Bold Leadership

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Bold leadership is clarity around and unreasonable commitment to what could be and what should be.

An example of this is a middle-school aged girl pursuing and new iphone. They will ask Dad, then they ask Mom, then they barter, negotiate, maybe ask grandparents, ask for Christmas, ask for birthdays, ask for any reason that they could think of. This is bold leadership.

Bold Leadership Caveat

Consequently, bold-leadership does not allow the question of "How?" to kill an idea. If you ask the question "How?" too early, then the idea gets killed too early.

If someone on your team or your family comes in with a crazy idea in which the results are good, come back with "Wow!" instead of "How?" Talk about what should and could be rather than talking about how something is possible. There is a time and place for the "How?" but at the beginning, it's more important to focus on the "Wow!"

Two questions that can be used to help with this are separated into two different categories; a head question and a heart question.

Head Question

Joel Barker's "Future Edge" or "Paradigms" has the first question, the head question. "What do I believe is impossible to do in my field but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business?"

The reason this is important is because you or someone on your team may actually solve this. Another reason is that you will become more sensitive to the people who are trying to solve this.

In many companies, this comes down to the idea that two items are needed; great leadership and great communicators. A great leader doesn't always have the capacity to be able to hold a crowd's attention for more than 10 minutes without putting them to sleep. Conversely, a great communicator doesn't always have the leadership skills required so the organization is poorly lead.

In a growing company, the point person is often a great leader and great communicator. The problem becomes that the organization is limited by that person. As the person goes, so does the company.

If you could solve how to have great communication and great leadership then the problem of growth for most companies would be solved. If the branch manager or remote office manager is a great leader, they don't have to be relied upon for great communication. That layer can be handled by the main office communication.

Example of Head Question

An example of this is Steve Jobs re-entry into Apple. His focus upon return wasn't how to make it faster, it was how to make it easier. He solved the problem for many people in the world who had a difficult time using computers.

Heart Question

The heart question is this, "What breaks your heart?" Most non-profits began with a broken-hearted leader but also for-profits can gain from this as well.

For example, Toms shoe company gives away a pair of shoes for every pair of shoes bought.

Another way to ask this question is to ask, "What would you like people to thank you for at the end of your life?"


Again bold leadership is clarity about and unreasonable commitment to what could be and what should be.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 June 2015

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