The Spirituality of Authentic Leader by Bill George
Think about your leadership and whether you are doing everything you can, using all you gifts to be all you can be. Each of us is “called” to make the world a better place.
“Let your light so shine among men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Bill said, “There are two goals: become a values-centered leader, and encourage others in my generation to become values-centered leaders.
Many in my generation failed to hold value-centered leadership.
In the last third of my life I’m determined to leverage my influence to develop values-centered leaders in the world.
We’ve been in a leadership crisis for the last ten years.
Many leaders have failed; people have lost trust in their leaders. Only 12% of US citizens trust members of Congress.
Where have all the leaders gone?
Last night my wife and I spent time with one who could be in the Whitehouse. When my wife asked, “What are you going to do?” the question was turned back on her and she was asked, “What are you going to do?”
(RMB here: I’m not sure I like that answer to this wife’s question. Maybe some parts of the conversation have been omitted for brevity.)
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
Do you believe that?
What’s the problem? Why do we hold back?
We’ve been choosing people (to lead us) more for “image” than “integrity,” more for “style” than “substance.” We’ve chosen people who are “takers” rather than “givers.”
So many of our leaders have lost sight of their true North. We even see people in ministry like that; pulled of course by pressures, or seduced by opportunities to obtain power and glory.
“Leadership is responsibility.” – Peter Drucker
I think leadership must change dramatically in the 21st Century.
Command and Control leadership styles must change to “empowering others…”
a. People in organization often know more than their bosses. Give them opportunity.
b. People are looking for meaning and significance in their work.
My Definition of Leadership:
1. Align (around vision)
2. Empower (People support what they help create.)
3. Serve (People are not there to serve you; you are there to serve them.)
4. Collaborate. (In the organization and between organizations)
Problems are so tough, no single organization can solve them.
What are the traits and competencies of successful leaders?
They found their passion to lead in their life-stories.
You are solely responsible for your life.
Here is Bill George’s story:
George’s dad said, “I want you to become a leader.”
I never got chosen to be on Student Council. I lost by a margin 2:1 for Class President. I went to college and lost every race for office.
I was told, “Bill, you don’t take time for other people.”
I went to the woods and prayed to God for help. I’d been rejected. I asked God to help me develop. I worked very hard and began to take on leadership roles as a Junior and Senior in College. Then I was confronted by the fact, “Life is not always fair.”
My father called to say my mother had died that day of a heart attack.
I realized my mother was the real leader I should have been all along.
I fell in love and got engaged.
My fiancé went home and three weeks to the day- before our marriage – I got a call from my future in-laws saying my fiancé had died of a latent brain tumor.
There are things in life we don’t understand.
One month later I met my wife-to-be and we’ve been together for the last 39 years.
I went to work in two corporations. I was in line to be CEO of Honeywell.
I was coming home one day…in Minneapolis…and I was miserable.
I was working so hard to become CEO of Honeywell that the company was changing me more than I was changing it.
How do leaders develop?
Six things Leaders Do to Develop.
1. Understand the purpose of your leadership.
2. Gain self-awareness.
Don’t just observe others. Do something.
3. Go through introspection. Prayer.
4. Values: Will you be true to your values?
5. Follow your motivated capabilities.
Note your passions.
Note your intrinsic and extrinsic motivations.
Are you in your sweet spot right now?
6. Build a support team around you.
Open and honest.
Real feedback. We need someone who will give us that.
7. Lead an Integrated life.
Be the same person in all environments. Lead your life with integrity.
Leadership is not about power…it is about empowering other people.
“Why do leaders lose their way?”
“Because they are not grounded. I see people going off in many different directions.”
“Some are imposters.”
“Some are shooting stars. They work 100 hours a week but they have no life. They don’t have a family life. They don’t work in the community. You’ll lose it if you don’t have a life.”