A strange thing happened on the way through a leadership conference. It turned into a reality show. It began as
Leadership Unleashed: Live in L.A., with famed Tribal Leadership author and speaker Dave Logan and his guests. This was a down and dirty conference with a group of less than 100 participants challenged to really unleash their leadership. And I don’t mean management on steroids. We’re talking about connecting to your innermost dark side, lassoing it to your values, and riding that baby into history. Not only was Dave on fire, introducing us to his latest work on the dark side of leadership, but so were the participants, the handful of guest speakers and folks from CultureSync.
But on Day 3 of the 3-day event I walked into the venue and got a weird vibe. It felt different. I even asked to make sure I had the right time. I was then pulled aside and told that Dave had been in a crash last night in a taxi and had broken his jaw. They needed people in the Approved Tribal Leader approval process, like me, to sit at different tables and help address concerns as the group was informed.
The ironies of all this were not lost on the group:
- The speaker was unable to speak.
- The day before one participant shared his leadership quest about changing the collision repair industry, in which only 20% of the shops were equipped to work on our current crop of vehicles.
- Dave had commented that initially when he heard from this man he didn’t think it was a very sexy topic, until he thought of his own vehicle which had been repaired and might now be a death trap. Little did he know…
The topic was leadership unleashed. Not the twelve points of leadership or reviewing distinctions from management. This was an experience designed to unleash your leadership. On day three we all had to prove it.
- Leadership we’re told requires people to come together physically. Check.
- Leadership we’re told is not unlocking your personal potential (that’s “all about me”), it’s about tapping into parts of you that you may not even like & connecting to others around that. It starts with the other person and folds back on you. Check.
- Leadership we’re told starts with instability, a crisis. Like Hurricane Sandy it starts with something fairly insignificant, gets something going, starts to cycle then pulls other things into it. Unleashing is attracting resources and synchronizing them to act as one. Check.
- Leadership we’re told is making something happen that wasn’t going to happen anyway, and creating new leaders along the way. Check.
- Leadership we’re told means holding the tension of your anger without giving in to it. “Mad is not something you get, it’s something you use.” Check.
- Leadership we’re told is personal. It involves integrity, empathy, courage. Check.
- Leadership we’re told needs it’s dark side. Dark side issues include crises, anger and broken dreams. A crisis is a period of uncertainty and a situation that requires immediate attention. It should draw on aspirations and core values. Check.
- Leadership we’re told involves a quest. It begins where the hero’s journey leaves off. A hero is one who’s emerged from a journey. Leaders take heroes and make them leaders. Check.
So the focus of Day Three was supposed to be “Invent the crisis.” It was so surreal that we suspected that we were being punked and Dave was in the next room watching a live feed to see if we were putting into practice our learning. I suppose that’s partially true.
Leadership was unleashed that day. By everyone. COO Jack Bennett came out from behind the curtain and showed us what a wizard he really was. The CultureSync team including Deirdre Gruendler, Becca Ordonez, Mark Taylor, Leslie Bennett, Carrie Kish, Barry Bettman and Robert Cornish proved that sleep is overrated and trumped by commitment. They called the rest of us forth.
That included the outstanding speakers who stepped up to bring us together, like Robbe Richman and Dan Mezick. And most incredibly, the participants themselves who stepped up, creating a massive triad between the CultureSync team, the attendees and the Noble Cause of changing our lives and becoming the people who change the world, now.
If your curiosity is peaked and you want to begin your own leadership quest, embrace your dark side and change the world, you can start with a video of the live event when it’s available. Go to http://www.culturesync.net/csacademy/leadership-live/