True North by Bill George

Summary

  1. Finding your “true north”, what your life and leadership is all about, will shape your leadership and give you a framework to live and make decisions by. Must often go through some turning point which transforms you into a true leader
Key Takeaways
  1. True North is the internal compass that guides you successfully through life. Rerpesents who you are as a human being at your deepest level. Your orienting point  which helps you stay on track as a leader and it is based on what is most important to you, your most cherished values, passions and motivations, the source of satisfaction in your life
  2. Only when you are truly aligned with your True North are you able to lead others authentically. Nobody can be authentic by trying to emulate somebody else
  3. Successful leadership takes conscious development and requires being true to your life story
  4. The authentic leader brings people together around a shared purpose and empowers them to step up and lead authentically in order to create value for all stakeholders
    1. Pursuing purpose with passion; practicing solid values; leading with heart; establishing enduring relationships; demonstrating self-discipline
  5. Must take responsibility for your own development
  6. People often find motivations to lead through understanding their own stories – who they are and how to stay focused on their True North
  7. Need to surround yourself with people who’s strengths cover your weaknesses
  8. Leadership happens at every stage of your life (don’t let you being young deter you from leading)
  9. 5 types of people who lose sight of their True North – Imposters, Rationalizers, Glory Seekers, Loners, Shooting Stars
  10. The role of leaders is not to get other people to follow them but to empower others to lead
  11. Difficult experiences tend to give you empathy towards others
  12. Compass to help you keep on your True North
    1. Self Awareness – What is my story? What are my strengths and weaknesses?
    2. Values – What are my most deeply held values?
    3. Motivations – How do I balance external and internal motivations?
    4. Support Team – Who are the people I can count on to guide and support me along the way?
    5. Integrated Life – How can I integrate all aspects of my life and find fulfillment?
  13. When leaders know themselves well, they become comfortable in their own skin and gain self-confidence
  14. Must ask for truthful and accurate feedback, even if painful, in order to improve
  15. There is power in being vulnerable
  16. Loving yourself unconditionally requires compassion
  17. In gaining a clear awareness of who you are, you must understand your values and the principles that guide your leadership
  18. It is under pressure – when your success, your career, or your life hangs in the balance – that you must decide what your values are
  19. Brilliance comes only from exploiting your strengths
  20. Extremely important to make people feel respected without feeling judged
  21. Important to have mentors who not only make you feel good but also challenge you
  22. Integrating their lives is one of the leader’s most difficult challenges – bring together major elements of your personal life and professional life so that you can be the same person in each environment
  23. Our life stories eventually become an expression of the choices we make
  24. You can have it all, but not all at once
  25. Important to work into your routine things we de-stress you – movies, reading, beach, dinners, friends, etc.
  26. Only when you can define what is most important in your life can you set the right priorities for your life and become an integrated leader
  27. Determining your passions takes a combination of introspection and real-world experiences before you can determine where you want to devote your energies. Without the understanding, you are vulnerable to jumping from one high-status role to another without every finding fulfillment
  28. The best index of success is longevity
  29. The irony is that the more power one accumulates, the less it should be used.
What I got out of it
  1. A good read on how to determine what you want your life to reflect – values you want to embody and how you make important decisions

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