Jax Teller, the fictional character developed in the television series “Sons of Anarchy,” comes from a family of Motorcycle gang members. His Father was the original president of SAMCRO – Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club. His mother is married to the current president when series one begins, and in season four, Jax Teller becomes president of the club.
As I mentioned in a previous post, a few weeks ago we stumbled across a “Sons of Anarchy” season seven marathon on satellite TV that was airing in preparation for the series finale. I admit that the popularity of the show and the story line were completely unknown to me, but one episode in, I found myself glued to the screen wondering what was going to happen next.
As I previously suggested that there were leadership lessons embedded in the SOA series, I also batted around in my head what it would be like to be mentored by Jax Teller? What lessons would he share from his experience as a leader, that would better position me to develop as the authentic leader that I want to be? I thought of a few – consider this:
An Authentic Leader is Self Aware
Unauthentic leaders believe their own hype. They are not self aware – Jax Teller has his son kidnapped by Irish gangsters. Jax and the gang travel to Ireland to find the young boy and return him to his true family. In a poignant scene, Jax finds that a young couple has adopted Abel, and standing hidden in a crowd, Jax watches the couple with his son. He sees the smiles and the love, and his faces reveals that he realizes the future he brings as compared to the future Abel would have with the young couple. Jax returns to tell his mother that Abel would be better off without him, and he takes accountability, at least in part, for Abel’s kidnapping.
How do you demonstrate accountability – watch Jax.
Jax is honest with himself and those around him about who he is and what he is accountable for. Authentic leaders need the same self awareness if they are to lead teams successfully. Honesty about their strengths strengths and weaknesses. Self aware of their reality and the impact they have on others. And a willingness to make the tough decisions with accountability at work.
If Jax was my mentor I bet that is exactly what he would say! Be an authentic leader and take accountability