Book Quotes-Debunking the Leadership Myth: The Story of Conscious Leadership by Ryan Caradonna, Jake Caines


I started this post thinking in collecting all my kindle notes on books that somehow related to this blog topic… Soon to discover that this would be an absolutely impossible task to get done in just one post. No way could I gather all this content in a single post. So I will do it a little bit more gradually, one book at a time.

Starting with a leadership book that become one of my all time favorites. An absolutely amazing book that I got (as usual :) )  through some alerts on kindle free leadership/business books (yes, absolutely free at the time! and currently at $3.44 it’s a bargain! a must have honestly).

I was caught completely off guard by the immersive quality of this (rather extensive) book. My leadership role is still, how to say, very residual… but I’ve  read many other books on the topic and, honestly, this is my favorite and it was great to review my quotes & notes.

Having said that, reading this book was not easy….it was not supposed to be. I guess that’s the way it delivers, it asks hard questions, it questions our thinking, our beliefs. But it gave me lots of hope. I was not the same after reading this book… and that’s usually the kind of feeling that drives me in reading all sorts of books.

Anyway, my point is not doing any kind of review, I am way too lazy for that, along being a very inexperienced leader. I’ll just leave you with a selection of my 364 highlighted passages. Hope not too many that could get me in copyright trouble. :)

Some of my favorite highlights from Debunking the Leadership Myth: The Story of Conscious Leadership by Ryan Caradonna, Jake Caines:

“Where do behaviors originate? Behaviors come from beliefs. The source of your behavior is your belief. What you do is a result of who you are, and who you are is determined by what you believe. Your actions are a result of your thoughts. Your beliefs (why you are doing something) determine your behaviors (how you are doing it)”"

“A Deeper Level “The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.” – Gerald G. Jampolsky”

“But this is where conventional leadership stops, at the behavior level. It focuses on the “how” and “what” but ignores the “why.” This is the point at which conventional leadership cracks and is a critical reason as to why it isn’t working in the face of intense pressure”"

“Conventional leadership tells a myth that behavior change is sufficient to produce better outcomes. It’s not. To generate meaningful outcomes consistently, to truly make an impact, change must happen at the belief level.”

“     •   Ignorance: Conventional leadership doesn’t really understand the power, or the potential, of beliefs. A conventional leader isn’t aware of his own beliefs and their power in his life, and he certainly isn’t aware of them in the lives of others. In some circumstances, ignorance may be bliss. For conventional leadership, ignorance is impotence.”

Back to School…Again “It is what we think we already know that often prevents us from learning.” – Claude Bernard”

“Unfortunately, this is the fallacy of conventional leadership. Unconscious Competence is the goal. At best, this myth is ineffective; at worst, it is dangerous. And this myth is everywhere. We have been told that we need to become experts in our field, so that we can perform our work with muscle memory, out of habit, like riding a bike. Conventional leadership places a tremendous value on experience. Why? Because it falsely believes that the behaviors that led to success yesterday will lead to success again today.”

“To navigate effectively with a map, you need three basic elements:      •   Humility: You must admit that you are lost.      •   Self-awareness: You must identify your current location.      •   Confidence: You must move forward”

Unlearning “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao

“It is much more difficult to let old ideas go than to embrace new ones. And while difficult, the ability to unlearn is pivotal to your success as a conscious leader.”

“Performance is the output; people and process are the inputs. If you want to impact the output, then you need to change the input.”

“Unaware of beliefs (his own or others’), the conventional leader exerts his influence on his environment. The unidirectional arrows represent his outward pushing, regardless of context and oblivious to its dynamic nature. He believes (subconsciously) that either he can’t change or that he doesn’t need to change. Functioning at a level of unconscious competence, the same ideas the created limited success in the past will now facilitate his failure.”

“The enlightened conventional leaders talk about the “How” of the “Why.” In other words, conventional leadership isn’t that concerned with the quality of your current motives (challenging you to change). It is concerned with changing other’s perception of those motives, regardless of their actual quality.”

