Leaders: Be Gr-r-reat!

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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