Sunday, August 16, 2009

Greater Than Yourslef

This year's Leadership book study is Greater Than Yourself by Steve Farber. In usual Farber-style the book is a parable that tells the story of a philosophy called GTY, Greater Than Yourself. It's a quick read. It reminded me a lot of Jim Collins' Level 5 Leader - the self actualized leader with self confidence so intact that he didn't have to claim credit for himself - the leader who easily gives up the limelight to build up others. GYT includes three tenets: Expand Yourself, Give Yourself and Replicate Yourself.

Expand Yourself reminded me of advice I used to give my daughter. You will attract the opposite sex when you stop thinking about who you will attract and concentrate instead on being a better you. It's being good in your own skin that's attractive. Farber insists that you need to continue to learn. In this step he suggests that you take inventory of what you do well and then choose someone to share your talents.

Give Yourself means to give to that project without expecting anything in return. Of course, he goes on to explain that you really do get lots in return. This step to me is all about relationships and being able to share with abandon - without worrying if it will make the other person looks better. It's the total philosophy at Chets that we are transparent and that we have a moral and ethical obligation to share what we are fortunate enough to learn. It's the difference in being at a school with teachers that collaborate to make the whole better instead of being with a group of teachers that complete because they have to be top dog. In that type of school, teachers don't share because they want to be better than the next person so they share none of their "secrets.". In a school like Chets, everyone shares because they want everyone to be better.

Finally, Replicate Yourself. Find and train your replacement. It's sort of the way you feel about your children. You so want them to out-achieve you.

There's really nothing about this philosophy that I don't believe and try to live. I guess it's just the idea of intentionally identifying a project that puts me off a little. It seems a little arrogant to decide that you are so good at something and then choose somebody that's not to "fix." I figure I've been Melanie Holtsman's GTY project for quite a while now. She knows so much more about technology than I do and she gives time to teaching me almost every single day and she certainly expects nothing in return! Who else could have gotten me to try Twitter and have me thinking about Facebook?!! I guess it's just the part about ever being better than she is at technology that has me rolling in the floor! Nevertheless, this is an interesting book and something to think about...

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Let me start by saying, I'm only half way through this text. But, I don't feel put off by the idea of training my replacement and praying that they do a better job at my work than I do. I hope to pass on my learning and experience to others that will decide to take the same journey I did. Now, naming them a GTY project, may be taking it a little too far. I guess, it is the word project that turns me off. But, in building capacity, which you do everyday, through sharing your learning with others, you are developing other people who may one day do the same level of work you do.