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October 13 2015

Lead with Love and Courage

Every once in a while we meet someone who leaves a lasting impression.  That’s just what John Hope Bryant did when we met him last year in San Diego.  He was the closing “thought leader” speaker for the national principal conference.  He definitely closed the session out with a message that was full of passion, creativity and forward thinking. I was blown away at the thought that he is just crazy, smart and courageous enough to really change our world.

When he was done speaking, he received a standing ovation from the large crowd of educational leaders.  My table group immediately left the room to get in line to meet him in person and buy one of his books at the book-signing table.  The book I bought was titled Love Leadership: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World, with a foreword by Bill George, author of True North

A few hours later on the plane ride home, I began to read his book.  I found myself writing notes and ideas in the nooks and crannies of almost every page.  I don’t even recall the length of the flight home, as I was completely immersed in the words and ideas that were written in front of me.  Some of my comments included:

  • Speak from the heart.
  • Be real with people and they will be real with you.
  • Live centered in the storm.
  • Courage is reaching through fear.
  • Everything happens for a reason.
  • Love is central to sustainable success.
  • Love survives long after fear dies. Fear comes from low self-esteem.
  • Real living takes courage. Live a life of meaning.
  • Fear-based leadership is not sustainable & only works over a short period of time. You’re not a leader when you lead through fear. You’re a manager.
  • Over communicate, under commit and over perform.
  • Help people find and follow their passion.
  • Have a purpose bigger than ourselves.

I was inspired to go home and continue my mission of being the change I wish to see.  I immediately shared my vision of bringing John Hope Bryant to Alaska.  I shared his message with others and began to lead the opportunity on a grass roots level right here at home. As a result, he will be with us in Alaska on October 19th, at 8:30 AM, speaking at the Sheraton Hotel.  He will be doing a book-signing after his keynote at our 49th Annual State Principals’ Conference. 

His message about love-based leadership includes the following 5 laws:

  1. Loss creates leaders: There can be no inner growth without the pain of legitimate suffering.
  2. Fear Fails: Leading through fear is antiquated and self-defeating, a crippling indulgence that we can no longer afford.
  3. Love makes money: The expression of love in business – creating long-term relationships with customers and employees based on caring for others and doing good – makes everyone wealthy.
  4. Vulnerability is power: When you open up, people open up to you. Real leaders know that vulnerability is not a weakness, but rather their greatest strength.
  5. Giving is getting: Leaders give, followers take. Giving inspires loyalty, attracts good people, confers peace of mind, and lies at the core of true wealth.

I love our profession. I’m excited and honored to be with educational leaders from all around our state next month in Anchorage to ignite our collective knowledge, energy and passion as we come together for the greater good of our profession at our 49th Annual State Principals’ Conference.

For more information and to register for the principal conference, click the following link: