McLeadership


McDonalds' sign in Harlem.

McDonalds’ sign in Harlem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is Leadership? What makes a leader? How does one become a leader. Theses are questions that many people ask, and for everyone person who asks, there are dozens of books, seminars and blog sites like this one with answers. But how do you know who is right. What method will work for you, and can you even become a leader? Is everyone born to be a leader? Can anyone study and become a leader, or is it in our DNA, are we just born like that?

Leadership, personal development and self-improvement is a multi-billion dollar industry, and like any industry there are the McDonald’s and the fancy shirt and tie eateries of Leadership development companies and individuals. Some offering the “fast food” of leadership and others offering you the 7 course meal, both serve a purpose, but like food, there is quality differences. Like a good fast food restaurant, McLeadership fills a purpose, but also like a fast food joint, to much of it can cause health issues. So what is McLeadership?

The McLeadership

McLeadership is, simple stated, the consumption of Leadership values, ideas and material in a fast, successive fashion that ignores the need for digestion of said material. We all know the feeling we get after we scarf down a value meal on our way to the next meeting or appointment. The bloated over stuffed sluggish feeling that leaves us with an upset stomach and an on satisfied hunger. We didn’t bother to take the time to sit back and relax and enjoy the meal, but rather we stuffed in our mouths, washed it down with a pop and followed it with a few fries. Doing this once or twice wont have to much of an effect on our over all health. But turning this bad habit into a  lifetime of eating will. Well the same can be said for our Leadership and Change couping skills.

The market is flooded with books, CD’s, DVD’s and Seminars we can attend, and I am sure most of them are well produced and worthy of our attention. However, like the food we ingest affects our body, the information we ingest affects our mind. The habit of reading, as anyone who reads my blog will know, is a habit I strongly support. I recommend 15 minuets daily, at the very least. But, I also recommend journaling, reflecting and digesting the input. I strongly recommend that when you read, you find a quiet place, a relaxing place, and read in peace. This allows your body and mind to work together on digesting the input.

The fast food mentality that we are raised in as permeated our daily lives, it has infected our Faith, Family, Work and Being. We are programmed to think in sound bites and to deliver messages in Tweets and Status Updates. We are encouraged to abbreviate everything. We are living in the information age, more information is available to us than ever before, yet we seem to truly know less. We have the ability to truly connect with each other in ways never imagined, yet we don’t.

McLeadership is the result of reading, attending and listening to principles on Leadership, yet never putting in to practice the principles we have learned. Our thirty-second retention of information along with our forced acceptance of multi-tasking has created a generation that expects instantaneous results for no or little effort on their part.

True Leadership

True Leadership is a leadership of value, a leadership of effort and time. Like a good meal, one that you take time to enjoy and savor, a meal that is prepared with love and kindness. A true meal, a good meal, is one that we sit down at the table together, we pray and give thanks for what we are about to partake, and we enjoy the food, atmosphere and company. The meal itself, be it meatloaf or the finest cut of beef, is almost secondary to the time spent, digesting the whole experience.

Over the years I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel, and in doing so have made friends all over the world. One set of friends reside in Germany. They have become like family to me, we have spent many a nights together eating and drinking and conversing. He is a home gourmet cook. His food is simple but very pleasing to both the eye and the taste buds, and I have had the pleasure of many a meal with him and his wife. Each meal is a pleasure, but some of the most memorable meals where the less fancy, the more traditional family meals. Meals where he was not occupied with preparations, but was able to sit and enjoy the conversation, glass of wine and the simple family meal with us. He was able to digest in a relaxed fashion.

True Leadership is achieved in much the same way, we cannot be to concerned with the preparations, to hung up with the presentation that we miss the main point. I have learned many-a-thing about Leadership in moments of confusion and dysfunction, the moments of lack of planning and miss planning. But I have learned more, not in the McLeadership moments, but in the fine dinning moments. The moments were I can sit back, relax and slowly discover the truth hidden in the moment.

Leadership

Leadership is not reserved for the few, it is something we all must archive, in once fashion or another. But we must learn to slow down, to chew on it for a while and to savor its flavors. We must decide what Leadership looks like, taste like and is for us. My Leadership is not your Leadership, each of us have our own taste, our own cravings and each of us must discover our own style.

Fast food is fine, every-now-and-than, but as a steady diet, not so much, the same can be said for Learning and growing your Leadership skills. A quick read with no processing is fine, every-now-and-than, but as a daily diet, not to healthy for your mind.

I would recommend a steady diet of relaxed learning and reading, at least 15 minutes per day, in a quiet place, be it the bath tub or your car pared in a Church parking lot. I would also recommend that you journal about what you just read or learned. Your reading does not have to be only Leadership books, I am a strong believer in mixing it up, reading in general is a positive action, and reading different types and styles of books. I feel you can learn from anything and everything, so be it a Stephen King book or the latest guru in the self-help section, you can learn from it.

What I don’t recommend is that you substitute books with audio-books to often. Audio-books would be the fast food of reading, nothing replaces the written word. It is ok to enjoy a good audio-book on your long drive to and from work, I love to listen to talks on CD, but I always make it a point to follow it up with more reading on what ever topic truly captivated me. Same holds true for DVD’s or TED videos. Great sources for information and entertainment, but do not make a steady diet of it. The act of reading works your mind in ways a CD or DVD can not even come close to, and it is the working of the mind that causes active learning to take place.

God Bless

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

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