It was an interesting week as I came upon two ideas that called to me. I crafted drafts for two newsletter, but it wasn’t until early this morning that I made my decision. There were three things that finalized it. The first was the coffee in the hotel lobby at Penn State Saturday morning. It was the BOLD morning roast. The second was a comment from a golfing partner, “Screw that course management crap, be BOLD, go for the pin.” And the third appeared on the Sports Page, “Eagles vs. Chiefs: BOLD Predictions Before Kickoff” So what does it mean to be BOLD, and what are the implications?
Randy Conley considers this idea in a slightly dated, but relevant post, Do You Know What Bold Leadership Is? ” He begins with the idea that the word “ bold” often conjures up larger-than-life images (John Wayne, Gloria Steinem, George Patton, Oprah Winfrey, etc.). He challenges us by saying that BOLD Leadership is:
• Building Trust – “Leading with trust creates an environment of safety and freedom that result in collaboration, creativity, risk-taking, and innovation.”
• Others Focused – “Bold leaders take the strengths of their team members and blend them together in such a way that the team as a whole is stronger than any one individual.”
• Leading with Humility – “Humble leaders consider the needs of all the stakeholders, recognize the stakes at hand, and make reasoned decisions for the welfare of the group. “
• Daring to be Vulnerable – “Bold leaders aren’t afraid to let down their guard a bit and be authentic with those they lead.”
Bold leadership is not for the chosen few, but for those who choose it!
Let’s meet some Bold Millennials who have made that choice. In “”Meet the Class of 2017 30 Under 30“, Caroline Howard, a Forbes staff writer, introduces us to the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30. According to Howard the annual selection offers an opportunity to embrace the optimism, inventiveness and boldness of youth. She characterizes this group as, “Challenging the conventional wisdom and rewriting the rules for the next generation of entrepreneurs, entertainers, educators and more.” She also makes an interesting statement regarding the bold approach being taken by this group, “ It is clear that never before has youth been such an advantage. Millenial founders and funders, brand builders and do-gooders aren’t waiting for a career bump up the establishment ladder. Their ambitions are way bigger – and perfectly suited to the dynamic, entrepreneurial and impatient world they grew up in.” I don’t think course management is a part of their golf game!
Another interesting perspective is provided by Joseph Folkman in his Forbes post, “Bold Leaders: Reviewing the Gender Gap in Employee Engagement”. Folkman reviews research that considers the impact of gender on employee engagement. He concludes that, “ employee engagement does increase substantially as leaders become bolder, but the trend is slightly lower for women than men.” He continues by providing a theory of why this happens and offers suggestions to close the engagement gap. The post also contains a link that enables you to learn about your preferences regarding bold leadership behavior.
Margie Warrel considers the concept of bold leadership in her Forbes post, “Bold Leadership Extends From the Inside Out”. Warrel opens with Margaret Meads famous quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s them only thing that ever has.” She contends that if change is to occur, we must each step up and take that bold step to do what we can. Warrel maintains that, “All true leadership extends from the inside out. Confronting the harsh truth, but rather than being crushed by it or blaming others for it, daring to change it.” So how is this accomplished? Simply by acting with the courage that you would love to see in others who hold more power than you. She then provides us with 10 ideas to get started. To paraphrase her, remember that being bold is contagious – you have no idea of the ripple effect you may set in motion if you dare to be bold!
Today is another day to excel! Why not start with a BOLD cup of coffee and begin to change the world. Embrace the Challenge, and have a great week