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Great Leaders Live Like Drug Addicts

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3 Lessons Leaders Can Learn From Drug Addicts 

The book, Great Leaders Live Like Drug Addicts, is a prime example of not only how one can recover from addiction, but also, how one can turn their adverse experiences into a practical, 3-lesson ‘Playbook’ to help leaders meet their goals without compromising their time, health and relationships.   

The first lesson or step is that leaders (at home, at work) identify the ‘masks’ they wear, take them off and live their life according to their values.  For example, if one believes employee’s good work deserves rewards, one must always seek to reward hard working individuals. How is that possible, one wonders? We’ll come back to this in a second.

 The term ‘mask’ might be confusing  and might trigger some debate… Understanding ‘mask’ as  ‘persona’ might lead the readers astray and argue with the mask-free concept. Philosophers and psychologists throughout history have argued that we need ‘masks’ or ‘personas’ to manage our daily lives. We don’t want to be childish at work and we don’t want to be (too) bossy at home.

‘Mask’, in the book seems to refer to something else though. Masks, in the author’s view include, but are not restricted to, our inability to say no, hiding our weaknesses, avoiding difficult  conversations and concealing our unique perspectives. In this sense, getting rid of masks sounds like a nourishing initiative. If one thinks about how many obligations one has had to complete because they opted for saying ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’, one knows what the author talks about. 

The author is not suggesting we fight for offering financial reward to high performing employees under extreme adversities, for example, during a pandemic. In situations like this, the author suggests one focuses on what one can control to achieve their goals; in this instance, rewarding hard working employees through resources one has access to. This is the second step (lesson)  in the system, referred to as ‘Surrender the outcome’. 

We cannot control the financial situation of the company or when it recovers from a pandemic. Instead, we can control alternative solutions to rewarding employees, and this should be the focus of action. Oftentimes, this means going the extra mile, or doing some extra work, which is why the author calls the third step or lesson ‘Do the uncomfortable work’. 

It is all easier said than done, and the author does suggest that we adhere to the 3-stage system consistently, even if there are bumps along the road. He also suggests further support (such as ‘sponsors’, and a supporting social circle, both of which are nicely detailed in the book) to ensure we stick to the path of living a more authentic, successful and happy life.

Great Leaders Live Like Drug Addicts is written by Michael Brody-Waite, and it is published by Forefront Books in May, 2020.
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Amazing source of inspiration and perspective. It's always enjoyable to read a story of someone who has overcome addiction and gone on to empower themselves. Those with addictive personalities can use their tendencies for productivity, rather than destruction, which I found to personally be my the biggest takeaway.
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It is a book that provide you with an interesting perception of how some leaders are likely to live. Interesting pointview.
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Such a neat perspective!! 
During treatment for drug addiction, Michael Brody-Waite learned three principles that became the difference between life and death: Practice rigorous authenticity, Surrender the outcome, and Do uncomfortable work.
The way he explains the similarities between that and leadership is quite phenomenal and challenges leaders everywhere to rip off the mask and lead ourselves first! I found it to be challenging and inspiring and as a leader in ministry, I was able to draw out many points that I believe would transform the way we lead. Job well done!!
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Very interesting concepts and story: when we remove the masks, weaknesses become strength and darkness becomes light. This is something I work on all my life. Bring a straightforward person who is constantly pushed to find grey area. Life without a mask is much easier however too many people are wearing them that it is times hard to survive an out society without one.
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"What if you learned that to lead well, you’d need to act live a drug addict?" This question alone made me want to read this book. See, whenever anyone speaks of an Addict- the image that comes to mind is one of someone who's lost it all...yet here's a book that's asking me to think about leading but not like Robin Sharma's been telling me, not like any addict, but a drug addict? If there's anything that's crazy it's gotta be that.

So, I started reading Michael's story...and I had to sit back and admit that here was a human being talking about his journey, every single step even those where he felt like he was crawling towards something.
He shares 3 principles that he learned during treatment and goes on to share how he lives by them:
1.Practice rigorous authenticity
2.Surrender the outcome
3.Do uncomfortable work

I love the approach he's taken with this book. Just like addiction, Michael does not say that implementing these 3 principles work as a quick fix, rather it's something to do every day- even on the days when we don't feel like it.
There's a section in the book- that would appeal to most readers on getting the work done and it starts by learning about the Masks we wear...if anyone is patient and honest enough, I believe it's quite revealing about the struggles we face daily.

Towards the end, Michael asked something that I have never been asked directly but coming from Kenya- I've often asked of all the politicians and those in power who've stolen public funds or enriched themselves in public offices, he asks "What's your Enough?" and just like that I am re-evaluating my purpose and goals in life.

Thanks Netgalley for the eARC.
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