To achieve greatness:
Start where you are,
Use what you have,
Do what you can.
- Arthur Ashe
Title: My Life In Leadership
How I got the book: Mrs. Hesselbein gave me a copy (and signed it!) when we met in NYC last week.
How long it took to read: 90 minutes / 3 reading sessions
Read cover-to-cover: YES / no
Favorite quotes (Page # and line):
8. And when do we make the great discovery that leadership is a journey, not a destination?
27. Embrace the Defining Moment (chapter title)
39. Defining Yourself With the Power of No (chapter title, again!)
44. Without the Power of No, the mission of the organization can become obscured by initiatives and programs that do little more than add clutter.
46. The lesson of no is not negative; it is powerful and positive.
81. Leadership is a matter of how to be, not how to do.
98. Part of learning is getting feedback.
123. Popularity is not leadership. Results are.
212: ...you have only one question. If we do this, will it further the mission?
My Take Away:
Frances Hesselbein shares her life stories in an approachable and comfortable way. Never once did I get the feeling she "preaches" to her audience. Especially when I sat in her office for a 30 minute conversation (she writes about these short conversations on page 199), I felt like she was present and with me for the entire time. After sharing some time together, I was so inspired by some of the comments she shared, and questions she asked, that I immediately began to take action.
I think that's the one thing anyone reading this book could be compelled to do. Within 7 days of meeting her, I had set up a 4-session presentation series at a local high school to talk about my career path, and entrepreneurship as an "option" while planning for summer, college and beyond. It wasn't that Mrs. Hesselbein "told" me to go and do this kind of work, she described the work that she's doing, listened to the work that I've done in schools, universities and coporations over the years and encouraged me to continue sharing with audiences worldwide.
My "big idea" from reading this book: The essence of leadership is presence.