City Hall, Boston
Bill Russell’s Statue Unveiling
“Did they ever catch the guy?”
“The guy who stole your razor (pointing at my brother Brian’s goatee)…?”
Both broke out in laughter.
The joke made me laugh because I enjoy bad jokes – and Bill Russell’s laugh made me laugh even more. He has one of those unforgettable, high pitched, laughs that you don’t want to be on the receiving end of.
We talked leadership for awhile. A subjects that we our both very passionate about. One that we both adopted into our lifestyle. As he talked I took pages and pages of mental notes.
Of all that he said, one thing really stuck out to me more than some others. It was his answer to this question that a reporter asked during his statue unveiling in city hall…
“Professionally what is the accomplishment you are most proud of?”
(Now, here is a legend who has accomplished so much in his career. Who’s trophy room could take up an entire house – and who has more championship rings then he does fingers!)
Everyone quickly turned to Bill Russell… The room fell silent… He gave his answer…
To everyone’s surprise it wasn’t alllll the championships, it wasn’t the presidential medal of freedom, or being inducted into the hall of fame…
His professional accomplishment
that he is most proud of…
was being named… Team Captain!
What…? Being named team captain? Really? I would have never guessed he would have said that.
Team captain over everything else. Wow, I thought, what an amazing answer. One that really speaks to the kind of leader he is and how he felt about being a leader. What an amazing set of values he has. What a wonderful mindset and view point on everything he’s accomplished. ‘
No wonder he’s won 13 NBA championships!
There are many other stories and practices that I’ve been gifted with from the legendary Bill Russell and a few others (famous and non). I am of the belief that it is my job as a leader to share the wisdom, stories, and practices that I have been given.
(With Karren Russell, John Havlicek, & Bill Russell)
I get asked leadership questions often and I’d like to share 7 of them them with you now.
But before I get into the FAQ’s, I’d like to know…
What are some of the accomplishments you are most proud of in your life? And, if you had to pick one – which one would you pick – and why?
The following are a few of the most common leadership questions that I get asked and I hope these serve you in some capacity…
1.) WHAT IS LEADERSHIP ANYWAY?
Leadership is really an Art. And, here’s what I mean by that…
There is always going to be many moving pieces to leadership because as leaders we are dealing with tremendous change, especially with how fast things are moving these days. Especially with 24/7 accessibility. We as leaders are also dealing with people who are all wired different – have their own unique abilities – and hail from different backgrounds. There is an Art in keeping up, staying in-tune, and doing your best to serve, both your company and your team- with all of that going on.
Successful leadership inspires people to commit to a common vision, a common purpose, and a common set of principles. It gives them a clear sense of direction. This is the absolute best way to create strength, unity, and success in todays rapidly changing digital age.
2.) WHAT ARE THE COMMON TRAITS OF ELITE LEADERS?
I get asked questions from all over the world and this is one that comes up very often, “David, what do the very best leaders do?” Maybe you’re leading a family, maybe you’re leading a team or a big company, or maybe you’re just trying to lead your own life. Whether you’re doing one of these or all three here are the top 3 of the ‘8 Common Characteristics of Elite Leaders,’ – that I do a deep training on…
They have a Vision of the future. They develop a clear precise picture of where to go and how to get everyone to commit to it. This isn’t done alone. It’s done by collaborating with the culture, the team, and the people around them to get input to make sure their interests are being served.
This vision becomes their covenant and a declaration that will serve them in many ways, including keeping them anchored when the storms of life hit. Vision will give them a strong purpose and will give everyone a goal to strive for that’s bigger then themselves.
They Embody leadership. They must live their messages. They have to understand the importance of their role and be a role model. They have to practice everything that they preach and teach. They must follow the vision that everyone put together very closely and make sure others stay on the correct path.
They Serve. They are service centered. Always asking themselves the bigger questions: How can I make my team even better? Have I done everything possible to help my teammates win? What can I do differently? How can I improve: myself, my relationships, my passion, my enthusiasm, my strength, and my abilities to help everyone?
In my training presentations, I explain exactly why this is and how these are properly crafted. I show examples of the tremendous impact they can have and how the 8 core pillars effect every aspect of our lives – professionally and personally.
