Do you have the hunger to learn, grow and improve over time? Below is a wonderful article by LIFE Leadership CEO Chris Brady that describes the fundamental idea of how leaders develop.
The genesis of our book, Launching a Leadership Revolution, was a late night discussion Orrin Woodward and I had about the essence of leadership. It seems everybody has a general concept about leadership, and there are myriads of misconceptions out there. But when it comes to analyzing the subject and really understanding it, the topic of leadership becomes somewhat elusive.
What Orrin and I finally struck upon, and what became the opening salvo in our book, was that leadership begins and ends with hunger. The hunger of an individual to risk his or her own personal peace and affluence and attack the status quo is not only the initiation of leadership, but its sustaining force.
Hunger, it should be noted, is slightly different from ambition. Where ambition is largely about self-aggrandizement, hunger is more about service and significance. This type of leader, the true authentic kind, is unable to leave “well enough” alone. He or she must assault what they observe to be an unacceptable status quo, and they often do this at great risk to self. Such leaders are more willing to compromise their comfort than their princiiples. This is precisely why leadership is so inspiring. Conversely, when hunger wanes, by definition, a person’s leadership wanes along with it. When the status quo becomes increasingly acceptable, a leader’s influence diminishes correspondingly. That is why Orrin and I put such a heavy emphasis on the hunger of a leader in the book.
It is not enough to gain this insight, it must be applied.
Armed with this knowledge, a leader can take charge of his or her personal hunger and work it like a muscle to keep it healthy and make it stronger. Hunger actually becomes a discipline and must be nurtured by the leader. In fact, history shows that throughout the ages the great accomplishments were made by the hungriest individuals. It was hunger that drove them to take a risk to change the world in the first place. It was hunger that drove them on in the face of criticism. And it was hunger that propelled them to persevere when things got tougher than anticipated. History is also replete with what happens when hunger dries up and complacency replaces it.
May you find the source of your hunger to grow and change and influence, and may you stoke it’s flames without ceasing. Why? Because, not only does the world need you to come alive and maximize your potential by embracing your hunger for significance, but when you live such a life, it is the most exhilarating ride imaginable. And that, perhaps, is leadership’s biggest hidden treasure.