Unlocking the Heart and Soul of Remarkable Leadership, Keith Merron
Remarkable Leadership

Posts Tagged ‘Authentic Leadership’

Barack Obama

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

SunsetAs the first anniversary of Barack Obama’s inauguration approaches,

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I notice my thoughts drifting to the kind of President he has been in my eyes.

When people learn about my interest in, research, and writing about leadership, so many ask me about my impressions of Obama. So here it is.

Put simply, I believe Obama is the most mature President of this country I have ever witnessed and perhaps the most mature of any President in history. I have nothing to back up that claim other than my own sense of him. I am not big into politics (I’m sorry mom) and for the most part, distaste most politicians, but I find Obama a different sort than most others. I believe he speaks hard truths. I believe he spins his message as little as possible, and I believe he calls others up to face the challenges of our lives. When faced with confrontation, he rarely confronts back.

Someone once said that the sign of maturity is the ability to inhibit one’s impulses, and in that sense, Obama is highly mature. He measures his words, not to spin them so much as to be sure they are received in the spirit in which he intends.

He is also playful and easy in front of others suggesting there are few differences between his public self and private self. The term “comfortable in his own skin” applies to him. cialis He has few twitches, scowls, twists of his face or contorted sentences, the absence of which suggest authenticity.

All of these things tell me that he is highly developed from an ego maturity standpoint, and to the extent that I believe that high ego maturity correlates with leadership effectiveness, his leadership will likely go down in history as one of the most positively impactful on the planet. It already has, as his election has begun to heal so many wounds between races, countries, and people. He does not come across as arrogant or antagonistic as George Bush appeared to so many in this country and from other countries.

Obama seems to have little to prove. While George Dubya came across to me as petulant, trying to prove to his father and to himself he can be a strong leader (qualities that imply weakness to me), Obama comes across as not trying to prove anything. He appears good with himself, and so comes across as confident and not arrogant.

Whether you like his politics or not, I hope readers will consider the possibility that his conduct and character have already and will continue to represent this country well.

Being Authentic

Friday, December 4th, 2009

leadership1I just got off the phone with a leader of a rapidly growing, highly successful business and was deeply moved by the leader’s deep and abiding commitment to his own journey of learning.  Here is a man who by almost all standards is quite accomplished as a business leader and yet, in spite of that, he had a great deal of difficulty owning that he was a great leader.

Instead, he focused

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on what he needed to learn about to better himself and his leadership and how he had so much more to give.  His humility and grace was apparent and in sharp contrast to how so many leaders in life believe their own press.

In the research for my recent book, The Golden Flame, I set out to find great leaders in part because I got tired of hearing about, reading about, and witnessing myself the number of leaders whose ambitions cause them to spin doctor themselves and the truth around them.  Thankfully, I have found many remarkable leaders who are not like that.

The leader I am referring to above was so un-selfconsious, so unpretentious, that I immediately trusted him and could easily see how he has built an organization characterized by loyalty and commitment.  Turnover is low in the company not because people have few options or because they are drawn to the money, but because they trust him.

This leader’s enthusiasm was also infectious–his enthusiasm for life, for his work, for the company and what it can become in the world, and for learning.  What if greatness in leadership has all to do with being human and not being great?