Following the example of his Hollywood colleague, Eric Little, Jesse Jones offers this paper on his experience with and reaction to The Radical Leap. I think you’ll find it tactical, practical, and inspirational all rolled into one:
The Radical Leap is to me, a fresh look on the core essence of leadership. I have attended Leadership classes and I have graduated from them. In these classes we were versed on how to “lead” our peers. We were given the fancy catch phrases, the acronyms and the empowerment words. One would think, upon leaving these classes, that you had the tools to be a leader and that’s all you needed. They made it seem so simple and soulless. In many respects, we are taught that our leaders are untouchable, “non-human” as it were.
Steve Farber’s book lets you see where conventional leadership has let us down. He brings to mind questions you would not have asked yourself, or asked of the others around you. How many people are really ready to have an OS!M (Oh shit! moment)? To break down the barriers between one another. Leaving yourself vulnerable to everyone around you.
To pursue an OS!M suggests that you throw yourself to the wolves. Even if it means there’s not an end to justify the means, an experience has been given to both you and your team. You are brought down from your proverbial pedestal and are now as human as they are, with the same fears, needs and aspirations. This also gives way to being able to share a vision your team can all see, a common goal they (and you) are motivated to work for.
I really like the idea of this, and as an exercise I want to include one of my own OS!M’s into this paper.Here are some of my personal strengths and developmental needs as of September 2006. I think this is a great opportunity to be open and honest with my superiors and subordinates. Here it goes:
I have an excellent comprehension of the psychology of sales and visual presentation. I have an aptitude for implementing that into my daily sales, thus bringing my numbers well above average.
I appreciate partners that are doing an exemplary job. Making my partners feel useful in our store. I help them gain a positive perspective of the importance of their job.
Motivating my partners to do the best they can do, even when the job may seem overwhelming. Then setting the pace and standards for my partners to adhere to.
I have a common sense approach to problem solving . I use trouble-shooting tactics that are effective for the short or long term, depending on needs.
Productive verbal coaching and corrective counseling.
Holding partners accountable for their actions by using written documentation as a tool for discipline.Or in a sense “cracking the whip”.
Being hands-on and involved in the execution of projects. Figuring out a “starting point.”
Properly filing and organizing operational paperwork.
Defining the separation between a partner that I get along well with at work, and a personal friend. It is hard for me to have an individual that performs well, has great social and interactive skills, and shares similar interests as me…then not build a friendship with that person.
Focusing on a specific task or goal, and maximizing opportunities to manage my time productively. In turn getting caught up on a small detail instead of moving on.
Another facet of Radical leap is in fact, the L.E.A.P itself. L standing for Love. Steve Farber quotes love to be the “ ultimate motivation of the Extreme Leader. Love of something or someone; love of a cause; love of a principle; love of the people you work with and the guests you serve; love of the future you and yours can create; love of the business you conduct together everyday.”
Love in a business environment is seldom something people think about, and many cases, if they do, it’s thought upon negatively or with little regard. To instill love into your workplace starts within yourself. Do you enjoy the people you work with, do you share the vision that your company promotes? You can say yes, but do you really believe in that statement? Showing you have love for your job, your co-workers and your goals is difficult to do if you really don’t feel that way. Ask yourself, “ why do I come to work?” Instant answer, “I have bills to pay. I have to.” But there’s more to the equation of a truly progressive work place. I believe that the “more” is Love.
E is for energy. To paraphrase “An Extreme Leader is a generator, a powerful force for action, for progress, and an enthusiastic believer in people and in their capacity to do the awesome.” My interpretation of this statement is simple, they have to see you give your all to your job, your partners need your trust that they can do their job and provide you with results. Give them the ‘go-ahead’ to find their own path through a problem and give them the freedom to try something new. Ask for their ideas, even their criticisms in matters that directly involve them. Doing this will generate an energy that will not wane with time.
A if for audacity. It is a “bold and blatant disregard for normal constraints, love inspired Audacity is courageous and filled with valor. The Extreme Leader is audacious, not to serve his or her own ego, but to serve the common good, and to do so boldly and blatantly.” Well said.
P is for proof. To be an Extreme Leader you have to produce proof. You have to prove to yourself and the people around you The book says to do what you say you will do. This statement is simple, but carries a lot of weight. In essence, talk the talk and walk the walk. You have to be the person you have made yourself out to be. It is not an act, or farce. Because the only person you will be fooling is yourself. Your partners are keenly aware of what you say and what you do, and my guess is, they are keeping score. To be an Extreme Leader you have to be credible. Has what you have done impacted the lives of people around you for the better? Its important to keep a personal inventory of your actions.
Reading this book has provided me with some new tools to be a more effective leader. The story was very entertaining to read. Farber made it direct and understandable. Allowing the reader to utilize the information in a way that would allow for individual interpretation and application. I consider this book to be catalyst to better leading a team.
The knowledge is undoubtedly there. I would recommend reading this book, then if you get a chance-read it again. The values, concepts, and lessons are things you should use everyday. I think that if everybody read The Radical Leap it would without fail,
CHANGE THE WORLD.