My Thoughts After Reading: True North By Bill George

In today’s world, leadership is taking an interesting form. I’d have to argue that we have some true, modern-day Henry Ford’s and Wright brothers in our midst. 

One to mention… Elon Musk! 

In a recent Ted Talk, Elon discussed dreams of hyperloop travel, solar roofing and society in outer space. When the narrator asked why Elon simply responded with “I don’t want to be bored and unexcited about our future”. 

See here:

In a recent book I just completed, True North, the author (Bill George) touched on just that… being excited about your future. Finding your  “True North” or true passion in your work. We’ve all seen videos where an average person lifts a car off the ground the save a child. Or maybe it’s Will Smith’s comment about being willing to die on a treadmill if you’re trying to outlast him.

Check it out:

In my opinion, that’s what this book is all about. What pushes you through your daily exhaustion? Is it providing for your family? Is it simply loving what you do? Is it both?

The book teaches that the more you can tune into that passion in your current role, the more drive you will have to succeed.

I’ve begun to take that journey intellectually. In my current role at RG Group, I oversee the robotics group which I created with the help of our CEO and leadership team. We help companies in the mid-Atlantic region utilize some of the most powerful, cutting-edge technologies that are lowering costs and transforming customers’ operations. I have no doubt that it is the future.

See our robotics site here: 

I do love new technology! I’ve always been the first person to try the newest gadget just to see how it can make life better. I think this shows in my meetings with customers, employees and board members. I love channeling that energy into my new role. 

More than that though, I love family. I work in a family business. To me, all of our associates are family. I love to protect what grandfather started, and what my father has built over the past 60 years. So, what’s my “True North” statement to reflect on when I’m exhausted on Friday at 3:00 after a week of pure grind?

Simply this:

“Your next action could help your company, tradition and legacy continue to be successful for just a bit longer, but you will need to keep it up if you want to take care of the people who have taken care of you your entire life. So it’s time to get going now.”

To summarize the book more formally, see bullet points below.

• Leadership is about what makes you different; there is no perfect model of a leader

• Stop trying to act like a leader; think ‘leadership’ not ‘leader’

• There are five dimensions of authentic leadership: Purpose; Practicing solid values; Heart; Relationships; Self-discipline

• Engage people’s hearts and minds behind the organization’s purpose, rather than behind an individual leader

• You can use authentic leadership to become a market-leading organization; it’s about high performance, not about being ‘nice’ for the sake of it

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