Greatest of All Time
That's an accolade that doesn't suffer from humility, does it? How can one be humble and a GOAT? Is it even possible?
If you look back at the GOATs of life, there are a few who you could lay claim as both GOAT and humble: Think Mother Theresa, Jesus ,Chadwick Boseman, and Fred Rogers to name a few. The question is, how did they pull it off?
It seems it can only pulled off if we are willing to go through the full progression -- all the phases - of leadership.
As I started thinking about those phases, and an interesting analogy came to life:
Mountain Top Experiences
If you hadn't noticed, mountain top experiences never start on top of the mountain. It starts from a state of humility. There is a whole progression of phases that happen that makes those experiences the Great of All Time. If those phases are what create GOAT experiences, then maybe there are some parallel aspects to what makes GOAT leaders. Let...
Words matter. Words can either breath life, or tear us down. One of the more powerful words ever spoken was an excerpt from a Teddy Roosevelt speech titled Citizenship in a Republic that he gave in Paris, France in April 1910.
Perhaps you are familiar with it. Even if it is, I encourage you to read it again as if it’s the first time.
"It is not the critic who counts;
it’s not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who errs, who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring...
A few years before the pandemic, I took a trip to London. When I arrived at Heathrow Airport, I noticed a peculiar warning sign over the moving walk way that caught my attention. It simply said, "Face direction of travel."
Immediately I considered the wisdom in its message. Like a moving walking way, life is always progressing forward. For you and me, to get to where we are want to go, we have to face the direction of travel. If we don't, we might not see what's coming. We might bump into something unexpected, or we might miss something critical and life changing. We might get derailed.
To put this into context, let me share a story. Years ago I was skiing in West Virginia as a chaperone on a youth group trip. In the middle of the day I was on a green slope, traveling as fast as I could. Now, I've skied most of my life. Green runs to me are not a challenge, and this had been no...