Byron's Babbles

Finding The Extraordinary You


“While understanding what makes you unique can give you a leadership edge, realizing what’s extraordinary about you is even better—those unique traits that are particularly special to you. Consistently work to emphasize, develop, or leverage these abilities and you’ll eventually carve out a clearer, greater leadership advantage.” ~ John M. Manning

This week’s lesson in The Disciplined Leader (Manning, 2015) reminded me so much of the work of Sally Hogshead’s work in How The World Sees You. She, like Manning, taught us that what makes us unique also gives us an edge. There is something extraordinary about each and every one of us. Hogshead argues we need to be more of who we are. This means using the archetypes that give us the biggest advantage. Manning (2015) posited if you want to change and grow, you need to believe this about yourself.

“Edge starts with self.” ~ Gene Simmons, KISS, in an interview with Jay Leno

Manning (2015) provided some great ways for us to develop our “edge.” Here are a few:

  • Examine what you love to do – Greater understanding will give you the ability to align future activities to your passions, resulting in even more satisfaction.
  • Determine your best skills – what skills you have that do make you effective and different. Your best skills are whatever you’ve learned to do really well in life.
  • Know your true gifts.

Interestingly, we had a discussion about leadership mantras this past week during a Hoosier Academies Focused Leader Academy session. I asked the group if they were going to imitate me to someone else what would you do or say. They overwhelmingly and imidiately said three things: everything is great attitude, when asked how I’m doing I always say, “I couldn’t be any better” or “If I was any better…” and always saying “Make it so” to ideas. Of course, they were able to poke fun with some of my mannerisms, too. But, what we found was this was a pretty accurate way of identifying different leaders’ edge. A big part of my edge is my enthusiasm and positivity. I am attaching a graphic we did during this session.

Graphic Facilitation by Mike Fleisch


Manning (2015) reminded us we must stay true to the “real you.” My challenge to you in this post is to identify your edge and then develop your skills by using your gifts and passions. What would those on your team say is your leadership mantra? 


Manning, J. (2015). The disciplined leader: 52 concise, powerful lessons. Oakland, CA: Barrett – Koehler Publishers, Inc.


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