Applied Character-based Leadership

by  Mike Henry  |  Leadership Development

When friends and I began talking about character-based leadership on LinkedIn and Twitter and as the group was beginning to grow, we each had different ideas about how to “apply” character-based leadership.  How could we actually make a difference?  How do we actually make the connection between our social-media interactions and our real-life world?

In late July 2009, Erin Schreyer launched Authentic Leadership in Cincinnati.  The group took off because Cincinnati seems to be a great community for authentic, character-based leadership.  They’re very connected with some large local networking groups already established on LinkedIn.  They also have a large Character Council.  They have held several meetings and this past week, they hosted a panel discussion on diversity over lunch last Friday.

Last Tuesday, Lead Change Tulsa met for the first time.  Over 20 people attended with several sending last minute regrets.  We discussed a shared desire to make a difference in the community.  We all believe that other-focused leadership can inspire a community to make itself better.  We can grow as leaders by taking responsibility and bringing our best self to the workplace or church or wherever and investing in the lives of people around us.  We will grow and develop as leaders and we will earn influence as we actively invest in our friends, co-workers and neighbors.  As we model what we believe we improve our world and we encourage others to do the same thing.

We committed to keep going.  We scheduled a meeting on May 18 to discuss our focus, our definition of success, and how we can begin to get to work.  We talked about several ways we could help organizations by making leadership material and opportunities available for emerging leaders, especially in organizations too small to have internal training programs.  What will we do? We will definitely do something. Too many people are too committed. You can find out more by checking out Lead Change Tulsa’s community meetup page.

What about you?  Will you just wish your community was different or will you actually do something?  You don’t need to start a Lead Change group.  Find one doing the same things and join them.  Part of my passion is connecting groups that are already working on the problems that result from selfish, ego-centered leadership. If you’re already doing that, please comment below on how I (or anyone else) can help you.  Never underestimate your own ability to make a difference.  Our world needs you to step up.  Go for it.

What’s Next? Please leave a comment below to join the conversation…

About The Author

Articles By mike-henry
Chief Instigator (Founder) of Lead Change Group and VP of IT for a mid sized technology company. Passionate about character-based leadership and making a positive difference.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Shawn Murphy  |  02 May 2010  |  Reply

Mike, you continue to demonstrate why you are a mighty force: you are putting into action what you advocate. I love that you are exploring how to get training to those companies who cannot afford quality training.

Mike Henry  |  03 May 2010  |  Reply

Thanks for the encouragement Shawn. That was a group idea. This really is a movement. Thanks.

Sharon Eden  |  03 May 2010  |  Reply

Hi Mike… excellent update and plans. I’m engaged in the same work professionally so know the power of grass root changes in SMEs. Brilliant!

Mike Henry  |  03 May 2010  |  Reply

Thanks for the encouragement Sharon. Please let me know if we can help. There certainly is some global passion around the topic of character-based leadership. Mike…

Erin Schreyer  |  03 May 2010  |  Reply

Thanks for the great post and shout-out to Cincinnati!! WOO HOO!!

I believe the Cincinnati group grew by leaps and bounds, not so much because of social media presence (although it sure made it easier!) but because people are thirsty for these concepts!

It seems much of the business community is eager to support leadership that is character-based and people-focused. For many, this is different than what they’re used to…and they’re ready for it, especially on the heels of a huge economic downtown and its devastating effects.

I believe the greatest advantage to a local group lies in the community. This community provides support, encouragement, continued development and a professional sounding board of like-minded people outside of your own company. What a great concept!!

This community helps you to know that when you make a tough decision that’s the right one, you’re not alone. There’s a group that will support you and assure you that you did the right thing.

Local groups are a necessary component to the character-based leadership revolution! I see it making a difference already in Cincinnati.

Join us!!

Mike Henry  |  03 May 2010  |  Reply

I agree the momentum may come from the 99% of us that aren’t active on Twitter and haven’t had a chance to connect! WOO HOO!

JakeHillman  |  03 May 2010  |  Reply

Hey Mike,
One of our mutual friends recently encouraged me to step out to do this very thing. At first I thought that she was nuts, but after I thought about it, I realized that I had too much to offer to just keep it to myself and within my own organization. I knew that character-based leadership was needed in my community, so as a result, I am currently in the process of starting my own consulting firm that works with local businesses, non-profits, and churches on effective leadership. As someone who is a work in progress, I’m dedicated to learning every day from my own experiences and from those around me.
You have been a great inspriation, along with those who are a part of the Lead Change group. Thanks for your leadership skills and willingness to mentor those of us who are still in process.
I have had a recent revelation about going beyond “knowing” and actually “doing”. While this challenges my confort zone to the max, it’s encouraging to read about those of you who have taken the steps to actually “do”. In other words, “I’m finding my essence”.
All my best,

Mike Henry  |  03 May 2010  |  Reply

Thanks for the great comment. Please let me know how I can help, remembering that I’m still in process too. You just get to hear about my mistakes as they’re happening! I chuckled at your reference to the work-life flow presentation we just watched. Thanks for the encouragement and being a part. Mike…

davidburkus  |  03 May 2010  |  Reply

Great post. Excited to be a part of this.

eandtsmom  |  03 May 2010  |  Reply

Great post, Mike. I’m looking forward to sharing the Round Table with you and Erin and the others, and to seeing where all this leads. We have such an opportunity here to fill an unmet need, and we’ve got a great group of minds to do that with!

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