Leadership Lessons from Ashton Kutcher

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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:

  1. Opportunity looks a lot like hard work
  2. The sexiest thing is life is being really smart
  3. “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.”

2 thoughts on “Leadership Lessons from Ashton Kutcher

  1. I heard about this speech a few times, and this pushed me to look it up on YouTube. I think aside from being a great message, my favorite part of this whole thing is the fact he is using his celebrity to spread information to an audience who really needs it. I feel like every week I hear someone talking negatively about the current generation of teens and young adults. They have no attention span… they act entitled… they are superficial. They make complicated (and often poor) decisions in their teens that weren’t even on our radar when we were the same age. It’s like everyone has something negative to say about a whole generation of kids, but no one is doing anything about it. If we all really cared about the state of future generations, I think we could all find our own way to help improve the situation. Even though Ashton just attempted to do it on a much larger scale than most of us ever could, I’m sure we can all find our own way to make a positive impact on a generation we seem to frown on, for some reason.

    1. Derrick well said; too much negativity but no positive actions being taken to actually make a positive difference for the future; it’s so easy to talk and be negative, but when it’s time for the real action, those negatives folks aren’t around to help make a positive change.

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