Authentic Leadership

Top-2016-Leadership-Trends-2.jpgWho do we want leading? Authentic leaders possess certain qualities.


  1. Appreciate the human condition.
  2. View problems from multiple perspectives.
  3. Listen.
  4. Challenge the status quo.
  5. Serve others.
  6. Think strategically.
  7. Take risks.
  8. Speak eloquently.
  9. Are realistic and idealistic visionaries.
  10. Are linchpins.
  11. WON’T settle for average.

Career Advice

bigstock-Maze-Shortcut-41279914.jpg“I think the reason for people’s success is directly related to their individual ability to take risks, fail, and be resilient and continue on, striving for their goals. I’ve always been a negatively geared person, when it comes to failing. I had to change my mind set. It sounds like you have a great perspective and are willing to get out there, try, fail, and try again. Resiliency is the key, but not if you don’t continue your forward momentum toward your ultimate goal. There are short cuts to a goal.

See, people want to know that you “went through” the typical steps to get where you are. This often roadblocks your momentum. You’ve got to find folks that have your mindset. Your perspective is fine. Why should you have to take so long? I suggest that you read the book, “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy and also the book on mindset by Carol Dwek. I believe, like you do, that perhaps your path to success can be shortened. It will take your willingness to develop resiliency! Go for it!”~A. J.

You can strategically shortcut your way to success.



Subvertisement project instructions:

Certainly we’ve talked a lot about how and by what our personal agency is constrained. Some of you have no doubt been brought to tears considering the various and powerful forces to which we’re inevitably subjected-whether by history, language, gender, race, class, all those laws and actores-all that cultural context.

But now we’re going to take a look at how our personal agency is enabled by the context in which we find ourselves. You will leave high school with something to think about. This is not a rallying cry or a call to revolution; nor is it an invitation to aggression or transgression of any kind. It is, a challenge to liberate some truth.

Keep in mind that agency “is always a response to already given contexts… The creativity of the response-the way it works and reworks pre-existing codes-is finally the measure of a subjective action. Even in places where things seem static, there’s actually a lot going on. And that’s why we need a [theory] toolbox, to work on the present, to affect it, to build a present to live in.”

You have options. You have agency. Above is a subvertisement. First, you’ll identify how you as an individual have been constituted as a subject in some form of your high school ideology. After much thought and discussion-you will respond to, challenge, resist, subvert, recontextualize, re-mix some of the tools of your high school’s ideology. You can think of it as a creative cultural resistance, but the emphasis is on creative. The goal is to make what might be invisible visible: identify an ideology taken for granted that we forget it’s there.


perspective-photo-1The image above has to do with perspective. We all have a skewed view of the world and we’re often tunnel visioned. Every person constructs their version of reality in their minds. So don’t believe everything you think. I’m constantly viewing life from multiple angles. I wonder if that’s a talent or a skill, but I think it can be learned. I took this photo at the Statue of Liberty National Monument Park. If I stood at a different location, I’d have a different perspective of the New York City skyline. Context matters.

Why don’t people know how to think? All school teaches is obedience and compliance. But now, standing out is an effective strategy for success. Fitting in is a short term strategy that hinders progress, standing out requires momentum and creates results. Institutions deprive students of their agency, but the students who know how to exercise agency and implement it creatively, are the ones who will go far. Don’t follow authority and always question conventional wisdom.

Do you have different mental models for every aspect of your life? In this instant gratification society, we need more thinkers. We love to be busy. We go to the gym, respond to emails, go grocery shopping, update social media, watch television, go to bed etc. The problem is we don’t leave ourselves time to think! Thinking is what matters now.