053: David Burkus, part 2: Leadership without judgement

June 19, 2018 by Justin Schenck
in Podcast

David Burkus returns to share his cold shower challenge.

He’s a leadership expert and shares great insight, especially about networking and tolerance. There’s a lot to learn from him.

To be candid, in contrast to my usual enthusiasm at a guest’s actions, you’ll hear a failure of leadership on my part. I believe effective leadership is based on learning the motivations and cares of the other person and connecting them to the task, which imbues the task with meaning for them. I don’t think I did that with David. It sounds to me like he did something out of motivation for me as a friend since he heard me respond positively to cold showers. The result, to my ears, is that he sounds more like he’s complying than acting on his values.

The result as I see it in this case is compliance without passion or desire to do more.

I would say that my interaction with David shows how you can get close to effective leadership and show many signs of it without achieving it. I didn’t pick up on it while talking with him, only after. I think there’s as much leadership to learn from this interaction as any other.

I spoke to David about it. He disagrees, pointing out:

Effective leadership can not only be about acting on values you’ve already internalized. I believe pro social motivations are more powerful than purely internal drives…and ultimately they give me more hope.

So maybe I’m working from too narrow a view of leadership or being overly dramatic. I’m here in part to learn and grow myself.

Read the transcript.

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