THE MEANING REVOLUTION by Fred Kofman
The Power of Transcendent Leadership
“The Meaning Revolution makes the case that leadership isn’t just about the mind. It’s also about the spirit. Fred’s book shows how when we set goals that reflect our values as well as our interests – when our teams strive to make a positive impact on the world together – we can achieve more than success. We can find greater purpose and meaning.”
–Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org
THE MEANING REVOLUTION: The Power of Transcendent Leadership (Currency; May 1, 2018; $28.00) is a new book by New York Times bestselling author, newly Advisor, Leadership Development at Google, and formerly LinkedIn’s Vice President of Executive Development and Leadership Philosopher, Fred Kofman. With a Foreword by Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, reveals how to become a transcendent leader so that any company of any size in any industry can dramatically improve its long-term growth.
Bringing together economics and business theory, communications and conflict resolution, psychology and mindfulness meditation, Kofman argues that “the most deep-seated, unspoken, and universal anxiety in all of us is the fear that our life is being wasted. That death will surprise us when our song is still unsung. We worry not just about our physical death, but also, perhaps more significantly, our symbolic one. We are afraid that our lives won’t matter, that we won’t have made a difference, that we will leave no trace in this world after we are gone.”
Financial incentives like salary and bonuses, benefits and stock options, only drive a small portion of employees’ motivation. What really drives engagement is the meaning, the larger purpose beyond getting a paycheck, which lies under the surface. It is comprised of respect, integrity, a feeling of belonging, a sense of achievement, having a purpose larger than ourselves, and following and living by ethical principles.
Kofman argues that virtually every organization involved in voluntary exchanges has what he calls an “immortality project” at its core. The challenge for leaders is to identify and expand on that core, and to inspire all stakeholders to take part. In The Meaning Revolution, Kofman answers questions such as:
- How to “die before you die,” thinking about the legacy you are leaving behind while you still
have an opportunity to shape it.
- How to assume a truly “response-able” mantle of leadership, in a step-by-step, practical way.
- How to move past your deepest fears and anxieties to fashion a truly heroic life.
- How organizations, and the people within them, can make a different in the world.
Transcendent leaders are rare, but they do exist, and Kofman profiles a number of them in this book. They inspire followers not by relying on carrots and sticks (offering a nice salary, bonus, and tangible perks, or threatening them with demotion or the loss of their job) but by appealing to the belief that they are spending their waking time making a difference in the world. THE MEANING REVOLUTION shows how, by becoming a transcendent leader, how you can address the essential challenges of engagement and fulfillment in a more sustainable way.