I was watching the teen choice awards with my daughter and I caught a speech from Ashton Kutcher. While I have not historically looked to Ashton Kutcher for leadership advice, I actually found some really great leadership lessons in his speech.
Kutcher talks about the 3 secrets to success:
- Opportunity looks a lot like hard work
- The sexiest thing is life is being really smart
- “Build a Life” don’t live a life
With “opportunity looks a lot like hard work”, he talks about looking at each job as a stepping stone to the next one, and never being better than any job you have. Essentially working hard at what you are doing today, gather new skills and look for opportunities to build those skills all the while preparing for where you want to be tomorrow.
Next, he says that being smart, thoughtful, and generous is really sexy. You may be thinking that a link between being sexy and a leadership lesson is a huge stretch. However, I interpret this as always striving to be a better you while supporting others to do the same. If you think about it, there is nothing sexier than someone committed to excellence that helps and inspires others.
Kutcher’s last piece of advice was to build a life not just live your life. In my OWN Your Leadership Workshop, I talk about taking charge of your leadership development and building a systematic approach to making it happen. It is truly amazing at what you can accomplish with a plan mixed in with some drive to grow.
What I took most from the monologue was to:
– Look at leadership development as a journey where every step along the way is as important as the next
– Don’t forget to give back along the way through inspiring and mentoring others
– Take ownership for your own development and plan to make it happen
But, as one final lesson, remember that everything and everyone represents an opportunity to learn. So, as Kutcher closes out his speech:
“Build a life. Find your opportunity, and always be sexy.”