Effective Leadership

The Far Middle episode 123 is a must-listen installment focused on effective leadership. Nick walks through a series of quotes on leadership by a range of thought leaders and some anonymously attributed, all connected in distinct Far Middle style.

And in a Far Middle series first, the full episode is also available as a video to highlight these words of leadership wisdom, which as a group, holistically define effective leadership.

For the episode’s dedication, Nick honors Coach Vince Lombardi: “What sports figure has a better association with effective leadership than Lombardi,” says Nick. “Lombardi saw winning as a mindset and a habit that had to be cultivated through leadership.”

Nick goes on to quote many others, ranging from Jack Kerouac to Vincent Van Gogh and from General George Patton to Nipsey Hussle. With each quote, Nick helps interpret the lesson to be had. Takeaways include:

  • If you’re looking to do something extraordinary, then it’s almost a certainty, there are going to be missteps and failures along the way.
  • Effective leaders must be willing and become very good at striking a balance when it’s right to move on an opportunity.
  • Just like with a competitive sports team, personnel change from time to time. Winning organizations are ones that are always looking at any opportunity to upgrade their talent level to be the best they possibly can be.
  • What are initially challenges—convert them into opportunities.
  • Great leaders are constantly looking to improve, to advance the state of the art, to get better, and to continually improve.
  • You’ve got to go make things happen.
  • Too much focus and too much attention beyond learning from a failure—to the point of obsession—can create a paralysis with respect to decision-making, achieving, and getting better.
  • Your words start to lose value when your actions don’t match.

Nick closes with an adage from Steve Mehr to think about often: “You get what you focus on. So focus on what you want.”

“What do you focus on, what’s your team focused on, is it consistent with what you want,” asks Nick. “And if they’re not, then that’s an opportunity. I wouldn’t get frustrated by it as much as I would see as an opportunity to redirect the attention into the appropriate channels and onto the appropriate tasks.”