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Unlimited Leadership

UNLIMITED: un·lim·it·ed, adjective – not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent. (example: “the range of possible ideas was unlimited”)
– Synonyms: inexhaustible, limitless, illimitable, boundless, immense, vast, great, extensive, immeasurable, incalculable, unfailing, infinite, endless, never-ending, bottomless, measureless
– Antonyms: limited, finite

This definition, when applied to leadership, sounds like the type of place where we would all want to work. A place where we pursue dreams, not mission statements. A place where we are inspired, not managed. A place where we care about each other, not tear each other down. A place where great ideas grow, where customers feel loved, and where we wear our company pride on our sleeves. A place, in other words, where we are inspired and high performance is the new normal.

Unlimited Leadership is a heartfelt movement that has grown from my latest book, The Bellwether Effect, exploring a different leadership path, one that steers us away from the dysfunctions in corporate life, and enables us to regain our passion for work life, which of course, leads to higher, and exceptional, performance.

How dysfunctional is corporate life? Here is some data:

  • 80% of the population doesn’t want to go to work on Monday morning
  • Nearly 80% of employees would change their current work role if given free choice
  • 75% of employees are disengaged
  • One out of two employees hate their work
  • 65% of employees are consistently thinking about looking for a different job
  • Only 37% of the population trust CEOs
  • A mere 8% of the population trust banks

We are creating dismal and demoralizing environments in Corporate America that are causing people to abandon and distrust organizations.

There are two reasons why it’s important that we change this. The first is because it’s simply the right thing to do. But the second reason is just as important—our capitalist democracy rests on three foundations: church, government and commerce. (See this excellent article about the current risks to liberal democracies across the globe.) It can be argued that we are currently undermining all of these, but the dismal data above suggests that commerce is under siege as much, if not more, than the others. (Ray Dalio has much to say about this.) If the younger generation no longer has faith in, and is avoiding Corporate America, and a disenchanted older generation is departing or retiring as early as they can, then we run the risk of permanently damaging the potential of corporate life and, therefore, our liberal democratic society.
I propose that we join in a new movement that will inspire people in Corporate America to make changes from within our organizations, beginning with the removal of the eight demoralizing business practices described in The Bellwether Effect. They are:

  • fear-based management
  • motivation (aka, control and exploitation)
  • separateness and silos
  • employee engagement surveys
  • performance appraisals
  • salary grades and pay scales
  • mission, vision, and values statements, and
  • the use of war as a metaphor for business

Instead, we will be well served if we adapt our corporate cultures to ones inspired by an unlimited approach to leadership. The Bellwether Effect proposes radical and inspiring ideas that will reignite our passion for corporate life, offering concrete solutions that can be implemented immediately. This is the core message of many of my keynote speeches today. It is the operating manual for those who wish to be part of the new movement whose aim is to reverse the decline in the quality and passion experienced in our daily working lives.

How will you play a role in this new movement?

Unlimited Leadership

UNLIMITED: un·lim·it·ed, adjective - not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent. (example: "the range of possible ideas was unlimited") - Synonyms: inexhaustible, limitless, illimitable, boundless, immense, vast, great, extensive, immeasurable,...

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The Lessons of Golf

My father was a scratch golfer, defined by the USGA as a player who can play to a Course Handicap of zero on any and all rated golf courses. My Dad golfed, or caddied with, and for, the best golfers of his day and could easily have turned pro. He labored...

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Updates to Our Free Spirit@Work® Mobile App

In a recent post I described the latest iteration of our free Spirit@Work® cards app. We’ve been busy tweaking the app and making it even better. You can find the latest version for Android or iPhone by scanning the appropriate QR Code below with your phone. Of...

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Want to be More Inspiring? Get Rid of “Secrets”!

Executives are notorious information hoarders. And keeping secrets creates suspicion and breeds distrust. In my work with leaders, I am constantly surprised by how many leaders believe the false notion that certain information is too sensitive to share with employees....

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The Spirit@Work® Cards Mobile App

I want to let you know that our Spirit@Work® Cards mobile app has received an update. The Spirit@Work® Cards and Book Set were originally written and designed in 2000. They were an immediate hit. So we created an updated version in 2002 and also a digital web-based...

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Thank You!

I am very grateful to everyone who supports my work as a coach and advisor to leaders.  This week I have been ranked #5 in the world as a Coach and #13 in the world as  Leadership Teacher. Knowing me as you do, you understand so well, that motivating with fear is a...

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Discovered: Why There are so Few Leaders

We have been discussing the difference between "managers" and "leaders" forever. But as I have worked with leaders over the years I have discovered within this distinction an important secret that may explain why we have so few real leaders. Most leaders begin their...

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Celebrating Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver passed away last week.  For those who loved poetry and nature, Mary Oliver was a muse, an inspiration and a lyrical writer. Famously, and metaphorically, she wrote in her poem "The Summer Day", “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your...

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The Employee is the New Customer!

Our understanding of the role of corporations has moved through a series of evolutions. It was generally accepted 50 years ago that the main purpose of a corporation was to increase shareholder wealth. Economist Milton Friedman cemented this thinking in our culture...

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Holiday Stocking Stuffer Idea

A Love Story: An Intensely Personal Memoir, is the story of my soulmate Tricia's and my remarkable 30-year journey together, using poetry I had written privately to her over the years, woven through the narrative. I write about leadership, so this a big departure for...

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A Gift For You

There are angel cards, medicine cards, tarot cards, astrology cards, animal cards and an endless number of other cards that appeal to a wide array of interests. But in my work with leaders across the world, I noticed that no one had created a set of cards for business...

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