I suppose it’s only natural to be curious about what makes great leaders tick. But being obsessed about it is not healthy. It’s equivalent to stalking or a fetish.
It’s also dehumanizing. I mean they’re not zoo animals or a newly discovered insect species. They’re flesh and blood humans just like you and me.
It’s a good thing that founding CEOs like Larry Page, Fred Smith and Jeff Bezos are not as infatuated with themselves as today’s culture is with them. If they were, there would be no Google, FedEx or Amazon.
The thing is, leaders don’t obsess about themselves. They obsess about their work.
Related: The Thought Leadership Scam
You never hear successful executives talk about themselves because they don’t think it’s relevant. They don’t talk about themselves because they don’t think about themselves. They think about their jobs. They think about their work.
This may come as a surprise, but leadership is not about the leaders themselves.
It’s not about their personal habits or qualities. It’s not about being a visionary, a morning person, an engaging communicator, emotionally intelligent, super productive, deliriously happy, extraverted, optimistic or some sort of millennial wunderkind.
It’s certainly not about their political leanings, their views on diversity or some cause or another.
It’s about their work. Their success is all about how they run their companies. No more, no less.
I know that because I’ve seen every stereotype you can think of shattered more often than not. I also know what all the books and blogs say about personal brands, performance and habits. The books and blogs are all wrong.
Success is not about you. It’s about your work. That’s what matters. When it comes to business, your work is all that matters. So quit screwing around and get to work.