Reboot | Jerry Colonna

Summary of: Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up
By: Jerry Colonna


Embark on a journey of self-discovery and transformation with Jerry Colonna’s ‘Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up.’ This book sheds light on the importance of radical self-inquiry in understanding and overcoming the underlying psychological issues that affect leaders and their organizations. Explore the power of embracing vulnerability, facing crises with grace and humility, and staying true to oneself. Learn from engaging stories about confronting personal demons, cultivating honesty and mindfulness, and embracing a newfound perspective in life and leadership.

Radical Self-Inquiry for Business Leaders

In his book, author Jerry Colonna emphasizes the importance of radical self-inquiry in understanding the deeper issues that affect business leaders. Rather than seeking instant fixes, leaders need to confront their underlying psychological problems by reflecting on their past and examining their inner selves. As Colonna stresses, overcoming mental toughness and vulnerability can lead to successful leadership. From the author’s experience, unresolved childhood traumas often underlie professional anxiety and helplessness. By looking at the root causes of their difficulties, leaders can move beyond the practical how of running the organization and focus on the more fundamental why.

The Crucible Moment

Adversity can bring out the best in leaders. The ability to face challenges with grace and steadfastness is a defining characteristic of true leadership. This is what Warren Bennis calls the “crucible moment,” where extreme pressure can lead to personal growth and new confidence. The former CEO of Etsy, Chad Dickerson, exemplified this quality when he continued to work hard and look after his colleagues after being fired by the board. Similarly, the story of Milarepa, a Buddhist saint, teaches us that confronting our demons head-on can lead to freedom. As leaders, we must be willing to face challenges and confront our problems in order to emerge stronger and more confident.

The Toxicity of Endless Movement in the Work Culture

In today’s work culture, everyone is caught in a rush to keep moving, keep doing, and outrun the past. However, this endless movement creates a toxic environment that leaves everyone feeling like they’re not moving fast enough. It’s essential to take a moment to practice mindfulness and figure out why you’re doing what you’re doing. Instead of always reaching for the “moon-shot” and losing your footing, you must have the courage to be still and listen to yourself.

The Importance of Honesty in Leadership

Deceit can have severe consequences for people, communities, and the planet, especially when corporate leadership is involved. As a leader, one should prioritize truth over lies to prevent unimaginable disasters from occurring. A new culture of honesty needs to pervade our workplaces, where leadership figures can be vulnerable, truthful, and strong at the same time. The author calls it broken-open-hearted warriorship. A great example of this is a young woman who was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer and shared her story with her colleagues and investors. They rallied around her and supported her. By being honest, she made the first move towards a culture of truthfulness and was rewarded for it.

The Ghosts in Our Psychological Machine

We all carry bits of leftover psychology from childhood that mirror what software developers call “ghosts in the machine.” These irrationalities interfere with current operations and are the source of our irritating habits, fears, and complexes. The author shares his experience of how these ghosts affected his professional life and how to overcome them by accepting them with mindfulness. We need to accept this fact about ourselves and the people we work with because they are essentially messy, asymmetrical beings and integrating mindfulness can help transform the relationship between individuals, especially in business partnerships.

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