Let’s Face It Boys! Lessons From Essential Skills

David Plante
Guest Contributor

Let’s face it. Boys will grow up into men someday. And I don’t know anyone who does not want to make sure that the path young boys take is one of success, joy and excitement. 

Some men practice being an example of what a mature man looks and acts like. It reminds us of our childhood, and what it was like making that incredible journey.  It helps the boys see that each person’s journey is different, but with some common core ideas, success in imminent. 

MDI does a good job of working with men to be leaders, which are addressed below. The mature, masculine part has always been a sticking point for me, which goes all the way back to my childhood. Does acting like a bully represent mature masculine? Does taking things personally a trait of the masculine? Does making shit up, following the status quo, always expecting to be right, not honoring your rank, or following an agenda that clearly contradicts the rules and regulations? Not defining it leaves it wide open for every man to be whoever he wants to be based on his definition, and the definition of the men he hangs around with. 

I have defined it, for me and my men, and the men I hang out with agree.  (Go figure huh?)

Anyways, here are some “Key Points” from Essential Skills Training offered in MDI. They do a great job of setting a clear definition of what a leader is and is not. 

  • If you make your participation in anything about what you can give to it, you’ll receive much more personal benefit than you would if you choose to participate based on “what’s in it for you.”
  • You can’t discipline yourself to “not do something.”
  • Discipline produces enlightenment because discipline banishes self-deception.
  • In order to master something, you must teach it.
  • Good leaders are good teachers. Good teachers are good students.
  • Always speak to where a man is at, and from the place you want to lead him.
  • If you don’t listen to your men, your leadership will be little more than luck and charm.
  • The most important part about living one’s purpose is trusting it and allowing it to guide you when things are tough, inconvenient and confusing.
  • If you want to know what your purpose is right now (really), look at the things you’re willing to make sacrifices for (not excuses).
  • When your purpose gets too big, you can no longer do it alone.
  • Courage is nothing more than a solid connection to one’s purpose.
  • Leaders leverage their time, energy and commitment through the delegated efforts of subordinate leaders.
  • When a man is being powerful and at his best, he stops asking “how much stuff do I have to do” and instead asks “what am I willing to be responsibility for?”
  • Free time is the enemy.
  • The discipline of Time Management is only saying yes to those things that support your purpose.
  • “Context” is to humans as “water” is to fish.
  • Effective leaders allow their men to be uncomfortable enough so that their sense of purpose and commitment spur them into action – Don’t rescue your men from this.
  • Management does not naturally produce more managers, but leadership naturally produces more leaders.
  • 100% of everything that happens in your life is your responsibility.
  • Asking men for blind trust makes a withdrawal from your Trust Account – avoid this unless you have no other choice.
  • A context of “Us and Them” is always created by “Us.” When we are all “Us” there is no “Them.”
  • Moving away from something is a product of fear. Moving toward something is a product of purpose.
  • Men will not significantly alter their basic way of being unless the payoff for doing so is obvious and huge.
  • When you give support to your men, always support them to follow their purpose in ways that benefit them personally.
  • If you want your men to be “on fire” make sure you provide them with an oxygen-rich environment – your men already have everything else they need.
  • Your need for control as a leader reveals your fear of failure and lack of trust.
  • Elders become Shadow Leaders when A) They choose to serve their own personal agenda instead of supporting the current leadership to be successful, and B) When the rank and file mistakenly believes they’re still in charge.
  • The benefit of trusting is greater than the potential cost of being burned.
  • Good leaders do not subject their men to contrived crap disguised as fun.
  • Leaders are only successful if the men they lead are successful.

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