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CU System
Farber Dont be a leadership poser
NEW YORK (7/3/08)--Have you “shifted a paradigm” lately? “Empowered” someone, perhaps? If you’ve tossed around these empty platitudes without changing your actions, you’re a leadership poser--someone who wears the “leader” label without truly being one. Shame on you. So said Steve Farber, author and president of Extreme Leadership, speaking Tuesday before America’s Credit Union Conference & Expo, which ended Wednesday in New York City. “I’m concerned that ‘leadership’ has become a buzzword,” Farber said. “If we’re not careful, we’ll convince ourselves we’re doing something because we’re using new buzzwords.” He calls the process of closing the gap between what leaders say and do “extreme leadership”--a redundant term “because leadership, if you’re really doing it, is already extreme. There’s no such thing as real leadership without frequent OS!M: Oh (darn) moments.” Farber outlined four components of extreme leadership:
* Cultivate love. Some people aren’t comfortable mixing “love” and “business,” but “love is just good business. That’s where loyalty comes from.” Ask yourself, “Why do I love this work, and how do I show it?” Farber advised. “This will help you stoke your own fire. There’s no way to motivate or inspire others if you don’t feel it first.” * Generate energy. Companies that excel have passionate, committed--sometimes obsessive--employees. Farber cited Gillette, which employs enthusiastic shaving testers who “bleed so you can get a good shave.” Test your energy level, Farber suggested, by asking, “Do I generate more energy when I walk into a room--or when I walk out of it?” * Inspire audacity. Farber’s definition of audacity: “Bold and blatant disregard for normal constraints.” This isn’t about anarchy, he said. “It’s about creating what we want to create for all the right reasons.” Ask yourself the audacious question, “How will we change the world of our employees, customers, and marketplace?” * Provide proof. “If you say one thing and do another,” he said, “people won’t follow you anywhere. You have to prove yourself all the time.”


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