Theory vs. Reality

We are celebrating four years of Leadership With Sass! In honor of our fourth birthday, we thought we would flash back to our very first post. Enjoy, and thank you for joining us on this live-it-out leadership journey!

 TheoryA contemplation or speculation; a guess or conjecture. Synonyms include concept, guess, hunch, suspicion, dogma. RealityThe state of being real. Something that exists. Synonyms include actuality, being, existence, genuineness, real world, way of it. Example: Brave in appearance, but in reality a coward.

Apply these two definitions to leadership, and you’ll understand my passion behind this blog!

Theory? We don’t need no (more) stinkin’ theory!

The greatest demand on leaders today isn’t that we learn more theory. In fact they could stop the presses tomorrow, and there would be plenty of books, CDs, DVDs, and podcasts on leadership theories and concepts to last any leader a lifetime.

The challenge we face today is that our learning and talking about leadership is all too often disproportionate to our living true leadership principles in our day-to-day actions.

So how can we transition from being a leadership theorist to a leadership realist? And why the heck am I even talking – or blogging – about it? Am I joining the blogosphere to share my own theories about leadership? No way!

Join the conversation, and hold on.

I don’t want to pontificate about leadership. What I want to do is challenge the way you’ve always thought about and viewed leadership. I want to challenge you – whether you lead from the top, middle, or bottom of the organization – to consider and even question the practicality of your actions.

And I don’t want you to just read this blog. I want your participation. I want you to ask questions, or share an awareness you gained about your own situation. I want to be real, and that might mean we’ll endure a little cognitive discontent. But if we challenge each other to become better leaders, then we’ll accomplish my purpose for this blog.

It’s all about living it out!

I have an insane drive and belief in practical, live-it-out leadership. I’ve been blessed to learn from good and bad leaders in my career, and those experiences have given me a firm foundation. Now, my firm foundation doesn’t make me a perfect leader; In fact, I don’t think my reputation and leadership legacy is something I get to decide. I believe that’s determined by the individuals I leave in my wake.

I hope you’ll join me as we stir it up together and get real with our actions, our people and our standards. Let’s go further than surface deep and address the hard issues of leadership. And let’s motivate ourselves and others by our story – a story that will be based not on leadership theory, but on live-it-out reality.

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