My friend Doug Dickerson has written a new book, Leaders Without Borders: 9 Essentials for Everyday Leaders for which I was honored to write the foreword. Doug is a leadership consultant, columnist, and speaker from South Carolina. This brief interview will introduce you to Doug and his inspirational new book.
Q: With many books on the market today on the topic of leadership, how is Leaders Without Borders different?
A: It is different for one important reason. While many books on leadership place an emphasis on how to lead, in Leaders Without Borders, I seek to help readers understand the why of leadership. The why has more to do with heart issues for leaders and when properly understood and applied will make the how to of leadership more effective.
Q: What are the nine essentials that you identify and how are they applicable to leaders?
A: The nine essentials are: passion, priorities, optimism, teamwork, attitude, authenticity, loyalty, kindness, and legacy. These essentials are applicable across the leadership spectrum. For example, we understand that business savvy and organizational skills are important qualities for leaders. Couple those skills with a dose of passion and kindness and it can take you to a higher level with a greater purpose. What I am attempting to do is link leadership smarts with leadership heart.
Q: Is there one particular hindrance to expanding your borders as a leader that can trump your performance as a leader?
A: Absolutely, and I write about it in the chapter on attitude. Organizational attitudes are the sum of personal attitudes that work in it. The attitude of the leader is the thermostat to which the rest of the organization is set. When the leader’s attitude is right it will set the tone for the rest of the company. Your company can be loaded with talent, but armed with a bad attitude your organization contains itself within a border of its own creation. You expand your borders by choosing the right attitude.
Q: When did you first begin to formulate these leadership concepts and who influenced you?
A: These concepts began to formulate in the early 1980’s as I was taking a course in Organizational Behavior and Leadership at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. Dr. Tom Wilson, a retired Army officer taught the course. As a professor he was tough, but was one of the kindest men I ever met. His ability to teach, inspire, and motivate were such that if he said we were going to charge the gates of hell with a water gun, I would have been the first to sign up.
Q: You write about leaving a leadership legacy saying, “The wonderful thing about your legacy is that you get to write it. You will be remembered as a leader not so much by what you said but in what you did.” How do you see legacy as a difference maker in expanding your leadership borders?
A: I see it as the ultimate privilege of leadership; a sacred honor if you will. Your legacy is the product of your leadership. The influence you have on your family, your children, and your company is only as strong as your commitment to living up to the high calling of leadership. In the end, I want it to be said that my legacy among others was second only in how well I led my family. And this is at the heart of Leaders Without Borders, helping the reader to understand it is not just what you do as a leader but why.
Q: Where can leaders and readers find your weekly column and order your book?
A: My column is posted each week on my blog at www.dougsmanagementmoment.blogspot.com The book is available two places; first from my publisher Tremendous Life Books via www.tremendouslifebooks.net/ and on my blog.