In episode #5 of “Yates in Your Face” (#YIYF), Greg Yates asks whether it’s enough to become better leaders simply by taking a class.

You can sit through a leadership seminar and think to yourself, “Oh, I heard this already!” When we feel like we’ve heard it all before we stop listening. Does knowing about leadership keep you from LEARNING about leadership?

If simply learning about leadership isn’t enough to be a leader, what is? You have to exceed your surface level knowledge. Checking off a box on your leadership to-do list won’t cut it; not when people really depend on you.

If your leadership is limited to Monday-morning quarterbacking, you aren’t actually IN THE GAME. If you want to have an edge in your leadership, you must go deeper. You must take action. You must intentionally implement what you’ve learned.

If you want to here some leadership thoughts that will defy tradition and status quo, you’ll want to watch Episode 5 of “Yates in Your Face.”


I was in the middle of one of my rants about leadership when a familiar trigger got pulled.

We take leadership very seriously around here, Mike said. We even have a leadership director. I could hear the sound of a check mark being made on another box of expectation.

Is leadership magically different from other guilt motivated performance measures? Does knowing ABOUT leadership evoke leadership, like knowing about sports cars makes us a NASCAR driver?

I’m pretty sure leadership, especially in middle management, is becoming a cult. Maybe it always has been! Leader-speak dominates the meetings, carpet bombs the social venues, and gets knowing glances even when diluted in vague concepts at best.

We’ve all done it! So let me ask you this. Does knowing about Six Sigma make you a quality organization? Does buying a Cubs Jersey make you a champion? Does knowing what wine to pair at dinner make you a sommelier? I don’t think so.

The interesting thing about purporting to KNOW something is that it closes off the ability to learn about it. To become it. We move on. We even change the subject. If it gets deeper than surface knowledge, it might get dangerous. We might lose our edge in the conversation. The mask we are wearing might be exposed. So, we check the box and we move on to bigger and better things.

But what if we really need to lead? What if we’ve exceeded our surface level knowledge and everyone is depending on us? That’s when vulnerability will test the mettle of a true leader. Because leadership isn’t knowledge. It isn’t a chess game. Leadership is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, patience, kindness and self control. Leadership rejoices with others or shares their pain. Leadership does not seek its own way, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Leadership is love and it will never be contained in the buzz words of any culture.

We take leadership very seriously around here. In fact, our leader, our mentor took leadership all the way to the Cross.

About Greg

Greg Yates has been a Chicago area businessman for over 30 years. He’s the author of the book, "Broken - How Being Broken Unlocked The Greatest Success of My Life". He has simultaneously owned 14 different businesses in a variety of industries; including real estate, manufacturing, payroll, and technology. Greg has also been an investor and a board member. He attended Olivet Nazarene University. He has a passion for flying. He’s had a pilot’s license for over 30 years and owned a variety of airplanes. Greg and his wife Vicki have been married over 37 years. They have a son, a daughter and seven grandchildren.

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