This week’s guest post author is my good friend Sean Ackerman from You Leading You.
As leaders in our worlds, both personal an professional, there are times when we are in moments of weakness, that the strength that others look at are compromised by the circumstances that we are in. True leaders see past those obstacles and create the world that the people that look up to us need.
As a father, husband, corporate professional and inspiring entrepreneur, I know that the hats we where can come off at times, and we are not the pillars of strength that others always look upon. I myself found that due to an adverse situation that landed me in the hospital, I changed the way that I used my leadership skills and opened the world to how, with just some mindset changes I present myself to the team.
An Acting Leader
Yes, the Oscars are a time when we celebrate an actors accomplishments on the screen, and those same efforts go extremely far when doing the same thing for the group or team. As leaders in the lives of others we know it is not only what we say or write, but about our actions. When my family and I lost our home and most of our belongings in 2011 due to a Hurricane, I could have reacted like a crushed and depressed man. With my wife and daughters looking up to me, I instead took the opportunity to … sing show tunes! Yes as we slugged our wet possessions into a dumpster, tossing memories away, I decided “put on a happy face” and sing family favorites (note I am not a good singer, at all!). As much as the family looked at me in a sideways glance, they also joined in, together.
Teaching Them To Fish
Leaders recognize the fact that we are not Superman, we are vulnerable. That vulnerability inspires us to find the traits and skills that we need to succeed and pass them on. A true leader uses their mentoring skills to “teach their children well”. Passing on the lessons that create more success are so important. As a father I have a routine of writing with my daughters, which has allowed me to express myself and grow. They grumbled and groaned at first, but over time they have come to enjoy these “dad” bouts of expression.
“Teach your children well, their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams, the one they fix, the one you’ll know by.”
Teach Your Children Well – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Showing Them They Are Not Alone
In the Oval Office the POTUS may sit alone behind the desk, but we all know that he (or someday she) is surrounded by an army, quite literally, of people that are there to assist and help them achieve success. We as leaders need to ensure our groups know the resources, both internal and external that will help them reach the peak of the mountain they are climbing, even when we struggle. In the coaching space I’ve been blessed to put together launch teams for new initiatives and programs, one of which allowed me to have a 72 year old author surround herself with friends, family, and fans. With the assistance of her team, she launched to being an Amazon best seller. I led the effort, but her team brought it home for her. Truly an eye opening experience when others help to bring your success.
Refills Your Purpose and Passion for Why They Are There
Filling their cup, not emptying it is key to motivation and progress. Being in the bosses chair many times over the years has shown me that the kindnesses we offer in our exchanges and interactions, yields volumes of results. The management style of “cracking the whip” only brings short term success, if at all. An employee, spouse or child will not reach outside of their comfort zone, unless they have purpose (our jobs as leaders) or passion (the cup we need to keep full). I’ve witnessed managers and leaders that “tear down” individuals thinking that fear motivates them. This is not the case, we further disengage those around us when this occurs.
“You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.”
Building the Relationship
Have you had a boss that you would walk through hell and back for? I have, and I have (walked through the proverbial hell and back), and that’s the person I always wanted to emulate. I saw my leaders as someone who had a purpose, but they didn’t sacrifice that for the individual. The time spent with these leaders, secures a human connection, which when harvested correctly blossoms into partnerships that ensure no one is left behind. You as the leader need to craft the mission, whether a corporate initiative, personal benchmark or family focused activity, and then leverage the strength of those around you. Create the kind of bond that makes the other person “walk through fire” for you.
It’s not always easy, we are human too, with weaknesses and failures. Our mission though is to rise above that, to show others what is possible, even staring into the face of adversity. No one remembers the followers, but the leaders create the memorable foundations in our lives.
About Sean Ackerman: Overcoming adversity has been a skill I’ve had since pre-conception. As my parents were told they would never have children, I fought my way into this world and have persevered, bringing success in whatever I put my mind to.
After 25 years in business management, from small privately-owned companies to large corporate organizations, I’ve had some amazing accomplishments. From my earliest working experience where I constantly climbed the leadership ladder, I was able to consult, speak and teach with such prestigious organizations as Columbia University, the New York State Police and Wal-Mart Stores, to name a few.
In 2011, my family and I found ourselves homeless after Hurricane Irene. Losing most everything we owned, we came back and persevered to put our lives back together. I put my best game face on until in the spring of 2013 I landed in the hospital with what I thought was a heart attack, but surprise it was just little old stress rearing it’s ugly head.
This was the catalyst for You Leading You, my mission, to share my experience and knowledge to help other leaders learn and grow.
Today I share the message through the business show, You Leading You, with insightful lessons from amazing leaders sharing their stories of success. Speaking and facilitating lessons on leadership with organizations and contributing to such influential platforms like The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, Addicted 2 Success, and well as others.
Chester Goad is a leader in education, non-profit advocacy, parenting issues, access, policy, and blogging culture, he has been quoted in major media outlets such as CNBC, Yahoo, the Washington Post, Forbes Leadership, and others. He is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, and Edutopia. You can learn more about Chester and his Amazon #1 Best Seller at www.purplepeopleleaderbook.com or www.chestergoad.com. He and his wife live in Tennessee with their teenage son.