tal-shnallLead With Giants is an online community with the vision of raising up 10,000 UpLifting Leaders. There is enough so-called “leadership” that disempowers, discourages, and disappoints. UpLifting Leadership is inspirational, aspirational, it’s about service and significance: we can make a difference.

UpLifting Leaders live the five commitments the LWG website propagates:

1. I will Connect with others on a level that shows care, respect, and appreciation.
2. I will Engage the heads and hearts of others in a safe environment of acceptance, trust, and positive regard.
3. I will Serve those I lead with love and humility by being a giver rather than a taker.
4. I will Learn and Grow continuously to maximize my potential.
5. I will Lead myself first, then inspire, encourage, and equip others to lead.

The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best – Epictetus

Active Uplifting Leaders

The Vision of the Lead With Giants Community is to create a movement of 10,000 who pledge to be UpLifting Leaders. I am happy to support that: I’m on the same mission with positive leadership, inclusive change and cultures of kindness. LWG do so by connecting, engaging, serving, learning, and leading one another.

This online community is remarkably active on social media: I stumbled upon them everywhere. I am happy to pledge to be an uplifting leader myself – but I wanted to know more. They have their blog, a twitter chat every Monday, and lots of exchanges on Linkedin, Facebook and Google plus. In addition to that, they have a TV-show where Tal Shnall interviews authors, leaders and business gurus who share their wisdom. It’s all voluntarily – nobody is making big bucks or selling anything.

The Giant or the Dwarf?

giant-dwarfLead With Giants was founded by Dan Forbes, a financial services manager from Florida. On the LWG website, he shares his inspiration for Lead With Giants: “If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulder of giants.” This quote is from a letter written by Sir Isaac Newton in 1676. But before Newton the phrase appears in the works of the Jew Isaiah di Trani (c. 1180 – c. 1250).

A wise philosopher responded: “Who sees further: a dwarf or a giant? Surely a giant, for his eyes are situated at a higher level than those of the dwarf. But if the dwarf is placed on the shoulders of the giant, who sees further? … So too, we are dwarfs, astride the shoulders of giants. We master their wisdom and move beyond it. Due to their wisdom we grow wise and are able to say all that we say, but not because we are greater than they.“
We are dwarfs astride the shoulders of giants Click To Tweet

And then, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in The Friend (1828), wrote: “The dwarf sees farther than the giant when he has the giant’s shoulder to mount on.“

This idea is a perfect metaphor for leadership, says founder Dan Forbes. “We might ask: Who sees farther, the leader or the follower? That is, who is most important? Both are important. We all can learn from the wisdom of the leaders around us and become better leaders ourselves. Due to their leadership we grow wiser and lead better, but not because we are better.”

“We are all in this together. We all learn from each other and become the better person for it. We are all dwarfs and we are all giants. We are all leaders.”

Growing community

Tal Shnall is a guest services manager and trainer at the Renaissance Hotel in Richardson, Texas, who joined LWG 1.5 years ago. He’s was blogging about leadership and LWG gave him the opportunity to publish more. He also presents the TV-show. “Dan Forbes is an uplifting leader himself”, says Tal. “He has a knack for noticing people’s strengths. He invited me to do video interviews and I’m growing in this role. I love it and our audience seems to like ’em, too.” Tal is one of five members of the LWG Advisory Group, together with founder Dan Forbes, Susan Thorn, Cynthia Basin, Zachary Jeans and Carol Dougherty.
When you have a purpose, you no longer have-to. You just do Click To Tweet
They get together once a month through Skype to discuss progress. “The topic of Leadership is saturated”, says Tal. “Why would you join us? We think that relationships are very important and that’s what you’ll find here. It’s the power of teamwork: together we can do more. So we role model what we’d like our members to do: be active, communicate, support one another. We respond to all posts in the groups.”

Two important dates in your life

team-sports“Leadership is a journey. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a CEO or a store manager. Though the details may differ, it’s about developing yourself and others.” Tal radiates enthusiasm. “You can have a job, a career or a calling. I think I’ve found mine. I love to connect with leaders and help others engage in uplifting leadership. I can make a difference in this role. That’s why I put so many hours in LWG.”
Crucial date: the day you understand Why you were born Click To Tweet
He smiles: “There are two truly important dates in your life: the day you were born and the day you understand why you were born.”

“When you have a purpose, you no longer have-to. You just do it. True leaders have a purpose to lead others but not in the old-style, selfish, ego-driven way. It’s a path of self-development. You can see it in the NBA championship: the team veterans are leading the youngsters. They have great teams when it’s not about themselves, but about serving others.”

  • How about you? Are you an uplifting leader?

Become an Uplifting Leader at http://www.leadwithgiants.com

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Saira Khan

    I do believe true leadership is all about winning the hearts and minds, being “inspirational, aspirational, it’s about service and significance: we can make a difference”. Thanks for sharing this thought provoking article.

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