My name is Rob.
Rob. That’s like… you know… a guy’s name.
It works for me, ‘cause… you know… I’m like… a guy. An hombre. A man. A dude.
The Red Boot Revolution seems to have struck a chord with women-folk, but the tenets of Red Bootin’ are just as important for men as for women. Thus I’m hoping to contribute to this Red Boot-olution in a manly, y-chromosomal, dude-talk type of way.
To be honest, until lately I’ve never given much thought to red boots. This in spite of the fact that I’ve spent almost three decades wearing boots of one type or another. I’ve worn hiking boots and ski boots. I wore combat boots in the military for more than twenty years. For the last couple of decades I’ve worn firefighting boots as a big-city firefighter. But the only time I’ve worn red boots were times when mine have been splattered in blood.
I DO like red sneakers. In fact I’ve been wearing red Chuck T’s since I was a kid. I like red boots too, and I might start looking for some sturdy, red work boots. But until I find some, what can I offer to a conversation – a movement if you will - that uses as its icon red boots that I’ve never worn?
Well, the subtitle to the Red Boot (R)evolution is “Where Love Leads”, and THAT is something to which I HAVE given considerable thought.
“Red Booters” seek to be strong, joyful, heart-felt, authentic, compassionate, reflective, whole and genuine leaders. They seek confidence and capability in their own self-awareness. They seek to be straight-shootin’, no double-talkin’, laughin’ out loud sort of folks.
This, my friends, is important stuff.
Many leaders feel that they CAN’T lead with joyful love and heart-felt authenticity. Perhaps they’ve been told the costs are too high to even mention the words. And thus they commence leading from a position of fear. If you’ve found your way into this conversation then perhaps you understand that fearful leaders have it wrong. The costs are too high NOT to mention these words.
I’ve led troops through some tough missions that have ranged from capturing real-life pirates of the Caribbean, to pulling folks out of burning homes. I can say that joy in your own authenticity, a fair amount of unadulterated nuttiness and yes… LOVE are essential to true leadership.
So let me (and my manly y-chromosome) leave you with some “Why” questions: Why are we –men and women alike, but especially men I think - afraid to lead with love, or even mention the word that should be our guiding principle? Why do we sometimes surrender our authenticity? If you have ideas – and I know y’all do- just red-boot them up to the site where we can all benefit from your thoughts.
Meanwhile, if you're still wondering if the Red Boot Revolution is a place for men, just ask Superman.
Posted on March 24, 2014