Don’t Can’t lead without it. Shouldn’t lead without it.
Right now I have a stack of business books waiting to be read, and it will easily take me another two months minimum to get to them all.
Yet when I walked into a Borders Express today, killing time before an appointment, I just had to buy another one.
I happened upon a clerk just adding it to the store shelves from a newly arrived shipment: Marcus Buckingham’s new The One Thing You Need to Know ” About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success. After all, two posts before this one, I just urged you – again – to read the other two he co-authored if you have not yet done so.
59 pages into it, I come to this:
“So what does define leadership? What do leaders get done that is distinct from what ordinary people of initiative, creativity, resolve and integrity get done?
From all my research, this is the only satisfactory definition I’ve found:
Great leaders rally people to a better future.”
He then goes on to say,
“The need for a talent for optimism is almost self-evident. As a leader, you must believe, deeply, instinctively, that things can get better.”
There is something profoundly satisfying in reading these words. Hope is not enough, for hope alone is wishful and tentative, whereas optimism is rooted in more certainty and belief.
Buckingham offers a definition of leadership that is so compelling. Others have assigned qualities to leaders, however here’s an author brave enough, bold enough, to define leadership by its very essence and core requirement.
You can be sure we’ll talk story about his book more in the days to come. It will be hard for me to get much else done until I finish it!