Misfit Leadership Awards.

Awards don't equal accomplishment.

Just because you happen to happen to have the biggest executive trophy case doesn't mean that you have done anything that really matters in life.

It's doesn't make you a leader.

But that runs counter-culture to everything that our business culture tells us is important.

We're told that you know you're winning when you have the trophies to prove it.  That you know you're ahead when you look back and see people behind you.

But that's just silliness.

Somewhere in all the chasing of awards and validation and recognition, we've forgotten that what matters most isn't the number of cocktail glasses and tuxedos we've left behind.

It isn't the top line in an earning sheet or the size of your Rolodex.

It's about the love you've left behind.

It's the people you've helped.  It's the quiet moments you've held the hand of a grieving employee and just been there for them.

The money comes and goes.  Hot shots too.

But the people you touch change the world.

It's an unstoppable movement.

And maybe that's how we fix what's wrong with leadership.

We stop leading like there is a finish line and start giving.

  1. Give time to listen to personal problems.
  2. Give attention to fix issues that are emerging.
  3. Give praise and encouragement to those who try.
  4. Give candor when tough conversations are necessary
  5. Give quietness even when you think you know.
  6. Give respect to those who do it better than you
  7. Give support even when you have doubts.

Leading better means loving better.

Getting people to follow you isn't about the number of commemorative plaques in your office entry way.

In a way, the awards might just mean you're vision wasn't big enough -- that the best you have to deliver is already behind you.

Have you thought about that?

You can chase the awards.  You can fight for the spotlight. You can elbow your way up to the trophy table.

And maybe you're the type of person who shouldn't be reading.

Maybe you're just doing more harm than good.