The Long, Long Line

In 9th grade I had a tremendous amount of apathy for time not spent with friends. On a scale from none to “kiln me now” I was pretty sure that working on anything for school was stupid as I was going to become a rock legend. Rock legends don’t need backup plans. Then Mr.H. happened to me and my history class. The first day of class he said and did a number of things with great intensity. He kicked our collective apathetic butts, and he made us think – even if it was with a little fear.

He told us that the next class we’d take the hardest test we’d ever take (it was), and that if we promised to study he wouldn’t give us another one that hard. So we came into class and ran out knuckles over the cheese grater of his test and realized in brokenness that we weren’t as smart as we thought we were. But then something really cool happened: we realized he actually cared about us.

Mr. H. drew a long line across two chalk boards and used his thumb nail to scratch a tiny line out of the chalk. He turned to the class and said “This side of the line represents the infinite of the past. And this side of the line represents the infinite of the future. And this scratch represents your life. Can you see how short it is? You can’t change the past, but you can have a massive impact on the future, and it’s my job to help you do that.”

And my life has never been the same since.

– the MGMT

Plug: Listen to This Panel

If you’ve never heard of Dave Ramsey, Jim Collins, or Patrick Lencioni, then you’re missing out.  That being said, get introduced to their material on leadership here.  These guys have had a large amount of influence on leaders all around the world.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

I have read a number of books on leadership, and I intend to read many more, but The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership stands out as a great summary list of qualities you want to cultivate in yourself.  It was so impressive that I committed the list to memory. The book’s purpose is to give you a list of laws, or attributes, that you need to be aware of, understand their value, and then to encourage you to seek to develop those attributes in yourself.  The Laws are:

  1. The Law of the Lid
  2. The Law of Influence
  3. The Law of Process
  4. The Law of Navigation
  5. The Law of Addition
  6. The Law of Solid Ground
  7. The Law of Respect
  8. The Law of Intuition
  9. The Law of Magnetism
  10. The Law of Connection
  11. The Law of the Inner Circle
  12. The Law of Empowerment
  13. The Law of the Picture
  14. The Law of Buy-In
  15. The Law of Victory
  16. The Law of Momentum
  17. The Law of Priorities
  18. The Law of Sacrifice
  19. The Law of Timing
  20. The Law of Explosive Growth
  21. The Law of Legacy

I expect to go into these in more detail in future blog posts because each one has an entire chapter dedicated to it and writing a terse description of each law is probably a hair too terse.

As a leader understanding how to unpack each one of these principles will help you guide your team to excellengce and to help them lead others to excellence.  It will build a Leadership Pipeline that can handle the varying demands on each layer because they have a root system that is feeding them, growing them, and allowing them to handle the daily tasks of a leader.