My challenge is to make sure the things I say and the things I do remain consistent for as often and as long as possible. My why is to inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that together we can change our world. That's why I wake up every single day. I'm agnostic to the form it takes: I teach, I write, I speak, I advise.
All the perks, all the benefits and advantages you may get for the rank or position you hold, they aren't meant for you. They are meant for the role you fill. And when you leave your role, which eventually you will, they will give the ceramic cup to the person who replaces you. Because you only ever deserved a Styrofoam cup.
Champions are not the ones who always win races - champions are the ones who get out there and try. And try harder the next time. And even harder the next time. 'Champion' is a state of mind. They are devoted. They compete to best themselves as much if not more than they compete to best others. Champions are not just athletes.
Leadership is a choice. It's not a rank, it's a choice. I know many people who are at the top of their organization who have authority. We have to do what they say because they have authority over us. But they're not leaders. We wouldn't follow them. They may be at the top of the company but they're not leaders.
Multi-millionaires who pay half or less than half of the percentage of tax the rest of us pay justify their actions by saying they pay what the law requires. Though true, the fact is they found ways within the law to beat the purpose of the law - which, in the case of taxes, is that we all pay our fair share.
The most effective leaders are actually better at guarding against danger when they acknowledge it that it exists. Cowards, in contrast, cling to the hope that failure will never happen and may be sloppy in the face of danger - not because they don't acknowledge that it exists, but because they are just too afraid of it to look it in the eye.
Leadership, Alpha, comes at a cost. You see, we expect that when danger threatens us from the outside, that the person who is actually stronger, the person who is better fed, and the person who is teaming with serotonin and actually has higher confidence than the rest of us; we expect them to run towards the danger to protect us. This is what it means to be a leader. The cost of leadership is self interest. If you're not willing to give up your perks when it matters, then you probably shouldn't get promoted. You might be an authority but you will not be a leader. Leadership comes at a cost. You don't get to do less work when you get more senior, you have to do more work. And the more work you have to do is put yourself at risk to look after others. That is the anthropological definition of what a leader IS. Why Leaders Eat Last: http:vimeo.com/79899786
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Truly human leadership protects an organization from the internal rivalries that can shatter a culture. When we have to protect ourselves from each other, the whole organization suffers. But when trust and cooperation thrive internally, we pull together and the organization grows stronger as a result.
Wal-Mart's size and scale is so vast they literally have the ability to change the face of the entire country. If Wal-Mart were to make a decision tomorrow to refuse to sell a single product made with partially hydrogenated oils, for example, we'd probably see rates from heart disease decline a few years later. That's how powerful Wal-Mart is.
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All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year. Those who forget WHY they were founded show up to the race every day to outdo someone else instead of to outdo themselves. The pursuit, for those who lose sight of WHY they are running the race, is for the medal or to beat someone else.
Most organizations only focus on WHAT they do and HOW they do it - tactics and strategies - and they aren't even aware that this thing called the WHY exists. Focusing on only two pieces of a three piece puzzle leaves an organization, or a career, inherently out of balance. Being out of balance, only operating on two of the three pieces, shows up in different ways - increased stress, loss of passion, obsession with what your competition is doing, being forced to play the price game, trouble differentiating. These are all signs that the WHY is missing.
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Studies show that over 80 percent of Americans do not have their dream job. If more knew how to build organizations that inspire, we could live in a world in which that statistic was the reverse - a world in which over 80 percent of people loved their jobs. People who love going to work are more productive and more creative. They go home happier and have happier families. They treat their colleagues and clients and customers better. Inspired employees make for stronger companies and stronger economies.
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Great companies don't hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not. Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you'll be stuck with whoever's left.
Starbucks was founded around the experience and the environment of their stores. Starbucks was about a space with comfortable chairs, lots of power outlets, tables and desks at which we could work and the option to spend as much time in their stores as we wanted without any pressure to buy. The coffee was incidental.
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Would anybody be offended if we gave a $150 million bonus to Gandhi? How about a $250 million bonus to Mother Teresa? Do we have an issue with that? None at all. Great leaders would never sacrifice the people to save the numbers. They would sooner sacrifice the numbers to save the people.
Most people think leadership is about being in charge. Most people think leadership is about having all the answers and being the most intelligent person or the most qualified person in the room. The irony is that it is the complete opposite. Leadership is about empowering others to achieve things they did not think possible. Leadership is about pointing in the direction, articulating a vision of the world that does not yet exist. Then asking help from others to insure that vision happens.
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