Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Leadership Kick in the Ass by Bill Treasurer

“The best leaders are centered, grounded, and nontoxic. They lead not so their power can grow, but so ours can” – Bill Treasurer

Do you ever wonder how some leaders thrive and keep climbing the ladder despite their arrogance and need to always be in the limelight? I admit that there have been a few times when I have dreamt that someone would kick them in the behind or even pushed them down a few rungs on the ladder. I bet you have felt the same way but alas, we may not be around to witness it.  As painful as it is, most leaders need to be “kicked” once in a while to learn from mistakes, challenges, loss of team faith, or they need to get their feet back on the ground. We all need to learn from our mistakes and be uncomfortable. A battered ego is one of the best ways to move forward and grow as a leader. The sting is a wake up call to change direction even if it hurts even more to do so.

A Leadership Kick in the Ass by Bill Treasurer is the guide that we all need during our careers. If your ass doesn’t need to be kicked from time to time, you can bet a leader in your circle needs it. Just what is a “kick in the ass”? It’s those lessons that can only be learned from “Rough landings, Blunders, and Missteps”.  The key is taking action to learn from a kick in the backside and change how you behave and lead others. Sadly, some leaders allow their strengths to become toxic and their overbearing confidence becomes arrogance.

Bill’s book will really resonates with leaders in all stages. He even devotes chapters to newbie leaders, the “Cheeky Middle” leaders, and the “Shrinking Big Shots”. I guarantee that you fit into one of these categories. A Leadership Kick in the Ass is an engaging, humorous, down in the trenches book. It’s not full of leadership elitism and instead focuses on the dips where so many of us have been in our careers. Bill shares engaging stories about leaders who have fallen from a kick and how they reacted – or didn’t. He challenges us with questions in each chapter. Better yet, he shares “kick ass comebacks” that we need to hear. I enjoyed the glimpses into the realities that leaders have faced after a kick. I admit that I’ve been thinking (OK, dreaming) of several leaders that I worked with that still need a big kick in the ass.

Here are some highlights that A Leadership Kick in the Ass schools us on:

  • Once you have been kicked, how you handle it determines your path. Are you going to take action or remain arrogant? “Leaders need followers more than followers need leaders” is a key take away
  • Pay attention to “career kicks” at the various stages of your life and that of your people
  • Poor leaders come in the form of a “Pig Head” or a “Weakling”. Are you either type? What are you going to do to change?
  • Sound leaders are confident and humble. The two are complementary and it’s a delicate balance. Bill offers effective advice and mirroring these traits may just result in fewer kicks in your backside!
  • There are 3 leadership roles people may take on: The Loyal Rebel, Velvet Hammer, and Genuine Faker. Which style are you and what are the advantages?
  • Ultimately leaders need to be “good”. We need to lead inward before we can project humility and confidence outwardly. Being a good leader draws trust and respect for you and your team
  • Leaders need to be willing to step up and invite feedback, conduct their own “kick ass” review of themselves, hangout with the right crowd, always lead from the high road, and be honest about mistakes.

A Leadership Kick in the Ass is the book that many of us have been waiting for. Too often leaders are portrayed as mini gods that can’t fail when in fact a fall is what so many need. Welcome an occasional kick in the ass. If you acknowledge it and act on it, you will be a stronger humble person confident enough to impact others and grow them as leaders. For leadership teams, this gem would be a great book to read and have some frank discussions around. It seems that our grandparents may have been right about us young lings needing a kick in the butt!

1 comment:

  1. Good job on capsulizing this book in your well written review! One of the coolest things about this book is that it's laugh out loud truth in many of the truer than life stories. How about the guy who expected a raise or promotion and got the boot instead. Like, dude, did you read your last two performance reviews? Good book. I have yet to write a review on it - but definitely coming soon.