I understand you may be scratching your head about my selection of “Unreasonable” as a leadership characteristic! Please bear with me as I explain.
The British playwright George Bernard Shaw provides us with a quote that serves as my foundation for including this essential leadership characteristic:
“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.”
Here are four lessons I learned from being Unreasonable in my Courageous Leadership:
- Leaders are Transformational: We transform ourselves, our teams, and our world – one relationship at a time; one action at a time; one success at a time. Therefore, if you want to change the world, you MUST first approach your Courageous Leadership with expectations of yourself, others, and the world that most people will consider unreasonable! Think Socrates’ speech at his trial in 399 BC, Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail 1963, or Jeff Bezos launching Amazon in 1994.
- Unapologetically Expect the World to Bend to Your Will: By now, you have decided you are willing and able to be a Courageous Leader. And you have identified your principles; aligned your technical, cognitive, & emotional actions; balanced your work, family, & self; and set a path to your vision. Concurrently then, as you demonstrate your humility, power, boldness, drive, and charisma – unreasonably and unapologetically expect the world to follow you on your journey. Doors will open; opportunities will present themselves; you will succeed!
- Never Give Up: To paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill, never, never, never, never give up! On the battlefield, the losing combatant is usually the first one who self-decides the day is lost. In life and business, this same idea applies – the person who fails is usually the person who decides they have failed. From this day forward, unreasonably refuse to ever decide to fail. If you must retreat from the battlefield, it is simply to fight on another day.
- You Are in the Arena: Of course, observers looking down upon you, resting comfortably in their shaded seats, will comment on your unreasonable expectations; as you wipe the blood, sweat, & dust from your brow. But such is the life of a Courageous Leader. Drive on and do not be distracted!
I hope these lessons learned help you create, collect, and use your Courageous Unreasonable Leadership. Keep in touch and let me know what you think! ?