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The Motive

I train leadership principles to employees in tech companies (among other things). I am a bit of a leadership nerd. I love reading business books, personal growth books, Harvard Business Review, podcasts about leadership - anything to do with this topic I can go deep in the rabbit hole. Plus, I love to learn (it’s my top strength!), so put these two things together and I am in heaven.

Yesterday I read Patrick Lencioni’s latest book, The Motive, in a couple of hours. That man has a gift for fables. Basically, he outlines that most leaders are bad at being leaders because they have the wrong motive. Generally, the more you move up the corporate ladder, the more you think that you are owed things and you forget about the people below you. Fabulous, quick read.


I encounter this every day. Many leaders (and people for that matter) believe that they are most valuable when they focus on the output of their work, rather than the collective output of the team they lead. And man, is it hard to change their minds! I always wonder if they believe that people who have “fun” jobs like a musician or artist stop learning their craft?


Anyway, back to the point. He argues that servant leadership is the only type of leadership that is. I believe that with my whole heart. It is about the people you lead. If no one is following you, you are not a leader. Full stop.


This has made me think about my leadership journey and the type of impact I want to have. I want people to inspire others to be their best selves. In order to have that type of impact, I need to inspire others to be their best selves. That means showing up every day, and being the best leader I can be.


When I say leader, I don’t mean that I have the title that matches what you may have in mind. I mean that I lead my life in a way that gives others permission to be better. To do better. I’m not always going to get it right, but I know that if I keep showing up and doing things in service of the other person’s growth, in the long term it works out. Super uncomfortable in the short term for sure (crucial conversations and feedback are not fun), but well worth it.


Cheers to being the best person I can be. I hope my motivation impacts others in a positive way.