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This week we are discussing leadership.
As a brief disclaimer: any links for items, books, etc. that are available for purchase are done through an affiliate program. This means that I get paid a small pittance of money for everything you buy using my links. I don't recommend things I haven't read/used, so using these links helps me out and gets you great products!
It seems only fitting this week to discuss the progressing situation in Ukraine. I'm sure you're at least mildly familiar with the growing war, especially because it's been plastered all over the news. What is happening in Ukraine is tremendous, and it has been fueled in large part by the quality of their leadership.
The concept of having skin in the game is important with regard to credibility; you wouldn't take investment advice from someone who wasn't also willing to invest in the thing they're shilling to you. This is why many investment advisors are full of shit -- they make their money on commissions by selling you products, not by investing in the products themselves. There are obviously many exceptions to this rule, and there are excellent investment advisors out there. The point is, you should do your homework, and trust must be earned.
A large part of this trust comes from the commitment of these individuals. If you're looking for a personal trainer, you will likely seek out someone who practices what they preach. A person who can take care of themselves will likely be better able to help you with your fitness goals. This is not to say that there aren't excellent coaches and trainers who may be "out of shape" themselves, but you certainly want to work with people who are, at the very least, active participants in their own fitness journeys.
To take this back to the situation in Ukraine, I would argue that a big reason why the Ukrainian people are proving to be so resilient is because their leadership has skin in the game. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has inspired his citizens by donning body armor and fighting on the front lines. It is exceedingly rare for world leaders to fight alongside their troops (and for obvious reason), but I think it's also important to look at some of histories most revered leaders through this lens.
King Leonidas of Sparta is a household name because he stood shoulder to shoulder with his warriors and fought off the Persians. The Samurai warriors of old fought on the front lines, never leaving the combat to others. Some of histories most famous kings were also the fiercest warriors. When it comes to leadership, having skin in the game increases one's credibility and makes it more likely for others to follow you. Practicing commitment and leading by example may be one of the most effective ways to get buy-in from your followers.
The reason we distrust so many politicians is because we know that they are hypocritical; what they practice often differs from what they preach. When confronted by leaders like President Zelenskyy who are willing to stand on the front lines and fight with their soldiers, these actions earn our admiration. Leaders who commit with their actions and not just their words inspire those who follow them to be their best selves. If you are a leader in any capacity, focus on how you can effectively lead from the front. Commitment from others can often be earned simply by fully committing yourself!
The most interesting things I've read, heard, or encountered this week:
What I'm reading: The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership by Jim Dethmer et al.
Yet another book that was recommended to me by people in my life who are a) smarter than me and b) who I highly respect. When these individuals recommend something to read, I tend to listen. Definitely add this one to your list, especially if you are in (or will be in) a leadership role.
What I'm listening to: Rhody Strength podcast
I got a chance to be on this podcast earlier today (and will share the link when that episode is released). The host is Dr. Matthew Sweeney, a physical therapist, who explores the realms of health, fitness, and wellness with his various guests. I felt that Matt was a great interviewer, and this podcast may be worth adding to your arsenal!
Remember your notes: This site for Kindle
I recently learned this trick for sorting through notes and highlights in Kindle. I am notorious for highlighting things and then forgetting what I highlighted. This website from Amazon allows you to see your highlights all in one place, and you can easily sort them based on the book. Now when you highlight something important, you can actually find that highlight later.
For live notes: This website for taking notes on other sites
Someone recently sent me this website in a Twitter DM. Essentially, it allows you to take live notes on a webpage or article you are viewing. You can then share those notes with others. This is a great feature for workplaces and teams, and I am going to experiment with using it for this newsletter in the future.
Thought of the Week:
What anchors am I carrying with me?
We all have certain worldviews that have been imprinted on us by our upbringing. They affect our self-esteem, how we view money, how we approach relationships, etc. Take some time to analyze what behaviors may be weighing you down that are a byproduct of how you were raised.
That will do it for this week! Please let me know what you liked, didn't like, and what you want to see more of. Do you want it to be longer, shorter? Do you want specific topics covered more? Less? Have a wonderful week, and remember to please forward this to your friends -- helping get the word out and get more eyes on this newsletter is hugely helpful and greatly appreciated!
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