The Unmade Leader: What does unmade mean?

The past few posts have focused on a new approach to the answer of "Are leaders born or made?" The idea is this...

"Leaders are born and then unmade."
Each post is built around a question. Here is the current list...
Born with what?
What is a leader?
Are leaders born with everything they need to lead?

Today's question is "what does unmade mean?"

The "unmaking" that this concept speaks to is the process of a person, who is born with most of the natural gifts and qualities that they need to positively influence others, experiencing moments in their life where they dilute, change, damage or downright lose these gifts and qualities. Here are a few examples (the trait we are born with is first and the moment of unmaking is second).

Curiosity of life - The "Knowledge Jar" Moment. As we progress through life we are learning constantly. At some moment, something changes and we begin to think differently about this learning process and begin unmaking our curiosity for life. We begin to see our knowledge as being contained in a jar and once that jar is filled with the knowledge that we need to do what we are doing now (personally and professionally), we put a lid on it and stop being curious. Effective leaders have many jars and few lids. They are constantly examining old knowledge, replacing bad knowledge with better knowledge and adding new jars to fill with new knowledge.

Courage to risk boldly - The "Two-Steps Back" Moment. As a child and an adolescent, we possess unbridled and sometimes reckless courage. At some moment, we begin letting our fear of pain and embarrasment from the negative results of this courage change the way we think about risking boldly. We begin taking two steps back for every one step forward and we begin unmaking our courage to risk boldly. Effective leaders learn to embrace this fear and embarrasment and are emboldened by it. They learn to flip the equation... they take two steps forward for every one step back.

This process of identifying what we are all naturally born with that is at the core of effective leadership, attaching a moment that changes things and then highlighting strategies and tools for overcoming these moments (and/or avoiding them) is the core focus of our new book that will be coming out in a few months. If you would like to receive a personalized first-run copy, just shoot me an email at rhett@yournextspeaker.com.

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