Level 5 leaders channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company. It's not that Level 5 leaders have no ego or self-interest. Indeed, they are incredibly ambitious -- but their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves.

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Feb 27, 2005

Wheels: A Passion For Collecting Cars

I played an interesting gig on Friday evening for a friend's book-signing party.  The book was Wheels:  A Passion For Collecting Cars by Stuart Leuthner.  I didn't expect to get a lesson in life there, but it turns out I did.

Stuart is in his late fifties, I would guess, and seems to be having a lot of fun in life.  I know him because he frequents the Skylark Lounge, a bar in town where I often play that features live American roots music three nights a week.  He seems relatively affluent, not your typical bar-fly, and I understand that he was a pilot.  He likes the Skylark because it reminds him of his teenage years.

The book-signing party was held in the showroom and garage of one the largest vintage car collections in Colorado.  I'm telling you, this garage was beautiful -- the kind everybody dreams of owning.  The showroom contained more than thirty cars, ranging from a 1955 Austin Healey to a 2005 Lotus Elise.  Several cars I had seen featured in books or on television.  The collection also includes over 30 collectible motorcycles, which are always my favorite.

Stuart's book is also very beautiful.  Often collectible car books can be boring and offer very little more than the photos.  But Wheels is different and much more exciting.  It focuses on personalizing each collection by capturing the personalities and passions of the collectors.  It demonstrates that the collection cannot be separated from the collector without losing energy.

Too often people run out of gas in life.  60 hour work weeks, divorce, illness, politics and debt can really take a toll on us.  We lose touch and fail to pursue what makes us happy -- things like car collectibles, dancing, learning, drawing and writing.  It was refreshing to get to know somebody who hasn't let those things take their toll and is still learning, sharing and dancing.  For some reason, experiencing this in such an amazing room really drove the point home.

posted at 02:09 AM by Chris Chew in Books

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