Who Leads?

January 13, 2020

Who Leads?

May 29, 2023

First things first: I was weird. Chip was an all-star. Generous, handsome, smart and ready to open the door for anyone who needed a hand. Second: The real leap in Chip’s search for Wisdom that day at Stanford was going first. Not waiting to be picked, but becoming the picker.

That simple act of wisdom by Chip transformed my life in two ways. First, it connected me with some fellow travelers at a moment when I was totally lost. Those sessions in the anthropology department taught me five times more than I learned in my entire time at Stanford.

But much more than that, Chip’s initiative taught me an essential lesson, one of leadership and humility. He never hogged a spotlight, never sought to profit from his role as the leader. He simply picked us and then joined us.

Leadership isn’t management. Leadership doesn’t require authority (in fact, it often disdains authority). Leadership definitely doesn’t require the right answer. Instead, leadership is where we find wisdom, not the other way around.

This is the 2nd post in our week-long series of Chip Conley and Seth Godin sharing lessons on how to harvest and cultivate wisdom. Click here to view the 1st post.

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