Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lustful Leadership

I know what you are thinking: “that’s an odd choice of words.” Those are weird terms to be putting together. And no, I’m not advocating affairs with subordinates. Instead, my point to this post is to bring awareness to, (or better yet) to dive into why it is you want to be a leader. Is it Lust? Or, is it Love?

Confused yet? Let me explain:

I started out on my young career wanting to be a manager, wanting to lead a team. My main motivation was that “being a manager” would look good on my resume. It would look good in the eyes of others. It would look good professionally, and it felt good personally. Essentially, I was in “lust” with leadership. It was all about me. It was about the appearance that being a manager would portray and the feeling that being a manager gave me.

That’s not true leadership; not to me anyway. Leadership isn’t (and shouldn’t) be about me. It’s about you. It’s about them. It’s about my team and my followers. Real leaders “love” leadership. See, when you’re in love with someone, you want to help them. You want to build them up – to improve them. You want to enable them to become better than you. So it is with leadership. Loving leadership is about lifting others up above you. It’s about providing the necessary skills to ensure that someone becomes “Greater Than Yourself,” which just happens to be what one of my “unofficial” mentors has taught me ("unofficial mentors" being that he doesn’t know me real well or know that he has inspired me. In fact, I’ve only met him once……over the phone).

Steve Farber, in my opinion (as well as many others) is a leadership guru. He has written two amazing books, and is looking at a March 3rd, 2009 release for his third book, “Greater Than Yourself.” From what I have gathered, the book will be another fable about how a leader’s goal is to make other’s greater than themselves. The challenge is: to seek someone out and ensure that he or she becomes more successful than they. A true leader wants her followers to be more successful, more knowledgeable, more ____ (you fill in the blank) than herself. To me, that’s Loving Leadership; not lusting leadership

So, why do you lead? Does it feel good? Does it help you professionally? Or, does it provide a means to inspire, motivate, and lift others up above you?


Dewey said...


I totally agree. It's the exact same way we (My wife and I) felt when got started with our business and where young leaders. We would say "oh, man I can't wait until our team gets going, then WE'LL really start making the money and be successful" What we figured out in the this journey(but we're still young leaders) is that it's not about us it's us pouring everything we got into our team and maybe a little more and when they win and do great things then we'll be successful and everything else follows.

Eric Peterson said...

Thanks for stopping by. You are right on with your comments. It's funny how some get so caught up in the "money" and "being successful" (which we could have a whole other conversation on the definition of successful) that they fail to realize what you and your wife have realized: that pouring everything you have into others (your team) can lead to the greatest success of all!!

Thanks for adding such great value to the discussion!!