A Common Theme

I’m not really a fan of “10 Things About…” lists, but this one caught my eye.  It speaks to things that make it hard to be a leader and one theme sticks out – you can’t be a good leader if you are in it entirely for you.

I like to think that I’m at least a bit of a realist – while a distinct few leaders have emerged from necessity (Mother Teresa springs to mind), most modern leaders are there because they choose to be.  Case in point – The CEO of General Mills (you may remember them from such breakfasts as Cheerios and Lucky Charms), Ken Powell just beat out Steve Jobs of Apple as the most popular boss in America.  He’s worked for General Mills since 1979 and business school.  I don’t want to second guess his personal agenda, but I think it’s safe to say that some 31 years later, Ken Powell is a leader because he chose to be.  Ergo, there is something in it for him.

If we agree that modern leaders are in their positions partially for themselves, how do we ever get off the dreaded top 10 list?  Easy – great examples like Ken Powell know that, while success is great, it’s by no means all about him.

Food for thought, enjoy your breakfast.

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