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Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in Featured | 3 comments

The Essentialist Leader: Unforgettable | Exceptional | Remarkable

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The desire to do something unforgettable, exceptional and remarkable is the fire that burns in the head and hearts of leaders who strive to create a better future; a living, learning, evolving workplace where potential thrives and products and services create value for all constituents and the communities they serve.

Perhaps the most unforgettable thing one can do is subscribe to a philosophy Gregory McKeown calls “Essentialism” in a book with the same name that hit the shelves April 15th. I loved the book, which I was honoured to have had the chance to read before its publication, and I could not help but reflect upon essentialism as it relates to leadership, business and business development.

What is Essentialism? Why is it so important? How can it make you/your organization unforgettable? Buy the book and find out what Essentialism can do for your life, your work, your potential because it is a worthy read. And, for a moment reflect upon the words of Greg McKeown,  “The way of the essentialist means living by design not by default.” Thinking by design and not by default means training your brain in ways that can help you build a better present and future.

The imperative to train our brains to focus on that which is essential is brilliant in its simplicity and power. Essentialism, focusing on that which is essential spoke loudly to me as I read Mr. McKeown’s book and reflected upon leadership, business and business development at the speed of change. We are what we think. Our ability to learn to focus, to develop greater strategic thought through ideation and innovation in a sea of stressors and changes, is paramount to our individual, collective and organizational success.

What would happen if you could see through the sea of noise, information, and opinions around you with greater acuity by learning to focus on that which is essential to a better present and future? The challenge, the courage to grab the gauntlet, go against the flow and embrace “essentialism” is something that can lead to exceptional and remarkable results. Think about it.

Thinking by design and not by default means training your brain in ways that can help you build a better present and future.

Essentialism is a brilliant concept that can help forward-thinking people, leaders and organizations to strengthen their 3Q Edge/Advantage in disruptive times. 3Q Edge™ uses strengths, challenges, failures and stressors to build three critical areas of strength:

  • Q1: IQ – Enhanced ideation, innovative thought, strategic thought, ability to learn-relearn
  • Q2: EQ – Emotional intelligence, communication, collaboration, risk tolerance, resiliency
  • Q3: SQ – Values, purpose, integrity of communication, action; and the development of the intrinsic motivators that keep us learning, leading and striving forward when times are tough)

Will you become a Essentialist Leader? Embrace your ability to do remarkable and exceptional things in disruptive times? The imperative to do so is clear, because it is a philosophy that can help your leadership, your people and your organization develop a new way of thinking that will help you gain the clarity and courage you need to push boundaries, optimize potential with rapidity while strengthening the emotional, mental and spiritual strength that can take you and your people forward.

What would happen if you could see through the sea of noise, information, and opinions around you with greater acuity by learning to focus on that which is essential to a better present and future?

The biggest opportunity lies in looking at things in new ways while anchoring the values, integrity and courage that can take us forward. I believe essentialism is fundamental to our ability to grow, evolve and embrace our ability in a sea of change, noise, competition, opinions and information that will continue to grow. The essentialist leader speaks to those who seek to lead greatly in disruptive times, by building a better present and future.

 

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Image credit: aquaswim / 123RF Stock Photo

Irene Becker

Executive Coach, Consultant, Trainer, Speaker and Writer, Irene is a trailblazer whose R-E-A-C-H™ methodology and 3Q Edge™ focus have helped forward-thinking people and organizations in Canada, USA and Europe USE strengths, changes, challenges and failures to achieve breakthrough results in their careers, communication, leadership and lives; exceptional Results that stick and grow at the speed of change. Yes, 3Q is unique in that it helps people build the mindset and skill-set that enables and optimizes potential in the face of change and challenges. First female CEO of a steel company in Canada, Irene Becker has a track record of accomplishments in business and in the community at large. Passionate about the integrity of her work, Irene goes the distance for her clients face to face, by telephone, Skype or video conferencing.

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  • http://www.lifeisntbroken.com lifeisntbroken

    Thanks Irene. This is just what I needed, and just when I needed it.

  • http://twitter.com/emerigent Emeri Gent [Em]

    More than a decade ago Bill Jensen came out with the Simplicity Manifesto, but that came at a time when the dot.com bubble had not yet burst and the digital realm we know live in had not become all pervasive.

    I believe that there is a movement towards individual sanity, and it is not a collective movement as a manifesto would suggest, but an essential movement and it is one that has resonated in my own psyche, though focusing on the essential also fits with the counter intuitive that Alan Deutschman pointed out in his book “Change or Die”, i.e. that stuff that makes absolute sense isn’t stuff we adopt, even when the facts are overwhelmingly essential.

    Lawton Ursrey profiles Greg’s book in a recent Forbes article called “The Art of Essentialism” http://www.forbes.com/sites/lawtonursrey/2014/04/17/the-art-of-essentialism/

    What Bill Jensen was talking about in simplicity more than a decade ago has really found resonance in our age because we have accepted the invasive meme as an outcome of what we deem to be progress and yet our conscious spirit is nagging at our own being “what’s wrong”.

    There are therefore two streams here, the first is speaking to those who understand this way of life or existence is a continuous journey and the other is a society that is questioning the culture of having more, doing more, being more – when the essential is wrapped with “meaningless stuff” that serves to envelope it, until it is hidden and we find that we have created a useless mountain of things, rather than focus on what simplicity is.

    Simplicity is difficult thinking, to actually work on the essential is difficult work, it is like getting out of a massive debt, or unburdening life’s weight by choosing not to carry the essential, that massive baggage that isn’t physical but psychological.

    The essential is common sense that isn’t common and that is why even an entire book serves to underscore and underline the importance of such awareness rather than having such an awareness is an instant fix.

    Ultimately all of this serves as reclamation of existence built up of many pasts and generations whose thinking has been passed down, and which aligned with a mechanical or controlling school of thought – and that is where the technological irony is most acute – that the same technology that connects us to the non-essential that has been passed along, but it also reveals the individual who simply questions truth and shows that individual that once aware, personal growth is the opportunity.

    To get to truth, we must focus on the essential, to get to the essential we must simplify existence and uncover meaning, and to do all that still requires courage and will. This isn’t easy work at all, but the promise and intended consequence is liberation, is freedom and is the sum of choices that are essential to us personally and essential to us to elevate the social bar of consciousness, that is the high water mark towards an increasingly enlightened civilization.

    [Em]

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  • http://personalsuccesstoday.com/ John Richardson

    Great post, Irene. I love the concept of essentialism. Adding it to a leadership construct is brilliant. Leaders need to be focused and have the ability to say NO. As Steve Jobs famously said, “And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”