It's not about you

Co-author of Mavericks at Work, author of Practically Radical and past IdeaFestival participant, Bill Taylor has penned a couple of business-related posts at Harvard Business Review that have gotten people talking. The one I'm highlighting here, "We is greater than Me," is his response to a David Brooks' column, "It's Not about You."

The more executives, entrepreneurs, and talented individuals I get to know, the more convinced I become that true happiness, a genuine sense of satisfaction, comes, as Brooks suggests, not from 'finding' yourself but from 'losing' yourself — in a company you believe in, a cause you are prepared to fight for, a commitment to solve a problem that has defied solution.

'Leadership is about service,' he told an interviewer last year, 'and you can't lead if you can't follow. It's never about you. It is always about the mission. And people will follow you if you're prepared to get a mission done, something with a goal that is a little bit beyond the reach of all of us.'

"You can't lead if you can't follow?" So why is it that no one ever talks about followership?

The comments following Bill's piece are particularly good. Check them out.