Dr. Henry Cloud starts his talk on Reversing the Death Spiral of a Leader with a story of a family business, involving a father-boss and a son-employee. Unfortunately, at some point the son makes a momentous stuff up, and his dad fires him. Or at least his boss does. Immediately afterwards, dad changes tack: “I hear you lost your job today son. Can I help you?”
It’s funny. You can feel for the father who obviously has had a tough choice to make… but he seems to have dealt with it well enough! It is also a demonstration of the post title, being “ridiculously in charge”, which of course the father-boss is, firing-and-hiring in the same breath.
This serves simply as a fun warm-up that precedes an important starting point: leaders are in charge of themselves. To lead means to take action, to accept responsibility, to exert energy for the sake of others.
Are you taking action? Are you taking responsibility? Are you exerting your energy in the best way?
Adapted from the “Reversing the Death Spiral of a Leader” talk by Dr. Henry Cloud at the Global Leadership Summit 2013. Part 1.