Moving mountains with leadership

How do you lead?

Create an authentic environment which lets people feel a part of something bigger than themselves individually — with a compelling purpose.

My happiest memories include being a part of my high school basketball team that lost three of its first four games before getting on a roll and making it all the way to the Washington State Tournament. It was an amazing feeling to be a part of that team. I would have run through a wall for my teammates.

In 1995, I was in the King Dome with 50,000 other people when Edgar Martinez’ double scored Ken Griffey Jr. from first base to beat the New York Yankees and send the Mariners to its first American League Championship Series. I was one with 50,000 people: Incredible feeling.

In 1997, I was a part of the executive team at ARIS that offered an IPO on NASDAQ. My brother was the CEO and many of my best friends (to this day) on the executive team with nearly 1,000 employees. That was an experience bigger than any of us individually.

In these cases, each end purpose is very obvious to most. However, inside a company or another sort of an organization, the “compelling” purpose is often unclear or misunderstood. A leader needs to make that clear and rally people around it. If done effectively, authentically, people will WANT to be a part of what you are building. They will commit and be excited to be a PART of that something bigger.

If you can do that, you can move mountains.