Heifetz and Milburn on Leadership

Mustering the courage to interrogate reality is a central function of a leader. And that requires the courage to face three realities at once. First, what values do we stand for — and are there gaps between those values and how we actually behave?

-Ronald Heifetz


This is huge.  Early on, I began to understand that people want to be a certain way, but they often act in ways that go against their desires.  It’s the difference between actual values and desired values.  A person may have a desired value of honesty, but in reality, they may cheat a little, lie a little, and act in a way counter to the value that they speak so highly of.  It is a subtle issue of character.  A person can begin to live with a perceived self (fantasy) that is actually different than one’s real self.  A leader is one who can enter a situation and point out the differences between hoping to act with certain values and actually implementing those values.


-Tim Milburn

At student.inc, Tim Milburn of our Ho‘ohana Community has written an exceptional article called Leadership Is The Courage To Face Reality. The above excerpt about values is but one of the gems he shares. Do click over and read what Tim has to say.

By the way, if you know of an emerging Student Leader – or are one – Tim’s site is a must read and must recommend. Coinciding with the beginning of the school year, Tim recently began a series on the The Six Seasons Of A Student Leader Year. He starts by explaining,

One of the more unique aspects of student leadership is the amount of time that each student commits to his or her position – typically one year.

That’s the beauty of the student leadership laboratory.  One year to accomplish something significant.  One year to learn to become a better leader.  One year to invest in the lives of others through one’s position and influence.

One year.

He then gives a short preview of the Six Seasons he calls Anticipation, Implementation, Fluctuation, Evalutation, Determination, and Separation. A post will be dedicated to each, so follow along in Tim’s free course.

Come to think of it, I need to tell Chris about it.