Steve Farber is quite the dreamer when it comes to defining great leadership.
What I’ve always admired about him was his willingness to aim high – like for example, in his book “The Radical Edge“, where he dared to believe that we could mix great business with personal joy and in the process, “change the world“.
It’s not often that leaders try to think that way, but Steve challenged us to do that, passionately and eloquently.
But that wasn’t quite enough – there was more for him to say about leadership, something of an even higher calling and purpose
That something was love.
Now that’s really a radical leap – linking love and leadership. More precisely, Steve sees leadership as a selfless act of love – much like a parent and child.
This constitutes the core of his latest book, “Greater Than Yourself“ – the concept that leaders should “go beyond the tenets of the Golden Rule and help others to be better than they are themselves“.
Just like a mother or father expressing their love by doing everything they can to make their child’s future better than their own, Steve sees great leadership through much the same lens- and in a much more personal way than conventional leadership wisdom usually dictates.
Through the same “business parable” style he employed in his other two books (including “The Radical Edge“), Steve himself tells the tale of a special guitar, and how his search for one of its previous owners slowly reveals the “Greater Than Yourself” philosophy (and a framework to use it) through a cast of dedicated practitioners.
It’s a fast, enjoyable read, and the use of storytelling brings his points home very effectively. The author’s passion for the subject clearly comes through – I didn’t doubt for a second that he truly believes that what he presented represented “true” leadership, on its highest plane of existence.
The real test however, is whether his readers will believe it, and ultimately reach for it. He ups the ante by presenting an Epilogue to the book that shows the principles in action (by the group Up With People), and also invites us to a new website where he is taking on his own “GTY” projects.
That’s where the rubber meets the road – can we too become so selfless, so loving, and so giving as leaders, like the characters in the book? The answer lies inside our own hearts and souls.
I’m sure Steve knew the degree of difficulty he faced here, but this didn’t stop him from putting his personal feelings on his literary sleeve and trying to penetrate those inner sanctums that rarely see the light of day between 8 and 5, Monday through Friday.
I for one am quite glad he did. Read this book and I bet you’ll feel the same way too.