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Leadership – Not For The Faint Of Heart

Written by: Dr. Ken Keis, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Dr. Ken Keis

Leadership is no walk in the park; it's not for the faint-hearted. It's a journey filled with challenges, responsibilities, and the occasional lonely path, especially when you're the lone torchbearer of your vision. But before you think this article is just for business folks, think again. Leadership touches every aspect of our lives, from our homes to our communities.

Business people communicating with each other at the office

Ever tuned in to a reality show? They're not just about drama; they often reflect our societal values and the critical role of leadership. If you've ever watched shows like "Supernanny" (2004-2012), "Nanny 911" (2004-2009), or "Honey, You're Killing the Kids," you've witnessed the absence of parental leadership within the family unit. When parents fail to take responsibility for their family's well-being, they often need professional intervention.

Take, for instance, the case of a UK mother who almost lost custody of her 10-year-old son due to his life-threatening obesity. Her lack of leadership could have cost her son his life.

Intentions, no matter how good, don't automatically make you a great leader.

Leadership isn't about popularity; it's about unwavering commitment to principles and a clear vision—no matter the odds.

Consider a school board in Quebec, Canada that banned cell phones and electronic devices during school hours. These devices were not just distractions; they were also tools for cheating and cyberbullying. The board introduced a new "Use it and you lose it" policy, a bold move that didn't sit well with students or some parents. However, it was a display of great leadership by the board.

As someone who has served on a school board, I've seen firsthand the cost of weak leadership in families. In one case, custody of two unruly young children was transferred to their grandparents. The change in leadership transformed them from troublesome students to top performers who loved school. The difference? The example set by their grandparents.

Years ago, I was called in to mediate a dispute between a credit union board and its long-serving general manager. After thorough investigation, the root cause was clear—lack of leadership on the board's part. They shied away from tough decisions and preferred to avoid controversy. This lack of leadership hindered the organization's growth and left the general manager frustrated.

Their leadership style was rooted in "avoiding conflict at all costs" and "seeking popularity over respect." In a one-day workshop using our Personal Style Indicator and Credibility Models, we transformed the board into a positive, functioning team.

"Great leadership, in business or personal life, is unwavering in its commitment to the goal, not the ego of the leaders," as Jim Collins wisely puts it.

Remarkable leaders are driven, not by self-interest, but by their vision's fulfillment. They stay committed to the process until success is achieved, with quitting never an option.

This leadership style, slightly different from pure optimism, is dedicated to the vision, no matter how long it takes.

Effective leadership faces the harsh realities head-on.

Recent research reveals that over one-third of North American children are now obese. Shockingly, less than 20% of their parents acknowledge their child's overweight status. By avoiding the facts, these parents, through their lack of leadership, jeopardize their children's future health.

The credit union board had to admit their leadership style was deficient. They cared more about what others thought than the organization's success.

Leaders will always face criticism for pioneering new paths.

Since purchasing my company CRG, I've faced challenges to my vision and direction many times. While I value insights and seek wise counsel, ultimately, as a 100% owner, it's my values that count. Sometimes, you must be confident in your chosen direction and not be swayed by dissenting voices.

If you've never received a hint of negative feedback about your leadership—whether in parenting or business—it's time to question whether you're genuinely leading or just playing it safe, like that credit union board once did. Leadership is a journey, and it often involves stepping into uncharted territory, facing criticism, and staying resolute in your vision.

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Dr. Ken Keis Brainz Magazine

Dr. Ken Keis, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Ken Keis, Ph.D., is a leading global authority on behavioral (personality) assessment strategies and an expert in leadership, purpose, and wellness. He is the President and CEO of Consulting Resource Group International, Inc. (CRG) which has served thousands of organizations worldwide. With over 4 million words of content authored, including 4 books and a dozen assessments, Dr. Keis is also a respected author, speaker, coach, mentor and media guest His latest books include: Why Aren't You More Like Me?, Deliberate Leadership, and The Quest For Purpose. An engaging public speaker, Dr. Keis has conducted over 3,000 presentations and 10,000 hours of coaching and consulting.



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