Monday, May 6, 2013

My Favorite Posts (Pt. 2)

Stages of Moral Development (Source)
Ethics is a big deal to me so the Semester Summary for this class assisted me in accepting the ethical choices of others even if I found those choices unethical. In part the readings over the course showed me several models of development.  One model which spoke to me and helped me understand less than ethical choices of others was Lawrence Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development. This model was easy to use and it parallels a bit to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.  In my least favorite organizations it became easy to see how adults were trapped in stages they should've outgrown. It was helpful to hold this perspective when communicating with these low-functioning adults.  In fact I began to feel compassion for them. I love being a kid and at times I still am but there comes a time when you have to assume responsibility for yourself and grow into universal ethics.  I also loved finding the documentary Dive! and these dumpster diving people who are living up to their ethics (or civil disobedience) to stand up to waste.  The documentary reinforced my consumer choices to try and think of all parties involved in the food chain.

I actually had the Larry Bird ball as a kid
My next favorite post and quite possibly my favorite of all time came with re-looking at Competitive Leadership. Leaders come in many forms and arenas--and they feed off one another. Larry Bird is one of the greatest leaders of all time (sorry Magic I love you too).  As a kid I read Drive and I watched many Celtics games and all Celtics-Lakers games I could manage. But my favorite times were pacing the living room floor, sucked into the world of a fast-paced intellectual game played out on the court with one bouncing ball which I would follow for hours on end.  Little did I know I was seeing something magical--the formation of a selfless game of basketball created by two fierce competitors who played the game with life-purpose focus.  Bird has influenced me for much of my life.  But as I examined the notion of competitive leadership  in a new lens I saw that he is still influencing me.  I also learned to love his rival because it was that fierce competition that the startling new leadership emerged from.  I have not implemented competitive leadership in my life but only because I have not found that rival who could potentially make me strive for this level of performance.

A Weathered Ed Viesturs (Source)
My next favorite post came from attending a lecture at the National Geographic featuring Ed Viesturs. In Leadership on Top of the World I came to see leadership as even more than service to people. Rather it's the entire output of our actions to the environment and those whom we do not lead but share the planet with.

On top of that, Viesturs is one of the most humble speakers I have encountered. His abiding vision to climb the 14 highest mountain peaks without supplemental oxygen is not so interesting to me as his careful, thought out approach to do it. In particular I am impressed with his record to complete such dangerous goals with no sustained injuries to himself or those on his teams.  Additionally he has set aside his summit on occasion to help others when he noticed other mountaineers poor luck or choices left them in a vulnerable or dangerous position. Of course leadership often entails giving up your advantage so at a minimum others may survive but also so that they may succeed--sometimes even beyond you.

I care a lot about ethics, integrity, professionalism and leaders with a commitment to the growth of others as well as leaders with wildly unique achievements. These posts helped me reinforce that in my daily actions and my overarching personal leadership plan. Bird and Viesturs accomplished huge strides in this lifetime yet both are extremely humble.  This is a reminder for me to keep humbleness on my agenda. It seems when I am humble, I too, am able to accomplish a lot more.  

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