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Passionate, Contagious, & Hopeful, but a little silly too. | Ovation Leadership

Passionate, Contagious, & Hopeful, but a little silly too.

We are so serious these days.  But it makes sense.  Take a look around you.

It’s not a pretty picture.

At least thats what it seems.


I gave up on the local newspaper recently when they decided to charge me for accessing their articles on-line.  It just wasn’t relevant anymore, given all the competing sources available to me for the news I have been seeking.  But as I watched the morning news today on television, and Ustream, while I read through Flipboard, pulse, bing, twitter, facebook, linkedin and more, I couldn’t help but feel a common thread that has emerged.  We are all so serious these days.

My interaction with CEO’s, Presidents, Senior Leaders, and Executives from around the globe tells me it’s true.  It isn’t as much fun as it used to be.  As Will Farrell said while imitating one our former Presidents, “This Presidenting is hard”.

No one said it would be easy leading organizations with the difficult economic conditions, competing businesses, talent voids, quality challenges, establishing marketplace value, dangerous politics, surviving the transition from boomers to X’ers, and oh yeah…technology changed again.  But like it or not, or even if you look forward to it, you have an important responsibility to the people you lead.

These are employees who’s lives you feed, and your customers whom you keep competitive, and also your suppliers who depend on you to feed their own families.  Feeling pretty serious again?

But ask your self a few important questions.  When you were growing up, and life seemed pretty serious, what made it all better?  When you were fearful of waiting for your grade on the mid-term in school, what helped you exhale?  When your career seemed to be spiraling downward what caught you in mid air?  When your employees, your customers or your suppliers feel they may not be able to depend on you, what lifts them up?  In a word, Hope.

As a Leader, so many people depend on you to take them from these tough difficult days towards a brighter future. But the Rare Leader takes it a step further.  If you are a Rare Leader, you look through all of this serious stuff, and seem to find a brighter light in the distance.  You are the single person so many others depend on to be Hopeful.

Yes, Hope.

When you were a child in serious trouble, who gave you hope?  When you needed to wait 2 days for the grades to be posted, where did you look for hope?  Rather than finding your career crash landing, where did you find a glimmer of hope to cling to?  Leaders lead by instilling a feeling of Hope into others.  And when Leaders themselves are hopeful, they are passionate about the reality of the hopeful outlook for the future.  And to raise the bar, Rare Leaders make this passionate hopeful outlook for the future contagious, and they find they are not alone.

But Im still thinking about all of these serious times.  A new friend of mine recently inspired me to pause and think about these serious times.  She told me a story of something she likes to promote at work, mostly to be silly. I replied “are you really silly? Why not bring it out with others while you are at work too!” She replied she is privately very silly, but people don’t really see it through her work, as she concentrates on some pretty serious topics.  It’s up to her, and she may decide to choose some opportunities where she will try to be herself and become a bit more silly at work too. 

In her own way, her touch of silliness in these serious times may give more of us some hope, and she will be inspiring us to passionately lead others, with some contagious, hopeful outlook for the future.

  1. Who do you know is silly these days?
  2. What are you hopeful for?
  3. Where can you inject some silliness into these serious times?
  4. When have you been lifted up by someone?
  5. How can you Passionately lead others with some contagious, hopeful outlook, and be a little Silly?


If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you,

or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 

Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.

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