I am the Emperor of the Universe. It is not up for debate. I have been knighted as the Supreme Ruler of El Saucilo, but that is nothing compared to being the Emperor of the Universe. I am not kidding. I have awards, thank you cards, and legions who call me the Emperor of the Universe. People laugh when they hear it and embrace it when we do something out of this world for them that no one has ever been able to do before.
If you are thinking I am a bit narcissistic or simply too cocky, you are probably right. But that’s the secret ingredient in my leadership. I believe. I believe that we can build teams that do the most incredible and unbelievable things. I am just stupid enough to have stepped out into greatness enough times to build up street cred.
My title started out as a silly Starbuck’s coffee cup name. “What name should I use?” the barista asked. “Emperor of the Universe,” I replied. You should have seen the attention when she called out, “One cappuccino for the Emperor of the Universe.” I liked the ring of it, so I kept using it. Soon others used it. Now it is more than my nickname. It is a tongue-in-cheek reflection of how I want to live. I want to make a difference. I want to do things that are things that the Emperor of the Universe would do.
Okay, it’s silly but there’s a real truth here. If you want to lead, you better believe in you, you better be sure, you better be confident and committed. As a leader, you are the Emperor of What Ever Little Universe that gathers around you. People are gathered around you — you see it, don’t you.
And you are responsible for leading them into greatness. You are responsible for the failures and sharing the successes. You are responsible to be wise, gracious, and to live a life of example. You better be ready.
This leadership thing is no game. It is not about satisfying you nor growing your resume. It is about being responsible for a universe (not mine, of course). It is about doing things that matter for people that matter in a way that is magnificent. It is about being a model for every other leader in the universe.
It is about believing that you can make a difference and being sure that you do. It is about taking up all the responsibility that goes with leading. It is about getting people to follow you into some grand adventure.
I am so flawed! Those who know me know how much laughter goes along with my self-appointed title. But, I do the work. I pick myself up when we fall. I own my crap. And, I pour my life into leading each and everyone who gathers around into greatness. They know it. They know they can count on me and they follow me. I know–they are crazy, but now I have to live up to it all. That is what people who lead do.
What’s your self-appointed title? Why?