I am sharing a new book and a short video by a friend of mine, Bill Treasurer. The book is called “Leaders Open Doors” and is a short, simple answer to the question: what do great leaders do for those around them?
I first met Bill over 20 years ago on an Accenture (then Andersen Consulting) training program in Chicago. We were put on the same team and enjoyed the fun and challenges of 2 weeks of intense, sleep deprived, project work.
Since then, Bill has become a well known speaker and author. Bill is the author of Courage Goes to Work, an internationally bestselling book on courage building. Bill is also a former member of the U.S. High Diving Team, a cancer survivor, and a champion for the rights of people with disabilities. Bill currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with his wife and three children.
Leaders Open Doors[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N9tR0xJeRI]
Transcript of Bill’s talk
But the reality is we’ve inflated this idea of leadership too much and after twenty years I had a conversation with a very wise person that brought me back to the essence of what leadership is really all about I had a conversation with my five-year-old son.
Now Ian, at the time, was a five year old at the preschool the Montessori School and Asheville North Carolina where I live. I came home and my wife said “hey honey Ian got to be the class leader today!”
“A class leader!” My son.
I’m the guy who goes around teaching leadership and my son got to be the class leader.
“Son give me a high five! What’s it like to be a leader? What did you get to do as a class leader Iain?”
He looked at me and with 7 words he cut through to what matters most about leadership. He looked at me and said: “I got to open doors for people”
I get to open doors for people.
I thought about it for a couple of days… I kept thinking about that concept: leaders opening doors. I thought about the leaders who had made a difference in my life; and there are always people that have taken an interest in me and nudged me into discomfort; sometimes to help me be accountable to my own potential… they believed in me until I start to believe in myself.
I can live up to, and into, my potential. Leaders to open doors… and I thought about that concept and it turned into a book. “Open-door Leadership” is about serving people and organisations by creating opportunities for them to grow and develop.
What if leadership was that simple? What if that’s the central idea? Leadership is serving others. Leadership is not about the leader, it is about those being led. What are you going to do in the service for them?