What makes a good leader? Having a vision? Superior organizational skills? Charisma? For motivational speaker Ron Karr, a good leader has what he terms “the Velocity Mindset.”
Karr defines velocity as “Speed + Direction.” With the Velocity Mindset, leaders visualize a clear, desired end-state and then reason back from this goal to the steps required to realize it. Leadership is not self-oriented, Karr exhorts. “[R]eal leadership,” he writes, “is all about making other people successful beyond their wildest dreams.”
The book’s first part discusses the barriers leaders face when trying to achieve Velocity. These include self-limiting beliefs, such as the sense that one isn’t good enough or is undeserving of success. Karr cites neuroscience to explain these barriers.
The second part is about how to surmount these barriers. Karr advises leaders to write down their ideal destination “without any regard for what you believe is possible.” He also advises leaders to periodically question their objectives and make alterations if necessary.
The third part deals with how leaders influence others and are influenced by them. This section ensures that leaders not only have a clear direction but can guide others to achieve it.
Karr values “soft” leadership skills such as communication, empathy, and listening to others. With a personal tone marked by humility, he also reiterates that leaders never have all the answers. The key is to pursue continuous learning and rely on intuition.
Unfortunately, Karr’s advice tends toward generalities. For example, he writes this platitude: “Having the right mindset is important, but that will not matter unless we do something with it.” However, he also shares important information, such as demonstrating how he overcame a speech impediment to become a motivational speaker, conquering his limiting beliefs. And teaching that businesses must connect with some higher purpose that serves customers; making money isn’t enough.
Overall, Karr delivers a valuable message: Feverish activity without clear direction is counter-productive. Business leaders will find gems here that prove good counsel.