What’s It Worth To You?

authentic leadership culture employee experience ethical influence impact leadership leadership culture leadership presence servant leadership the lasting impact of positive leadership Jul 27, 2022
The Lasting Impact of Positive Leadership

I closed last time with what a friend shared with me that explained why he does what he does for a fraction of the pay he could be making elsewhere; the lasting impact of that work is what drives him! Truth be told, I don’t know that doubling the salary would be even close to enough for what he’s doing if he wasn’t getting fulfillment from it…

Unfortunately, the prerequisites that build to developing the last impact that can only come from positive leadership is very similar. There’s so much work, over and above the standard requirements of our job descriptions, that we’ll have to toil through - sometimes for years - before we see even the slightest hint of fruit. If we don’t have absolute clarity of what we’re working toward and why it really matters to us, it can be incredibly hard to stick with it. Quite honestly, I believe that’s why we have some many folks supervising and managing but so few people really leading…

If you’ve been around me much at all, you know I enjoy 80’s hair band music… Over the last several months, I’ve had the opportunity to help an old roommate, who started a YouTube channel (now with close to 10k subscribers) around doing reaction videos of that style of music, by hosting live interviews with folks in the industry that are streamed to his channels. At this point, you’re probably wondering how I fit in that mix… While I do enjoy the music, time is limited for me and I just haven’t kept up with music since the late 90s. Well, I have done thousands of interviews, albeit for a very different purpose, and I’ve had to get versed with live stream technology out of necessity…

While leadership and workplace communication will likely never come up as a topic in those interviews, achieving success in any industry always requires the kind of work ethic and dedication that separates the players from the pretenders. I’ve been able to pull something from every single interview I’ve been a part of that tells me whether or not that individual has the kind of clarity of purpose to do what they’ll need to do over the long haul to make a mark. Without that passion, hunger, clarity, or whatever you want to call it, the impact won’t be lasting - in music, in business, or in leadership!

One of those interviews was with a band from a province in northeastern India. How about that for technology… If I’m being completely transparent, the music itself didn’t grab me. But their message did! Over the years, I’ve seen a number of musicians make names (and fortunes) for themselves by blasting capitalism and any number of other things they’ve deemed evil. I’ll fight the significant urge to go down the rabbit hole here of just how ironic it is for the rockstar to fly from city to city on his private jet to shame those greedy rich people… All that said, this band wasn’t doing that. They were calling attention to devastating statistics resulting from violence that’s basically accepted in their culture. By taking that stance, they’ve effectively forfeited any opportunity to be successful in their own country. That would be one thing if they were from some tiny dot on the map no one had heard of, but their country consists of an eight of the population on the planet!

I wasn’t part of the live interview but I was running the live feed and watching from behind the scenes. When the live feed ended, I had to ask why they had chosen to take that stand. Their response was simple; “If our message raises awareness about these issues with just one person who can help us make a difference, it will be worth it.”

Hearing that took me right back to why my friend was so passionate about the work he does with veterans, and it applies just as much to the clarity we’ll need to have if we really want to make a lasting impact through positive leadership!

But hold on there, Wes… How can we ever hope to reach everyone who needs and deserves that kind of positive leadership? That’s a great question and that’s exactly where we’ll pick up next time!