Going for Gr-r-reat!

Originally posted by the Lead Change Group.

As a lad, I lived for Saturday morning cartoons. Long before DVR, a boy needed an alarm clock catch the Super-Friends at 6 AM. And though a wide assortment of cartoons whizzed by until Noon, there was a consistent message throughout: “They’re GREAT!” See that was the catch-phrase of Tony the Tiger, the cartoon pitchman for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. Five times an hour, Tony cheerfully chanted about his sublime cereal. By Saturday afternoon, all I could think about was the GREATNESS of sugary grains.

Greatness is memorable. This week, as I explored the difference between “good” leadership and “great” leadership, I burst out laughing, imagining Tony the Tiger chanting, “They’re GOOD” into my television. Much less inspiring, no? I’m not sure THAT slogan would have stuck.

So then, what differentiates the good from the great? How do the great leaders go beyond the good? Which characteristics classify the leaders in each category? Here are a few thoughts to consider:

  1. The good leader makes an impression: Great leaders make friends.
  2. The good leader gets results out of any team: Great leaders build team through any kind of result.
  3. The good leader creates demand: Great leaders create hope.
  4. The good leader defends territory: Great leaders defend principles.
  5. The good leader makes a profit: Great leaders make a difference

As I chewed on it all, I realized that GREAT leadership is about purpose and people. The great leader sees beyond the financials and can focus on fulfilled potential. So today, if you find you’re caught up in metrics, flowcharts and diagrams, take a step back. Ponder how you can fulfill your objectives and simultaneously inspire others. It is people that deeply matter. In fact, They’re Gr-r-reat!

For examples of authentic leadership in action, explore these powerful posts from a few friends:

10 Responses to “Going for Gr-r-reat!”

  1. I discovered your post from a FF on Twitter. I love #5. In anything we do we need to think how can we make a difference no matter how small it is. I’m adding your 5 items to my collection of deskside reference.

    Gr-r-reat Inspring post.

    • Thanks so much Ray! Very nice to meet you. I’m honored to be desk-side reference! I think, for a blogger, that just may be the soccer equivalent of “goooooooool!” 🙂 Have a great weekend.

  2. Tristan, you had me at SuperFriends at 6:00 am! Aside from the nice walk down memory lane, this is a great post. I especially like point #4 – The good leader defends territory: Great leaders defend principles. All of the points are very important and must be a focus, but this one really resonates with me. The principle of the matter often supercedes the short term issue. The principle in acting in the best interest is always most important. Since I’m the Customer Experience Queen, the customer’s best interest is always my focus. Yet, I find that when my clients work in the customer’s best interest, they’ve also worked in the best interest of the company, and set a good example for the team. They often go hand in hand. Rather than fighting it out over a small issue that is irrelevant two weeks from now, focus on what the principle of the challenge is and work to lead to the highest esteem for everyone.

    • It’s so true: When an ambiguous situation arises, we have to reexamine the values that serve as the foundation for our businesses. My mantra is “efficient delivery of effective content.” So if I find a project starts to stray from this principal, I know I’ve made a wrong turn. Very grateful for your input here. Thank you Kristina!

  3. What a great post, Tristan — a much-needed uplift in these difficult times, when all too often negative seems to trump positive and numbers seem to trump people and ideas. Friends, hope, principles, making a difference…all vital for every part of our lives, including our professional lives. Thanks so much for the inspiration. I’m bookmarking this one!

    • Thank you, Lori. It is true that it’s often during adversity that the deepest friendships are forged. When people conquer a dark day together, they build enduring connection. Great leaders shoulder the load alongside the team and are rewarded with loyalty. I appreciate your kind words and your thoughts. Have a great weekend!

  4. The 5 points mentioned do define the character of a great leader. The leader ought to show different avatars to identify and bring the best out of any team and in any given situation. At this early stage in my career, I do value your thoughts to a great extent.

  5. Great post. Very insightful. Thanks!


  1. Tweets that mention Going for Gr-r-reat! « KnowledgeBishop's Mission -- Topsy.com - September 3, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ray Deis, Tristan David Bishop. Tristan David Bishop said: Great leadership is about PURPOSE and PEOPLE: A blog post http://wp.me/pWnC8-9i #bizwiz […]

%d bloggers like this: