Yesterday’s Musing was a bit of darkness-cursing about the folly of taking advice about culture in general and engagement in particular that reduces what is essentially a matter of organizational soulcraft to line items on a project plan.

So today I’m lighting a candle by offering some wisdom from Jim Kouzes.  It’s from the Foreword that Jim was so generous to provide for my book. 

If you’re looking for references to things like the benefits to be realized “(w)hen you marry HCM (human capital management) to analytics in-house,” you’ll be disappointed.  If, on the other hand, you could use some deep insight, read on...

But keep in mind that leadership is not about the leader.  It is not about you.  It is about others.  It is about how others experience you and what you do.  It’s about their hopes, dreams, and aspirations.  It’s about their level of trust, respect, and engagement with you and each other.  It’s about their feelings of empowerment and commitment.

A while back when my wife and I were in Truckee, California, a small town in the Sierra Mountains near Lake Tahoe, we stopped at a shop that was once a railway station.  As we walked up the wooden steps to the building, we noticed a carved wooden sign affixed to the exterior clapboard wall.  The sign read: “This building is dedicated to the memory of Ignatius Joseph Firpo.  ‘What we have done for ourselves dies with us; What we have done for others remains and is immortal.’”  Ignatius Joseph Firpo, to his friends, family, and coworkers, was clearly someone who made others the center of his world.

                                                                                     JIM KOUZES