3.) WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT LEADERSHIP IN TODAYS WORLD?
One key thing to know as a leader is Transparency. Cameras are everywhere. Everywhere you look someone is holding their camera up recording a video, taking pictures, and even flying the drones with cameras on them. You really have to embody your message everywhere you go – all the time. Which is how it should be and needs to be anyway.
Secondly, we are so globally connected today – the world has ‘gotten smaller.’ Much more of the small world and many of the different cultures are accessible with a push of a button – which is very cool. The game has changed – now that we can see, do business with, and communicate with people across the globe instantly.
What that means is now that we are all being brought together, we as leaders now have to know how and have to have an understanding of how different people work and respond to leadership. In other words…
“…To prepare for leadership in todays world, it’s necessary to be knowledgeable about cultures and societies – with norms and values other than your own.”
This is one of the reasons I travel and have learned to
speak Mandarin Chinese as a 2nd language.
4.) OF ALL THE LEADERSHIP MOMENTS IN YOUR LIFE – IF YOU HAD TO PICK A FAVORITE LEADERSHIP MOMENT WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Oh, I have many but one story I share that many people enjoy, takes place during Thanksgiving 2007. I was 22-years old and a rookie in the NFL. The team I was playing on had a losing culture and it didn’t take long to recognize it. Because of my inspiring ‘Ultimate Underdog’ story in college, I was coming in with a different mind-set. I did things that no one had seen before and the all stars & Hall of Fame players noticed it immediately nicknaming me ‘Superman’ (which I didn’t like too much – I’m more of a Spiderman fan).
Anyway one of the greatest players that has ever played one day invited me over for Thanksgiving. We talked about winning, leadership, crafting a vision, team building, family, and much more! We decided to share, show, and lead by example… we did our best.
Now, I’ll say this, before I got to the NFL in this city I went into a sports store 3 miles from the team practice facility and they did not sell one team item. Now when I go back the store is absolutely filled with team gear and I see 100’s of license plates with the team logo on it. It gives me a nice smile knowing that I played a part in giving more hope, pride, and a feeling of being a winner to a great people, in a great city.
For much more on this favorite moment of mine you can watch the interview I did on my YouTube channel called, “Hunting Greatness.” (https://www.youtube.com/user/HuntingGreatness)
5.) WHAT ADIVCE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO BECOME A LEADER OR IMPROVE HIS LEADERSHIP ABILITIES?
First, I would thank him or her because we are in need of heroes and leaders. There has hardly ever been a time in recent history when leaders were in such need and so much in demand as today. We need leaders at every level of society. We need leaders in our families, we need leaders in politics, we need business leaders, and community leaders. We need men and women who are willing to rise to the challenge and take charge.
Next, I would say elite leadership is an art and your development and leadership training doesn’t stop. So make sure that you are reading, writing, and practicing the art every day.
6.) WHATS ONE OF YOUR TOUGHEST CHALLENGES AS A LEADER?
By far one of the toughest challenges I face and I’m sure other leaders can relate, is getting people to believe in themselves as much as I do!
However when you get someone to really believe in themselves and tap into the greatness, the great gifts, and the unique talents they have inside – the ones we all have inside – then you better look-out because that’s when their life will sky rocket to a whole new level.
In my presentations, I explain why this happens, what shapes this behavior, how it gets addressed and fixed. My presentations will show you how these beliefs affect every aspect of your life – from the workplace and marketplace to family dynamics.
7.) WHAT IS A FAVORITE LEADERSHIP QUOTE?
“Leadership is a choice. Not a position.
Elite Leadership is a lifestyle. Not a job.” – David Holloway
For more on leadership training, including special celebrity guest interviews, check out my YouTube channel — “Hunting Greatness.” at https://www.youtube.com/user/HuntingGreatness
I hope these 7 served you as you go out there and continue to lead!
Whether its leading in your work place, leading your team, family, or if your just trying to lead your own life.
“We are in need of leaders of a high caliber.
We are in need of you.
And keep walking the summits!”
– David A. Holloway