Serve – Choose to Set Your Own Bar

TheSecret_Book coverThanks #Secret10 @kenblanchard @LeadersServe for last Monday’s webinar – A Conversation with Ken Blanchard & Mark Miller. Admittedly, I have not yet read the book The Secret, What Great Leaders Know and Do. However, as a fan of Berret-Koehler Publishers (who published Blanchard’s and Miller’s book), I expect to do so. And more so, as a Servant-Leader, this certainly can add to my catch and release knowledge practice.

Learn something new everyday to grow and develop. Becoming a leader is a lifetime journey.
– paraphrasing Ken Blanchard (09/29/14)

This post shares a brief highlight of the practices shared from The Secret. Because of this, I am reflecting on my servant leader journey, along with sharing what I call my epiphany and values.

Five Essential Practices from The Secret

You can listen to and view the webinar slides over here. Shared during the webinar, the five practices highlighted are as follows –

See the Future
Engage and Develop Others
Reinvent Continuously
Value Results and Relationships
Embody the Values

A few webinar take-aways that resonated with anthrocubeology include –

  • Engagement with people is NOT a one-size fits all; context and environment are important.
  • While developing others involves looking at (a) goals and objectives, (b) day-to-day coaching, and (c) periodic performance evaluations, the time typically spent among these three activities in the workspace is out of balance. More time is spent on performance evaluations, while the least amount of time is spent on day-to-day coaching.
  • Reinventing includes doing so for your self, systems (processes) and structure.

– and while there were many others, these were a few I noted.

As an anthrocubeologist, one of the primary interests for creating workspace cultural shifts is around the idea, philosophy, and practice of leadership. I have a love/hate relationship with the term leader – “hate” because some presume a manager (by title) is a leader and “love” because I know that leader (or leadership) is a choice one makes, not a title or position, not a young or an old, not a black or a white.

During the Q & A, a question was posed – What behavior has been observed to derail most leaders careers? The response was that most leaders choose to be self-serving; this can lead to limiting influence and limiting impact. My one word for this: Ego.

My Servant Leader Journey

synchronicityAs shared in a previous post, servant leadership is a philosophy, with regards to my approach and practice.

My informal journey began in 1994 when I had (what I have called) an epiphany just prior to my choosing to leave Corporate America.

My formal journey began in 1999. In 1999, five years after starting my environmental consulting business, a colleague shared Joseph Jaworski’s Syncrhonicity: The Inner Path of Leadership. I took Jaworski’s book with me as part of a quick 10-day cruise. Reading this book was my introduction to the term servant leader.

My Epiphany and Values

May 1994 on a Saturday morning at around 5:30 AM, I woke up and wrote – completely without hesitation – the following –

There are BRIDGES yet to be constructed by those who live and

breathe in their ENVIRONMENT— AIR, LAND, and WATER. Egos stand firm

on the ground that they were born and choose not to acknowledge that

to get one step closer they must go one step FURTHER.

MY VISION IS TO CREATE THOSE BRIDGES.

– and coupled with this was a set of what I called relational values –

The CATALYST’s VALUES are based on the following RELATIONAL ELEMENTS:
  • Catalysts RESPECT that an individual is a member of multiple COMMUNITIES – FAMILY, SCHOOL, FAITH, EMPLOYER, TOWN, NATION, and WORLD.
  • Catalysts ENCOURAGE each individual to be RESPONSIBLE for his or her community.
  • Catalysts CHALLENGE each community to be ACCOUNTABLE to each individual.
  • Catalysts APPRECIATE each individual in a community is UNIQUE yet shares common goals.
  • Catalysts ACKNOWLEDGE that each community has a FINITE mix of individuals.

– for which a flurry of ideas emerged amidst a faster pace of life (all in a good way).

tracingpaper_epiphany94I met new people, made new friends, reconnected with older friends and work colleagues, and had chance meeting resulting in the beginning of an expanding network of people in the environmental field. To collect my thoughts, I coffee’d regularly with a friend twice a week, carried a large leather satchel with a journal, prismacolor pencils, and tracing paper; I added a voice recorder because ideas were flying around. I wrote in my journal, scribbled, sketched, and talked about what I saw for a future and how I may possibly shape it.

“Dans les champs de l’observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés.”
translated

“In the field of observation, chance favors the prepared mind.”
– Louis Pasteur

Are you prepared? What do you see for the future?
What are your values? How have you chosen to set your own bar?


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