I have been spending a lot of time as of late mulling over the concept of leadership. What does it mean to me, what does it stand for in a global sense, and how is it being represented by "leaders" around the world.
I cannot pinpoint one exact reason as to why leadership has been on my mind so much as of late. The thoughts surrounding it have become so many that it definitely warrants this blog as well as a video I plan on posting on Wednesday.
Before I tackle the leadership subject, a few announcements:
- There will be a Ustream chat in the next week or so. Stay tuned for more information.
- Pounds are being lost and inches are being shed in the exercise accountability group. Click here: for more information on how you can become a member of a motivating group that will help hold you accountable and motivate you to achieve the results you want.
- What does "being successful" mean to you? How does your definition of it impact the way you live your life? This is the topic of the week in the "Carpe Diem Insights" group. Carpe Diem Insights is my group coaching program that focuses on teaching YOU tools that will help YOU Empower YOUR life. For more information, click here: Carpe Diem Insights
A leader is one who: guides or directs a group. Some examples are: a CEO of a company, a General in the military, a Political head of state and a guy who creates a challenge to do 1000 things he has never done before.
Maybe it is just me, but as of late, I feel that the motivation in the 1000 Challenge Community isn't what it once was. The 1000 Challenge Community is growing at a rapid rate, but the rate of involvement, or people taking action is rapidly declining.
Last year, when global events like "Trash Clean Up Day," Ustream Chats, and "Sunrise/Sunset Day," were held we had a much larger participation with a far smaller community than we have had this year.
I have been asking myself, Why? I don't understand, I provide motivating material, I encourage, I give, I support, I happily play the role of cheerleader, what am I missing?
As first I made up a bunch of excuses for all 8,000+ members of the 1000 Challenge Community. Excuses about how life is to busy, it is low priority, etc... A good possibility, right? I don't really believe that though.
Then I made up excuses about how new members may perceive me, "Perhaps they just see me as an "IN" to get into the good graces of certain friends that I have that just happen to be famous. And so they will "humor" me in hopes that I make a connection or two for them?" It is definitely a possibility, right? But deep down, I do not think that is the sole motivation for the majority of our community members. A small few maybe, but the majority of the 1000 Challenge Community, I don't believe so.
So what is it then?
This is where many of my thoughts on leadership, I believe, are originating from.
A leader is someone who guides or directs a group. And what better way to guide or direct a group then by example... BINGO JESSE!!
I am the creator of the 1 Year 1000 Challenge and last year I lead you all by my example. Each and everyday you had pictures, blogs, videos, etc... chronicling not just me and my pursuit of doing 1000 things I had never done before; you had more than that. You were introduced to me and got to follow my journey on how to Carpe Diem... to Seize each and every day and make the absolute most of it.
Along that journey you got to see and experience the world through my eyes. You got to experience the highs and the lows of life with me. I was very candid in sharing the times I struggled as well as the times I triumphed.
This year - that has been lacking. I have taken the substance out of the experience of what it means to be a member of the 1 Year 1000 Challenge Community. Sure I have provided lots of delicious appetizers in the form of motivating quotes, videos, and pretty pictures, but have consistently forgot to serve the main course: the real, true to life, human component of it that we can all relate to. This has been a major lapse in leadership on my part and for that I deeply apologize.
After all, how am I, as a leader supposed to expect you all to jump up and Carpe Diem, if I am not providing an example to follow? One of my all time favorite expressions is: "You can give a man to fish and it will feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he will be able to feed himself for life."
Last year my goal as a leader was to turn all of those who were willing, into master fisher-persons. This year I have not been doing my best as a leader. I realize that I have removed some of the tools that are necessary to be able to fish. How are you supposed to fish if the leader is not teaching you how to cast your line into the water?
You, me, and everyone else,, will never be as great as their full potential if they do not know how to fish. We will forever spend our lives at "average," if we merely sit around and wait for someone to give us a fish. Greatness is sought out and created, it is not given.
I have allowed myself to get so caught up in some of the various aspects of my life, that I have gotten away from the core of what got you all to look to me as a leader. Shoot, I have a goal to take 20,000 + photos this year and I am not even half way to that number!
The first half of the year I have:
- worked tirelessly to expand my business,
- allowed myself to be consistently bummed out over ongoing injuries and daily physical pain,
- overly analyzed and overly rationalized various relationships rather than just dealing with the core issues and move forward.
While the injuries have been beyond shitty, I have also gained a sensitivity I did not have before to people who are injured. In addition I have also learned to appreciate what a privilege a life without physical pain is.
I have more clarity than ever with the various relationships.
All positives, but all are things that did not require me to sacrifice what made me an effective leader. However, again I am grateful for it has given me an awareness about leadership I did not have before. That awareness has been two fold, one the above actions, and two, the following qualities of leadership that I have become much, much more aware of.
One of the most important qualities of a good leader is consistency. Imagine how much kids in school would struggle if their teachers, their leaders, consistently told them 2+2 = 4, and then one day decided to start telling them 2+2 = 5.
Another important quality of leadership is honesty: How many of you are frustrated with appointed political leaders and their "fudging of the truth." I know I AM! Last year I honestly shared with you my journey, this year I have not. I did not want the journey to take away from your own potential to Carpe Diem. I now realize the error in my ways - that the journey provides an important spark. Without the spark there can be no fire and without a fire there can be no burning desire to Carpe Diem.
And finally, I will leave you this: one of the most important qualities of a good leader is the example he/she sets. We all have a good giggle at some of the comments that come up when I post a topless picture of myself, but think about this: Would you respect me as much as a Personal Trainer, as a leader of Fitness if I did not live the example of being fit? Would you respect me as much as a Life Coach, as a leader of Carpe Diem-ing, of living life, if I did not go out and embrace the experience of life and all the ups and downs that come with it?
We all have the potential inside of us to be a great leader. Leadership is not limited to CEO's, political heads of state, or a guy who challenged himself to do 1000 things he had never done before in 2011. Leadership is an attribute that exists within each and everyone of YOU. Whether it is leading as a parent, a teacher, a community member, a best friend, or a lover, each area provides an opportunity to lead.
I cannot speak for You, only for myself, when I say that I want to be best leader I can be.
I pledge to all of you to do a much better job this day forward as a leader than I have done so far this year. :)
And remember what I said earlier: "Greatness is sought out and created, it is not given."
Enjoy the pics,