Executive Leadership

Growing your leadership influence calls for a courageous character core. Your followers and family are watching you during this Era of Exponential Growth. They are keeping a firm eye on the virtues you live everyday. For many leaders, the word “virtues” is confusing.  Let's be real - how many times do you use "virtue" in your everyday conversations?!? What about "prudence” or “temperance”? If you're like me, those aren't sprinkled into my speech. Especially when I'm hanging out with my grandchildren.

We often learn leadership development lessons in the most surprising ways – and in the most peculiar places! While cleaning some old files, I came across this photo of my great-grandparents. It took grit, determination, and mental toughness to live in North Dakota in the early 1900s, didn't it? Then, I start to think about my own childhood journey.

Our daughter, Danae, is co-director of a leadership development project in Tanzania. A couple of months ago, my husband, Gordon, went to visit her. Covid craziness had somewhat calmed down here in North Dakota. But, the Amsterdam International airport was still on high alert. He saw travelers in full hazmat suits boarding a plane. When texting me this photo, he said, “Danita, this is what MAX fear and stress looks like! People traveling in hazmat suits from the top of their heads to the tip of their toes! Yikes!”

Some economic experts claim we live in the Era of Exponential Progress. Likewise, most leaders report that their leadership strategy challenges are growing exponentially also.

Most leaders I talk with want to turn their fear and trepidation into a future-focused motion. They want their vision to be a hope-filled future. Yet, something seems to stand in the way. I believe that this Era of Exponential Growth calls for a special brand of courage – Sisu Courage–! But, what is SISU??