To be an Extreme Leader is really nothing more than the challenge to be fully human at work, at home, in the community, and in the world as a whole. And to be fully human requires our accepting a radical level of personal accountability for making the future markedly better than the present.
Accountability has become an uncomfortable idea; it’s that thing that people desperately want other people to take. “These people need to be more accountable” is an edict that I’ve heard more times than I care to remember.
As you think through your plans for 2011–resolutions, goals, intentions or whatever you choose to call them–consider this:
YOU are accountable. You. Whomever you are. Do you need to enlist other people? Of course. Do you have to make things happen all by your little lonesome? Of course not. Nonetheless, hold yourself accountable for everything you set out to accomplish and do it with the intent that everything you act on will, “successful” or not, change some piece of the world that you touch for the better.
That level of accountability isn’t simply about being more effective and productive at work. It’s not just about achieving goals and accomplishing tasks, and it’s not about proving to anyone how wonderful a person you are. It’s about living, breathing, toiling and playing way out there on that radical edge where you simultaneously stoke your business to phenomenal success, amp your life to the loudest possible volume of joy and meaning, and change the world for all of us. The key word there is simultaneously.
The essence of this radical level of accountability boils down to this simple truth:
If you live in this world without ever attempting to change it, you will have sold a ruby for the price of spam.
May 2011 be a year full of rubies for you and yours.
May it be a year of being fully human.