I had the opportunity to meet the founder of the men’s group, F3, this weekend. F3 is a national network of free, peer-led workouts for men. Their mission is to plant, grow and serve these groups to invigorate male community leadership. The founder’s name is David Redding and my first impression was made during this Saturday’s morning workout.
I thought David (Dredd) Redding was an asshole. He was loud and spoke with a militant inflection. I was in too miserable of a mood listen to someone when I didn’t care what they were saying. I was coming off of a miserable week due to an exhausting weekend and was about to enter another weekend filled with equal amounts of fatigue and discomfort (I will write about that experience later. Right now, I am too damn tired.).
My first impression of Dredd was not uncommon. I suffer from insecurity. My inferiority complex causes me to dislike people with whom I am unfamiliar, and especially dislike people who are accepted and admired by others when I want the same thing. I had my eye on Dredd. After all, I was partially here because I heard he was coming and I wanted to see the qualities of a person who was capable of starting a nationwide movement that teaches men to be leaders while also being compassionate servants for others. I was trying my damnedest to be unimpressed. I wanted to make sure that I would not like him. I would fail miserably at my mission..
I watched as Dredd would call out individuals during a workout and quiz them, correct them, and put them on the spot. At first, I felt like telling him to “Back off” or “Leave the dude alone” but I couldn’t help but appreciate the reception and respect emitting from the people he was correcting. I also couldn’t help to pick up on his methods, either.
With each person that Dredd had interaction, he would instruct them, sometimes causing them to feel embarrassed, at which point he would say, “Don’t worry. If you are falling, dive. Keep trying.” He would then casually ask them something about themselves (ie where you from? what do you do? what sports do you like?). He always seemed to make a connection involving humor. Finally, without fail, Dredd would manage to say something to the individual he was speaking with to relay a feeling of respect towards that individual. With every interaction I watched this man involved, there was always a demonstration of mutual respect. Dredd made sure of it. He left every conversation with the other party feeling respected. It was an art for him. The level of instruction that I am willing to receive increases exponentially when I feel that I am being respected
To summarize, every time a member of F3 was called out by its founder in front of all of his peers there was always the following:
- Mutual respect
By the end of one hour, it was clear how this man was capable of organizing a group of men over an entire nation and help teach them to become better men. It’s not every day that I get the opportunity to see first-hand what it looks like to be a leader. It takes a special kind of person to go from being viewed upon as an asshole to a hero within the course of sixty minutes.
True leadership in action is often considered a unicorn, to see it work in real life is really a site to be seen. It has been fun to see how F3 operates and even more interesting to understand just exactly why it does. Good leaders practice their craft.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,