Are You Leading from Your Greatness Zone?

The following guest post is by Jay Forte. Jay is a greatness coach and motivational speaker. He is the author of The Greatness Zone – Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform the World and Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition. He coaches and inspires people and organizations to access their personal and professional greatness, to bring their best to their world. More information at www.TheGreatnessZone.com and www.LiveFiredUp.com.

Leadership isn’t a role; it’s a mindset.
It is the commitment to discovering and living your own greatness, then inspiring greatness in others. This is a daily event that we see at work, school, church and home. We all can be leaders. We all must be leaders – everyday leaders.

The greatest gift we receive in life is that we get to invent our lives and to create our world; the world is built by the people who are here, right now. We invent our societies, products, cultures, and structures, products, technology, how we live, how we relate – everything.

If this world is inhabited today by those who do just an average job, then we have an average world. If however, the standard in the world were one of greatness – one where we discover and live our unique abilities and constantly bring these abilities to the world – then we create a far better world.

So, who calls for this greatness?
Who calls for us to know ourselves, know our best abilities and bring it to the world to make a profound difference? Leaders do. Each of us does. We are everyday leaders.

Leaders are clear about who they are, what they believe and how they make a difference; they know their unique talents, strengths and passions and how to use them to add their best value to the world. They focus on greatness, not on adequacy. They align themselves to roles and situations in work and life that allow them to be fully authentic, connected and engaged. They do what they do best and know what in work and life needs this greatness. They live and work in their zone – their Greatness Zone.

Leaders inspire greatness in others; They support and encourage others to know themselves, know their world and find their best fit. They constantly help others achieve their personal greatness, not by insisting that they be like everyone else, but rather by applauding and supporting others to discover their unique abilities – to be true. They guide others to find those places in life that allow them to be all that they can be – whatever that is – because they know that being happy requires us each to love and own our lives, and that a great life is different for each of us.

Leaders model greatness behavior;
they insist on it in themselves and demand it in others; they hold themselves and others accountable. This has nothing to do with overt power. Rather it is authentic power, and a keen believe that each of us brings our best to the world when we are true to who we are. Leaders demand this of others because the result is a powerful and fulfilled life. Leaders demand this of others because it is the way that we all move from good to great, from ordinary to extraordinary. Leaders demand this because it is how each of us invent a great world.

True leaders act like leaders everywhere in their lives. Leadership is a mindset. It a commitment to being your personal best, and inspiring that best in others – everywhere, all the time. They don’t turn it on and off. It is how they live their lives.

Think of the world we could have if we all acted like leaders – if we were constantly in our Greatness Zone and inspiring others to do the same.

Are you leading from your Greatness Zone?

Thank you Jay for taking the time to share your insight, inspiration and motivation here!


Enter A Comment

Gwyn Teatro   |   31 January 2011   |   Reply

Hi Jay, I’m thinking that if we all did as you recommend, the world would indeed be a better place.
I also think that in every “greatness zone” there has to be room for enough uncertainty and humility to invite exploration and growth in areas that we may not otherwise consider. Knowing ourselves is indeed important and often the information we get comes from living every day…and making mistakes. So, while I agree that we tend to be in the habit of not recognizing or developing our full potential as leaders, or human beings for that matter, part of our greatness also lies in our ability to trust others with our vulnerabilities.
Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

Jay Forte   |   31 January 2011   |   Reply

Hi Gwyn,
Agreed – in fact much of our learning comes not from our successes, but from our failures. True leaders inspire greatness – and the search for greatness. I think of teachers who create a safe environment for students to try and succeed or try and fail -because both lead to learning. It is the continual support and focus on developing our greatness (and accepting our humanity) that makes someone a leader in my book. I appreciate your comment.

Lawrence Berezin   |   31 January 2011   |   Reply

Thanks for your terrific, thought-provoking post. How would you characterize the “re-making of President Obama?” Has President Obama found his “greatness zone” yet? If not, what is he missing?

Jay Forte   |   01 February 2011   |   Reply

Hi Lawrence,
I think we see the core of someone who is committed to greatness – who wants it for himself and for others. I also see what I see in many organizations, where not having others of similar mindset, makes the continual focus on greatness more difficult. That being said, one of the aspects of a true leader is to inspire greatness in others – regardless of the environment – to rise above and rally others. So, though I feel Obama to be personally committed to an internal sense of greatness, I am disappointed in his inability to inspire others to focus on their greatness. I wonder if politics and political affiliation have become more important than a consistent focus on greatness? And would even the best of leaders not be able to move the “parties” gridlock and self-interest? Regardless, we expect this role to inspire and unite.

I think what Obama is missing is a clearer and more consistent story of greatness and success – one that all of us can relate to. A story of what we are all more capable of becoming – and told in a way that reminds us we are all one nation, not just red and blue states. A leader’s role is to share with clarity, the vision, the steps and the reasons. I think this is what is missing in Obama’s message.

Lawrence Berezin   |   02 February 2011   |   Reply

Wonderful reply. Makes terrific sense.
The clock is ticking for our embattled President Obama. I wish him well.

Sonia Di Maulo   |   02 February 2011   |   Reply


Two ideas from your post that I especially liked:

1. The greatest gift we receive in life is that we get to invent our lives and to create our world
2. True leaders act like leaders everywhere in their lives.

Taken together, these two ideas are so powerful! Yesterday I heard someone say, “I am an idealist based in reality!” I am not sure exactly what that means but I somehow understood – I feel like this sometimes.

Your idea of constantly being in the “Greatness Zone” is critical… ideally this would grand and even if it is impossible, realistically we should be striving for this every day, everywhere, and with everyone. As we invent our lives, inspire others, do what makes us passionate, try new things, make mistakes, upset the people around us, grow, connect with ourselves and others, we will succeed in creating a brave new world, leading from the Greatness Zone!

I am with you, Jay! Wonderfully inspiring!


Jay Forte   |   02 February 2011   |   Reply

Hi Sonia,
My personal belief is that the greatest gift we receive in life is the ability to invent our lives – and that all that we need to invent a great one, we already have hardwired into us – our talents, strengths and passions. When we play to this greatness – when we discover and live this greatness – we bring our best to the world. I also believe that we invent the world by the people who are in it at this very moment. And if these people know their unique abilities and use them, they create a greater world. If they do not know them and live them, they create an average world. So to me, the role of a leader is to self-discover to know his/her personal greatness, then inspire others to discover and live theirs as well.
I appreciate your comment and am trying to do my part to get in my zone, and inspire others to find and be in theirs as well. As I like to say, life’s always better in the zone…

Susan Mazza   |   11 February 2011   |   Reply

Thanks Jay for your wonderful guest post – for sharing your insights here on the greatness zone as it applies to leadership!

And to Sonia, Lawrence, Gwyn and Jay – thank you for the engaging conversation!