I’m prepping for an upcoming leadership symposium at Wright Hassall that I’m co-facilitating with the brilliant Andy Chandler. Rummaging through Steve Radcliffe’s book Leadership: Plain and Simple, I stumbled upon these two questions that Radcliffe says are essential to leadership:

What do you care about?

and

What do you want to lead for?

During my morning reflection time, I decided to tackle the first question: What do I care about and here’s what came out:

– I care about language and the power of words and images to move people
– I care about stories and the power of storytelling
– I care about freedom of choice
– I care about literature and music, books and knowledge and learning in 3D
– I care about wisdom and how we apply what we learn
– I care about creative self-expression
– I care about treating people with dignity and respect
– I care about influence

That’s me, now what do you care about?

“The danger of overstimulation and external voices will erode one’s core and necessitate the natural desire to compare and copy, which leads to living life from an “outside-in” point of view. I believe your lifestyle can never reproduce the joy and satisfaction that is associated with the opposite.”


Dr. Flo Falayi dropped this on Forbes today the idea that we’re born to stand out, especially if you want to be a leader in any capacity. However, I’ve found that between all the noise and self-absorption,  it’s hard to stand out. Throw on top of that, the natural urge to blend in with everyone else, from the way you dress to the way you talk, and you have the perfect recipe for mediocrity. I agree with Dorie Clark:

…standing out is no longer optional, and for anyone to make a name for themselves, create true job security and make a difference in the world, they will have to share their unique perspective and inspire others to take action.

Inspiring people to action is key. Look at what Greta Thunberg has done. Whether you agree with her views or not, she’s moved folks to action on both sides of the argument, including the richest man in Europe and this guy:

Back to Dr. Falayi:

The first hurdle anyone has to overcome is the self-limiting beliefs that you are like everyone. This is untrue and damaging, as it renders one powerless to step out and stand out.

To stand out you have to tap into the desires, habits, and activities that make you happy, or what scientists, Todd Rose, and Ogi Ogas, call micro-motives. This is all a part of discovering the core values, stories, interpretations, and idea that make you uniquely you. Everyone can stand out because everyone has micro-motives.

Some clarifying questions to help you discover the you that is you:

  • Which influences shaped you early in life?
  • If you could change anything in your past, what would you change?
  • What types of issues get your attention?
  • Which issues energize you?
  • What would you do today if money or time weren’t an issue?

My big take-away from Dr. Falayi’s article is this:

You have to know who you are before you can stand out and lead others to do great things.