TO BE RELEASED OCTOBER 2020
This inspirational and personal guide by road-tested executive leadership coach John E. Quinlan equips you with tools to transform yourself and your company. “… a vital handbook for any company CEO, president, owner, business leader, or employee wishing to grow. Alignment Strong is a valuable resource for our worldwide 26,000 Vistage members. The application of this book will increase the effectiveness of their roles and enhance their lives.”
—Richard Beadle, founder, Vistage Michigan
My chapter on Leadership/Team explores “The Power of a Leader”, which I feel is very relevant today to help create powerful leadership change.
The subject of power is a touchy area for most CEOs. This domain is infrequently discussed and rarely understood in the context of leadership effectiveness. To have a CEO identify and own his or her power, to understand how it impacts others and be able to use it effectively, is a worthy task. “Power” is laden with deep beliefs, labels, misperceptions, and conditioned responses. So let’s bore a little deeper.
The critical insight I am conveying is this: It is not about identifying the dominant bucket in this power repertoire, although this is useful, but the lack of self and social awareness one has about their own personal power. As a leader, you could remedy this. Look inside yourself. Give time to insight and self-reflection. Your organization either sees and feels your influence or it doesn’t, and if it does, what does it see and feel? How do you impact people with your personal power? Where do you need to move the needle, behaviorally? From what to what?
From an American financial services CEO to a Rainforest CEO of an organic coffee exporting business in Papua New Guinea, this true-action story about money, love, and differing cultures carries a deep message for those craving authenticities and personal growth, with revelations that connect vulnerabilities in us all.
The author poses the question, “What was risky, and what was I fearful of?” Go along as he ventures down untraveled roads on an uncharted inward journey where there are no maps.
Returning from Papua New Guinea after an assassination attempt on myself and my wife Fiona, I not only experienced physical vulnerability where a 30 caliber bullet fired from an M1 rifle barely missed us by 18 inches, but the psychological and emotional threat that preceded the event. I felt exposed at a deep level by realizing how vulnerable I was as the only white man in a remote indigenous area surrounded by some villagers that never saw a white person, dedicated to building a coffee and chillies collection and exporting business. I did not realize how much it would spawn jealousy and vengeance from profiteers/middlemen/politicians.
Subsequently returning to the United States, having lost a significant company, I had a choice to make. To become invulnerable, close down and mistrust or to remain vulnerable, open and continue to trust. I chose the latter and believe that I am better off for it.
My reflection: I feel it is wise to use your vulnerability attempts to encourage personal growth. Without vulnerability it is impossible to connect with and comprehend another human being.