What is the Critical Question for All Disruptive Leaders?

I was simply looking forward to the direct flight back to Tampa from a week with my family in Seattle. Although I wasn’t looking for the lesson that early morning, I was glad when it arose. I’m wondering what your answer will be.

“Is that what I want?”

I watched the group of travelers, all older than me but not by as many years as I wished. I guess that might have been why the question struck me so. That could have been me. Is that what I wanted?

This simple question is critical to anyone seeking to be a disruptive leader. We need to know what we want. It is similar to the question I asked a group yesterday as I conducted a workshop on my first book, “Chevettes to Corvettes,”

“Where do you want to go?”

There I asked the question,

“Are you content being a Chevette or do you want to be the ultimate, the Corvette?”

To my dismay, I’m finding many who are content being Chevettes that struggle to keep up so they can have a moment or two to sit back and cruise. Their purpose is not to disrupt but to cruise alone effortlessly.

I saw that on the plane home. Those older folks were enjoying themselves as they were returning to Florida from an Alaskan cruise. I don’t begrudge them for the ability to do what they want, we all want that and want the financial freedom to go relax and enjoy vacations. But I sensed something significant, a dustiness to their conversation and lives, a sense that they were once vibrant individuals living a life of purpose at one point but now they have said, “I’m done” to learning and growing, to building and developing.  Sure they are willing to travel and explore places but it is more like watching yet another entertaining movie without digging deeper for the rich part of life.  I wondered when they made that choice to sit back, relax and just let life happen.

ActiveChangeScaledI don’t criticize them for their choices but that isn’t what my wife and I want.  We want to do some of those same things but in a different way.  We never want to quit learning and growing, exploring and applying.  We don’t want our vacations to be just another photo album sitting on the shelf or another set of stories to tell our friends.  Instead, we want each experience to make us better and help others become better.  We don’t want to be just another retired couple telling the same type of lame jokes, competing over who has the worst health problems or bragging about the best grandchildren.  No, we want to keep disrupting our lives and, as much as possible, help others disrupt theirs. We want to break through the passive comfort and transform it into a new paradigm for living.

But more than all that – we don’t want to quit doing things just because we get older.  So many people quietly and quickly quit because continual disruption is deemed too much effort or because they think they deserve an easier life.  Maybe that is why they love the cruises so much – they love to have others do things for them.

With that mindset, is there any wonder why many get fat, lose their flexibility and lack strength as they age?

Are you a Comfortable Leader?

But what about us as leaders?  Are we like the retirees who believe we have earned our position and can now cruise?  Or are we looking to keep disrupting?

If so, what how do others see this?

My wife and I started running 5Ks in our 50s and now training for a 10K and beyond. That is why we work with a professional to develop our ultimate flexibility and strength.  That is also why we purposely choose to learn more about photography, cooking and wines.  We stay young by continuing to learn and grow, listen and experiment.  We live by choosing to continually disrupt our own comfort.

We each hold the power to lead and lead disruptively.  It is our choice.

What do You Ultimately Want?

  • Comfort or Challenge?
  • Ordinary or Ultimate?
  • Chevette or Corvette?

3D PWR Tip:  Make the conscious choice to disrupt your comfort zone. 

(c) 2015 Murfield International, Inc.

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