Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 4th, 2021

Leaders without commitments frantically bounce like balls in pinball machines with no clear direction. Commitments are stabilizing stakes in the ground that guide behaviors and inform decisions.

Commitments are decisions you don’t reconsider.

Top leadership commitments include:

  1. Care.
  2. Serve.
  3. Clarify. Clarity drives success.
  4. Know where you’re going and tell others, often.
  5. Act. Step toward the future. Only look backward as it enables forward movement.
  6. Choose optimism or get out of leadership.
  7. Point out what isn’t working, quickly.
  8. Don’t whine.
  9. Set deadlines.
  10. Find celebration points every day.
  11. Act in harmony with your heart. Pleasing others always falls within your values.
  12. Pause. Stop doing and spend time in self-reflection, daily. Failure to reflect creates disconnected frantic lives.
  13. People before projects. It’s always about building people who become part of effective teams.
  14. Study people. Know and understand what makes them tick and wind their clocks.
  15. Ask hard questions.
  16. Stop giving answers; help others find them.
  17. Encourage all the time, even when correcting.
  18. Use mistakes as learning opportunities rather than blaming moments.
  19. Let others know they matter by explaining their contribution.
  20. Look people in the eye, gently.

Bonus: Say, “I don’t know. What do you think?”

Facebook contributors have started their own list of leadership commitments: Leadership Freak Coffee Shop

Which leadership commitments are most important?

What did I leave off this list?

The word I don’t hear much

“We have a crisis in leadership. Confidence in leaders continues to decline. At the same time, our current financial situation says we are in desperate need of leaders.”

“Would you trust your leaders to babysit your children?” John Baldoni.

Leadership begins with trust. Acting in the best interest of others builds trust. Self-interest, at the expense of others, destroys trust.

Leaders who think more about what they get than what they give can’t be trusted.

During my conversation with Baldoni, he said, “We need more sacrifice in leadership. Sacrifice is doing what’s right for others, first.” John Baldoni.

The power of sacrifice:

  1. Sacrifice builds trust, commitment, and loyalty.
  2. Great achievement always calls for sacrifice.
  3. Sacrifice reveals the heart. Calling others to sacrifice without self-sacrifice degrades others.
  4. Self-sacrifice enables leaders to call others to sacrifice.
  5. Sacrifice is the path to connecting with something bigger than you.
  6. Leaders willing to sacrifice take the long view.
  7. Ethics and integrity have meaning in tension between self-service and others-service.

Calling leaders to sacrifice is calling them to love others more than they love themselves.

Many topics in leadership are challenging and awkward; sacrifice tops the list. I don’t hear much about sacrifice. It’s time to bring it back.

Check out John Baldoni’s new book: The Leader’s Pocket Guide: 101 Indispensable Tools, Tips and Techniques for any Situation.

What does leadership-sacrifice look like from your perspective?

Don’t get so busy getting things done that you end up done yourself. Experience shows many leaders between 45 and 55 years old are so connected with business that they become disconnected with themselves.

Don’t get so lost in business that you lose yourself.

Gary Anzolone, CEO of CEO Clubs NYC, sat beside me for lunch yesterday at the Harvard Club. I asked Gary how he became interested in the CEO Club movement.

Gary said he remembered the first time he attended the CEO Club. It gave me a chance for self-reflection, to have conversations about business but not actually do business. As Gary talked, the words refreshed and encouraged came to mind.

Leaders are so busy doing business they seldom take care of themselves beyond distracting entertainments.

Leadership is who you are before it is what you do.

Most leaders most need focused time to care for invisible issues, matters of the heart.

Leader’s hearts are nourished
by authentic relationships with other leaders.


  1. Take the first step by opening up, authentically. Don’t spill your guts. Just toss a bit of your heart out.
  2. Cultivate relationships with those who reciprocate your openness.
  3. Look for courageous truth speakers who look you in the eye and say it like it is.
  4. Look for someone who affirms more than fixing or explaining. Fixers offer advice too quickly. Those who explain why you think or feel the way you do, devalue and minimize you. The world is filled with fixers and explainers; stop being one yourself.
  5. Brag to someone and see if they try to out-do you.
  6. Celebrate the success of others.
  7. Look for connections outside your business.

What are you doing to connect with other leaders? 




August 2021

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