Friday, April 15, 2011

Are You a Badass or a Buddha?

I've been doing a lot of reading on leadership - emotional intelligence, IQ, work experience, personality, etc.  What matters most?  How do you become a better leader?  How do you mentor others?  How do you soften your edges?

It strikes me that the best leaders I know (including me!) have (or strive to have) a good mix of "Badass" and "Buddha."

Let me explain.

Some of the hallmarks of great leadership include charisma, presence, charm and the ability to persuade others.  This takes a strong EGO.  To be a Badass, you have to be willing to stand up, say the hard things, be visible and take responsibility.  Unless you do this well, you'll never be able to bring other people along. 

On the other hand, being a Badass is not enough.  At times your "sparkle" becomes annoying.  At others, it turns into arrogance.  And, let's face it, arrogance is NOT charming, fabulous or fun.  It's a huge turnoff.

This means that your Badass has to be tempered by something else. Let's call it your Buddha nature.

Buddha leaders exhibit humility, warmth and a quiet strength.  Being a Buddha enables you to recognize your own foibles, be curious, compassionate and show genuine respect for others.  In other words, your Buddha nature helps you to SHARE the stage. 

I don't want to be a Buddha all the time.  I like being the conference keynote, "class clown" and popular.  But I don't want to be a bull in a china shop either.  I want to share the air, collaborate with my colleagues and clients and be willing to LEARN and GROW.

What about you?  Are you a Badass, Buddha or both?



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