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Leadership Bites - the premise

This blog series aims to provide leadership morsels I have encountered throughout the previous twenty years of connecting with leaders from around the world.

My goal is that you can turn to any blog to receive hope and insight for your day and to motivate you forward in your endeavors.

Thanks to all those leaders who have toiled and kept going. Thanks to all of you who have sat in coffee shops, hotel lobbies, restaurants, and offices and taken drives as we discussed and discovered that far better, mind-blowing, life-altering question that helped move you into new seasons.

Here's to you!

To begin the series, I'd like to tell you about a discovery I made early in my advising journey. It's my premise about leaders. What is a premise? It is an assertion or proposition which forms the basis for a work or theory. To state by way of introduction.

Over twenty years of advising leaders* in the faith, business, and government communities, I have learned several lessons about leaders and leadership teams. At the heart is one driving belief: Nearly every leader or leadership team has within themselves the answer to their need or the strategy that will move them forward. The job of advising is not to bring strategies to the table. Our job is to ask the questions they haven't asked themselves, revealing answers that bring the future into the present.

Early in my endeavors, I worked hard to create the perfect strategy or to answer the need myself. I believed that was my job and my purpose. To be the answer man. Only to discover that, although these strategies had merit, I didn't personally carry the heart or driving passion of their work. It's their vision and their passion - not mine. Much time, energy, and resource were spent attempting to understand their passion and vision, and myself, like many consultants, have discovered that their ideas are tossed to the side. This is not creating a powerful, positive future.

Having learned this, I began seeing these leaders as the driving force, not my strategies or concepts. I became their connector to the answers. The facilitator brings new light by asking questions that open the door for creative thinking and processing. This resulted in the solutions and strategies they carry within themselves. I learned to discover the far better, moremind-blowingg, life-altering question. With this, you can lasso the moon!

* A leader is someone who carries within themselves the hope and desire to advance those around them, whether they work directly together or are casual acquaintances. I suggest that leaders carry this quality and improve it throughout their lives. They have not perfected these traits – they are in process. Those who call themselves leaders simply because they have a vision are not precisely how I define a leader. These are visionaries or messengers.

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