Now here’s some pretty serious stuff. My philosophy on leadership has mostly been shaped from experience as a student leader as well as being a writing consultant. But about a year ago I found inspiration in the most unlikely of places: business philosophy.
One place I like to go to get leadership inspiration is in business philosophy books, videos, CD’s, classes, and workshops. While it might not be the sexiest subject, it holds many of the keys to great leadership. Here’s why: Business philosophy is all about how you get someone to hand over their money in exchange for a product or service. Sound familiar? It should. Mass
Influence Leadership is about getting someone to do what you want them to do in exchange for providing them something of value. Anyone who knows me knows how much I respect and honor the teachings of Jim Rohn. I consider Jim Rohn as one of the greatest American business philosophers of all time. When talking about business philosophy, Jim Rohn said, “We get paid for bringing value to the marketplace.” The same holds true in leadership principles. A leader gets rewarded for bringing value to the people that he or she influences.
Jim Rohn contends that in business you can get paid for bringing value in two ways: A worker gets paid for bringing a product or service to the marketplace, or a worker gets paid for who he or she becomes. That same advice can translate into Mass Influence Leadership terms. A leader gets rewarded for either: 1) Delivering results to the people he or she influences 2) Becoming a highly valuable person in terms of knowledge, skill, leadership attributes, etc.
The more valuable you are as a person, the more capable you are of delivering superior results, therefore you are able to multiply your leadership to influence a wider range of people on a much deeper level. Your influence can grow by leaps and bounds by focusing on just two fundamental things: delivering more results, and becoming a better leader. Here’s a video of Jim Rohn speaking on business philosophy, and about bringing value to the marketplace.
Living With Character
I was talking with my dad on the phone the other day. He told me that he had just recently read a book on John Wooden. Wooden coached UCLA Basketball to 10 NCAA National Championships in a span of 12 years. He told me that John Wooden was one of his true heroes, an inspiration.
Coincidentally, I just learned of Wooden that morning. I saw his picture pop up on MSN along with a headline: John Wooden Passes Away at 99… I said “Yeah. John Wooden. He was the coach that died today, right?” The only problem was my dad hadn’t heard the news.
It didn’t take long to discover why my dad and so many other people admire John Wooden. He told me the story about Wooden’s first year coaching basketball at Indiana State in 1948. The team won their way into the NAIA tournament in Kansas City.
However, the NAIA had a policy on banning African Americans from playing in the tournament. Wooden refused to participate in the tournament because he had Clarence Walker, an African American, on his team.
Wooden said, “If I can’t bring Clarence, we’re not coming.” Due to Wooden’s refusal to play, and the attention it drew, the NAIA overturned the rule the following year. Stories of character are plentiful when it comes to John Wooden. Perhaps it was because he was a man of character. He acted in congruence with what he believed and said. One of my favorite quotes from John Wooden is:
“Your reputation is what you’re perceived to be; your character is who you really are.”
A person of high character has a strong commitment to developing leadership super-powers, relationships with others, as well as controlling the environment. In Mass Influence Leadership terms, your reputation is directly responsible for your peripheral influence payout.
The peripheral influence payout is the culmination of the effects of your leadership super-powers, bonding with people and controlling the environment. John Wooden was a master of character and living with integrity, and realized that with strong character, a strong reputation could be built.
John Wooden defines success as “peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” To be the best leader you can be, you’ve got to work on it every day. You have to work towards being your best if you want to be successful. If you want peace of mind, you have to do everything in your power to achieve your goals. You have to lead the best life you are capable of living. That is the true path to success.