I teach my students: “Kill the leader.” I don’t mean it literally! I mean kill the THE — like there’s really one leader. What a stupid idea. And kill the idea that I invite you to re-kill today: Who (are) you waiting for — whose inactivity justifies your passivity. I like it better without the “are,” Who, you waitin’ for?
What would the world look like if we stopped waiting, especially to share our best stuff?
Here’s the part about the pen. When I take mine out to write down who I’m waitin’ for, here’s who I’m waiting for and why:
My wife to understand the things I don’t tell her I’d like her to do for me.
My dean to build more of a learning “business” community among our business school faculty who are telling others about how to be a great learning business.
My students to “get it” that I’m not going to do everything for them.
My students to humbly but clearly give me great feedback, so I know how to get better.
My Reading for Leading readers to share more of their own thoughts with each other.
My graduate student to get our survey out.
My most challenging sister to realize how right I am (all the time).
The “right” to get that immigrants aren’t our problem; we’re our problem.
The “left” to get that the market does some amazing things and that we don’t always have to be angry at it.
The organized Church to realize that Jesus was so anti-church, rule, structure.
The media to realize that we and they have so much great stuff going and that as easy as it is to focus on the sensational and scary, we can also find ways to celebrate the good, and ASK HARD, HONEST QUESTIONS.
TED to come and find me 🙂
My son to realize how much I love him and then do everything I want him to do.
The deniers to realize that if WE don’t do something about the planet, then a few generations down there’s really going to be hell to pay.
I hope you see how mixed my genuine care and idealism are with my infantile wish that the world would do what I want, and that THE LEADER would do something about it.
I hope you see that I can choose to do something about every single thing on my list.
LEADERS don’t blame and leaders don’t wait. Leaders accept their own responsibility and act (even if the action is to humble themselves and pray, and not become a bigger part of the problem).
So, maybe today’s a good day to write your list and stop delegating everything you want and desire and hope for to someone else to accomplish. Maybe you should quit waiting for Godot (he hasn’t come yet and that play’s getting old), and
Lead with your best self.