posts often. I have found areas in previous posts that I have grown, some I have changed my mind about, and others that remind me of what I need to be doing as a leader. Writing is a way to see how you change as a person.
Ultimately, my blog started as a way to speak out against the types of leadership I have been witness to. I wanted to share what I have learned effective leadership to be. Throughout the process, my blog has changed to be more of a reflection, reminder, and support for myself and you, the reader. I want to be an influencer for service leadership. I want to challenge myself and others to lead everyday, and to remember that leadership is not a title, but how one life influences another. We are all leaders, and our leadership should be something that leaves a positive, selfless legacy. Will we always get it right? No. But the beauty of life is that we are given opportunities to learn from our mistakes and become better. We just need to be disciplined and take ownership of everything. As Jocko says, “Discipline equals freedom.”