“As you are writing your story, don’t try to make a point. It is easy and natural; it’s also normal. Making a point can be fun as it makes you look good. But it can’t create transformational change. It won’t produce anything positive, significant, or meaningful. Be different. Instead of making a point, have the confidence to make a difference. By doing so, you will be writing a different story.”

“The man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” – Muhammed Ali

“What matters is not your experience, but what you have done with your experience. What have you learned? How have you grown? How have you changed? What have you done differently based on that experience? The conscious leader (as we discussed in Chapter 2) reflects on his experiences. He takes those learnings and then applies them.”

“The conscious leader really does believe that people are the most important part of an organization. And because his behaviors flow from that belief, he doesn’t mind spending the time and effort training a high-capacity individual. In fact, he enjoys it. If a leader really values people above all else, there is nothing more impactful—and more rewarding—than developing another person.”

“The myth of prioritization is simply this: You will get everything done. The truth is just as simple: No, you won’t.”

“Looking in the mirror can be challenging. You need someone who can identify your blind spots. You need someone who can be a protective hedge against self-deception (a skill we all possess). You need someone who can challenge your beliefs, your ideas, your systems, and your status quo. You need someone who can pressure-test your best thoughts. The ability and willingness to challenge are characteristics of a great partner.”

“Great People + Great Process = Great Performance (most of the time) This doesn’t necessarily work in reverse, however. Performance is the output. People and process are the inputs. If you want to change the output, you must first address the inputs. Only by first improving people and process (the inputs) will you be able to impact performance (the output).”

“An objective is a reality check against an outcome, not a replacement for an outcome. You can test the progress of your desired outcome through the use of objectives. But objectives and outcomes are not interchangeable. An objective is a component of, not a substitute for, an outcome.”

“Show us an organization who is highly focused on objectives, and we will show you an organization with compartmentalized teams capable of making lots of points, but unable of making a difference.”

“The conscious leader often devotes more time to understanding the problem and framing the issue than to actually developing the solution. Why? More value is created in understanding and framing the problem than in developing the solution. Without an accurate diagnosis, impact is impossible.”

“Change for the Sake of Change Conscious leadership is about impactful change—change that makes a positive difference. This means that change is purposeful and intentional. And it means that change is initially internal; you change the world by first changing yourself.”

“ The word “best” is superlative. Best, by design, cannot be advanced or progressed. The myth of best practices assumes that the environment is static—like a photograph.A conscious leader recognizes that questions are more important than answers. A leader sets a new direction by asking questions that challenge the status quo. A manager is driven to provide answers that reinforce the status quo. The concept of best practices is all about providing answers. The concept of better practices is all about asking questions.”

“Change will often result in failure. If the change is good, then the failure will be limited to the temporary perception of those who crave normalcy. If the change is bad, then the failure won’t be merely perceived, it will be real. Sometimes, the change will be good but the timing will be bad, which results in temporary failure but ultimate success. However, you should be conscious of the fact that you cannot consistently generate meaningful change and not experience failure.”

“Although simplified and condensed, these examples expose another common myth of conventional leadership—the fault myth. The fault myth says that in order to solve a problem, you should start with those most at fault, which is always “them.” As a conscious leader, you need to debunk the fault myth and accept this principle as truth: significant impact and transformational change always starts with “me.”

“Despite its promises, conventional leadership cannot induce real, meaningful change. Why not? Impact requires changing who you are, not just what you do. Transformational change is belief change. Conventional leadership can’t even recognize beliefs—how can it possibly change them?”

“One word of caution: note the final lines on both of these lists. While the final outcome of conventional leadership is predictable, normal and known, the final outcome of conscious leadership is unpredictable and unknown. These unpredictable and unknown might initially seem daunting, but we would encourage you to embrace them instead of fearing them.”

“Be patient. You won’t become a conscious leader overnight, and you can’t transform who you are in a week. You can’t make the move from Unconscious Competence to Conscious Competence, debunk a host of myths, unlearn old beliefs (charged with emotion), and accept new beliefs within the confines of a 30-day action plan.”

Amazing book, go back to it very often for inspiration & help on difficult times. Free or at $3 it’s a must have in any leadership/management collection. Give it a try . Don’t forget to check the Kindle books business/investing category page for other best sellers & related Kindle content.

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