Tell me about a complicated man.– The Odyssey by Homer (Translated by Emily Wilson)
Muse, tell me how he wandered and was lost
when he had wrecked the holy town of Troy,
and where he went, and who he met, the pain
he suffered in the storms at sea, and how
he worked to save his life and bring his men
back home. He failed to keep them safe; poor fools,
they ate the Sun God’s cattle, and the god
kept them from home. Now goddess, child of Zeus,
tell the old story for our modern times.
Find the beginning.
The Odyssey by Homer is a classic work of literature, one of the oldest. This translation by Emily Wilson is the first by a woman in English. She captures the essence of Odysseus in a way I have never read with the opening line, “Tell me about a complicated man.”
Like all of us, Odysseus was on what Joseph Campbell called “The Hero’s Journey,” which is a calling to reach deeper so we can go farther. Anyone traveling this path will discover their complexity on the way to their destiny.
The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, “Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there.”– Reflections on the Art of Living, Joseph Campbell
Lead Different has only been up and running for a short time, but already our subscribership has grown substantially. This confirms what we thought, which is a great many of us are looking to learn about the intricate interplay between our intellectual, emotional, and spiritual selves.
We sense our complexity and want to explore it, with the confidence that as we increase our awareness, we will be able to find our path. Once on the right path, we will live a beautiful and satisfying life, a life not always easy but certain to be a fulfillment of our destiny.
A big thank you
Personally, I am grateful for the time and attention each one of you has given to our content as well as the valuable feedback.
In the coming months, we are working on new content as well as podcast guests we believe will inspire you (and any friends you might have who would enjoy joining us on the journey).
In the meantime, please accept this curation of the content which has been most popular, along with updates and new sections of the site of which you may be unaware.
About the list
This selection of articles, podcast episodes, and shareable graphics are organized by different stages of the leadership journey to provide an entry point for leaders of all experience levels and backgrounds. That being said, I believe there is something for everyone in each of these pieces and I encourage you to read, listen and reflect.
Table of Contents
Everyone has the capacity for leadership, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Read these articles to start your journey.
- How to Discover Your Voice – Bruce Springsteen’s willingness to do the dirty work in obscure places, to hone his craft, and to not take shortcuts can teach us how we, too, can discover our voice. Listen to the companion Russ Off the Cuff podcast episode series here.
- Pursuit of Greatness – Our resistance to change will not stop change from happening. The pursuit of greatness is the only remedy to the infection of mediocrity caused by this resistance to change.
- The 7 Core Character Traits (Russ Off the Cuff Podcast) – Companion podcast to “The Pursuit of Greatness”.
- What It Takes – On the eve of the 2020 presidential election, I lay out fundamental qualities any leader should aspire to possess. Listen to the companion Russ Off the Cuff podcast episode here.
Leaders Rethinking Leadership
Leaders who inspire are leaders who grow. This means consistent reflection, renewal, and reinvention.
- Leading Good: 5 intelligences of good leadership – Journey to unearth answers to the question of how we navigate and ultimately conquer the 21st-century leadership crisis.
- The Change that Changes Everything – Complete or holistic discipline is a necessity for any leader.
- How to Become An Inspiring Leader – Inspiring leadership is not about having charisma, but about providing those we lead with the internal motivation to take action.
- Finding Freedom – There is an intricate relationship between leadership, emotion, and spirituality.
Leading Through Difficult Times
Every leader will face crisis and difficulty. This is a test of character. Whether we will choose transformation as we rise to the challenge or succumbing to the transient difficulties of life let our opportunities for growth slip away.
- Before You Quit – How do we keep on leading when the negatives seem to outweigh the positives for continuing on?
- Moonshot: Taking Bold Action and Leadership In Times of Crisis – We can learn from President John F. Kennedy’s visionary leadership in navigating crisis, which arose from his ability to not only see danger, but opportunity as well.
- The Fog – As we navigate these difficult times, it is up to leaders to acknowledge “The Fog,” find their spiritual core, and develop their emotional strength.
- Leadership in Times of Crisis – The pandemic has been a crisis for us, and crises require action.
- PODCAST: The 4 D’s of Emotionalism – how to handle when emotions derail, disrupt, distract and disorient us.
- VIDEO: The 4 D’s of Emotionalism – watch the video or read the transcript.
Leadership is fundamentally about relationships. Effective leaders must develop the emotional awareness, intelligence, and strength to build quality relationships.
- Am I emotion phobic? – Conquering our emotional fears and tendency to devalue emotion is a lifelong process.
- Why This Pandemic Requires Empathetic Leadership – Empathetic leadership is the most important form of leadership for our turbulent times. And yet, it is the most difficult to develop.
- The Lost Art of Friendship – Our world has an urgent need for friendships, and we must each answer the right questions in order to build them. Listen to the companion Russ Off the Cuff podcast episode series here.
- PODCAST: Why Emotional Intelligence Is Essential for Leadership – Leaders should ask questions, be accessible, be vulnerable, and create an environment that allows people to be safe to give feedback.
Leadership is not just a conceptual endeavor. It can be applied to any and all aspects of our lives.
- The Parenting and Leadership Connection – Lead the way you parent and parent the way you lead because as history travels forward, it will be your influence on people, not stone which holds the greatest sway over the future.
- 12 Leadership Lessons from Steve Kerr – This article was written back in 2014 before Steve Kerr had led the Warriors to multiple championships. We think this article reads very well 7 years later.
- 6 Things Every Leader Should Know About Team Building – To be successful, each leader must overcome the “Disease of Me,” and embrace these 6 qualities of team building.
- Military and Leadership (The Lead Different Podcast) – A two part series discussing the military’s unparalleled leadership development process, with two retired military servicemen.