Preeminence – My Key Learnings

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to hear Glen Jackson speak about a book he’s written called Preeminence. By definition, Preeminence is the state or character of being Preeminent – eminent above or before others. superior; surpassing. I was intrigued by what I heard and decided to read the book. Glen shares some interesting insights, useful for Aspiring Leaders – below are 4 themes I found particularly valuable.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) – is the ability to trust in your intuitions, control your emotions and factor in your observations to make
timely decisions and take timely action. As aspiring leaders who seek to have impact, it’s important that we have control of your emotions. “Lose your emotion, and you lose respect, and eventually, your credibility. People with high EQ rarely get upset, they remain calm and avoid unnecessary drama”. I’ve heard that having EQ is important for any leader, maybe more important than IQ, Charisma or other better known Leadership traits. My takeaway here is the value and importance of Self Control & Self Discipline.

Effective Communication is about communicating with clarity and integrity to your audiences. One key learning I got here is that Tone Matters. Tone is all about how you sound when you communicate to others. Happy, Sad, Serious, Excited, Gracious, Contrite? How about – Condescending, Negative, Accusatory, Confrontational, Defensive. As great leaders, we need to be keenly aware of our tone and know when to turn it down, turn it up and even push the mute button.

Staying Introspective – As Aspiring Leaders, we need to continually reflect – on what we’re learning, what impact we’re having and how we show up. Let’s ask ourselves, how we’re growing as Leaders. We need to stay introspective, stay curious, and be intentional about learning and growing, every single day. Literally every engagement, every interaction can be a learning experience, if we’re open to it. So I often ask myself – I’m I truly Curious? Do I strive to learn something new Every Day? I’m I asking questions with an open mind and validating assumptions and learnings?

Truett Cathy – Servant Leadership & Continuous Learning: In Preeminence, Glen tells
a story about how Truett Cathy demonstrated Servant Leadership. His insight was even more important – “that nothing in life is sheer coincidence. No relationship, no encounter, no invitation, no conversation” Every moment is an opportunity to seize the ordinary and make it memorable”. This is in line with one of my key beliefs about life – it’s important to make every day count. This is not something I thought about when I was 16 years old. Not when I was left Nigeria at 26 to find a new life in Canada. Not even after getting married, having children and starting a rewarding career. I’ve come to this realization relatively late in life, the pursuit of continuous learning and developing a growth mindset has been a 20 year journey for me. I now realize that Life is a Gift and every day brings new opportunities for personal growth.

Last weekend I taught my first online class. It was a little nerve wrecking – wasn’t sure how the students would respond or whether I could effectively convey valuable insights to them. When the class was over, I was mentally exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. What I remember most was the immense feeling of personal fulfillment at having broken through a new personal frontier. I took on a new challenge, did something I’ve never done before – and it feels great.

So, Every moment is indeed an opportunity to seize the ordinary and make it memorable. Doesn’t mean that we’ll always be successful when we look to seize the moment – in many cases we will fail, or face considerable obstacles.

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