Lessons in Extreme Leadership — up close and personal

Farbergranitecity A couple weeks ago, I had the amazing good fortune of getting to spend a few days with Steve Farber, author of Radical Leap, Radical Edge and Greater than Yourself.

I won’t blather like a school girl about how cool it was to hang out with a guy whose work I have identified with, woven into my company’s culture and believe with my whole heart and soul.

But I gotta say, it was way beyond cool.

(The photo to the right is Tim Johnson, Steve and myself.  Mike Sansone was the 4th in the party, snapping photos.)

Anyway…as you might imagine, spending all that time with Steve, observing him interact with others, watching him give several presentations and listening to his stories, I had some takeaways I wanted to share with you:

Extreme leadership is risky business.  You have to be willing to be the first one to admit you’re scared, be willing to put a spotlight on your own failings and mistakes, to have those terrifying moments as you stand at the edge of a cliff and decide to leap and not only love your people…but show & tell them.

You’re never done:  No matter how good of a leader you think you are…there’s plenty of room for better.  Probably way more than you think, by the way.

Extreme leadership is an action verb, not a label.  It’s about doing, not talking.  Lots of posers out there, wearing the leadership label.  The real leaders are just getting it done.

You can’t lead if you can’t be audacious enough to think you can change the world.  It’s not about your ego, it’s about having a passion and commitment deep enough that you just can’t stop trying.  No matter how big the obstacles.

There’s nothing magical about leadership.  It’s all in the heart.  Anyone can do it, if they care enough.  It has to start with heart.  You can’t fake it.  You can’t buy it.  All you can do it be willing to

The legacy of a leader is more leaders.  The ultimate of leading is to identify those people who you can help and actually lift up so they can be greater than you.

Whew…that’s a lot to aspire to, isn’t it?  I’m up for the challenge — how about you?

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9 comments on “Lessons in Extreme Leadership — up close and personal

  1. Brian Roger says:

    Just a quick note… you’re missing a word or two at the end of the paragraph beginning “There’s nothing magical about…”

  2. Brian says:

    Hi Drew. Very inspiring post. It reminds me of this motto: ‘having achieved all your objectives mean you had not set the bar high enough!’.

  3. Jeff Walden says:

    Very inspiring post. I think all too often the wrong people are promoted to leadership positions when they just don’t posses these qualities.

  4. Jeff,

    Hopefully, even if they aren’t ready for it, they have the heart for it. The rest, I think, can be learned.


  5. Reverse….

    Leadership does indeed come from within. It is all about heart.


  6. Leadership does indeed come from within. It is all about heart.

  7. Good lessons regarding extreme leadership.Everybody wants to lead in any field without any extreme leadership. These lessons might help those who just want to make leadership but don’t have any skills.

  8. Well i drew a lot of inspiration from your post.Everybody wants to be a leader and nobody wants to follow.That’s the problem in this modern age.But not all can become leaders .The leader’s quality comes from within.

  9. Way to go man, great stuff.

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