Leaders: Be Gr-r-reat!

by  Tristan Bishop  |  Leadership Development

As a lad, I lived for Saturday morning cartoons. Long before DVR, a boy needed an alarm clock catch the Super-Friends at 6 AM. And though a wide assortment of cartoons whizzed by until Noon, there was a consistent message throughout: “They’re GREAT!”  See that was the catch-phrase of Tony the Tiger, the cartoon pitchman for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. Five times an hour, Tony cheerfully chanted about his sublime cereal. By Saturday afternoon, all I could think about was the GREATNESS of sugary grains.

Greatness is memorable. This week, as I explored the difference between “good” leadership and “great” leadership, I burst out laughing, imagining Tony the Tiger chanting, “They’re GOOD” into my television. Much less inspiring, no? I’m not sure THAT slogan would have stuck.

So then, what differentiates the good from the great? How do the great leaders go beyond the good? Which characteristics classify the leaders in each category? Here are a few thoughts to consider:

  • The good leader makes an impression: Great leaders make friends.
  • The good leader gets results out of any team: Great leaders build team through any kind of result.
  • The good leader creates demand: Great leaders create hope.
  • The good leader defends territory: Great leaders defend principles.
  • The good leader makes a profit: Great leaders make a difference

As I chewed on it all, I realized that GREAT leadership is about purpose and people.  The great leader sees beyond the financials and can focus on fulfilled potential.  So today, if you find you’re caught up in metrics, flowcharts and diagrams, take a step back. Ponder how you can fulfill your objectives and simultaneously inspire others. It is people that deeply matter. In fact, They’re Gr-r-reat!

Have you experienced leadership of this nature? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

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What People Are Saying

Tim Kaiser  |  31 Aug 2010  |  Reply

I agree. Very accute observation. It is about principals, honor, for a purpose and people. Inspiring others to act is extremely important.

Tristan Bishop  |  01 Sep 2010  |  Reply

Thank you Tim! It’s so true, what one can do for many pales in comparison to what many can do as one.

Tara R. Alemany  |  01 Sep 2010  |  Reply

Hi, Tristan.

I loved your post. It was fun thinking back to watching Tony on TV, and wondering what message my kids walk away with from their TV time now. I think I’ll have to ask them, or perhaps settle in with my boy this weekend and watch for a bit with him.

You are so right when you talk about the difference between good leaders and great ones. The great ones never seem to think along the lines of “what’s in it for them.” They’re other-focused, and are not “put out” when a pupil surpasses them. In all honesty, it’s probably what they want most.

At this point right now, I would have to say that Mike Henry qualifies as a great leader for me. He has an objective and a goal, which is building character-based leaders. But he has been going about it by bringing leaders together from all over the world, taking the time to learn about them and become their friend, He’s created hope in me by taking me out of the isolation of a single-proprietor, home-based business and connecting me to a larger world, even providing me with my own “advisory board” in the form of our regular Round Table talks, And he’s made a difference in my life, and many others I’m sure. He’s a man of principle and character, and I’m truly blessed to have met him at this time in my life.

Tristan Bishop  |  01 Sep 2010  |  Reply

Hi Tara,

Thank you for sharing this. I appreciate yet another window into the ways Mike Henry is serving our community. He has certainly encouraged me to step out and speak up about all that matters to me.

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