Poor is the nation that has no heroes . . .
Shameful is the one that, having them . . forgets.
To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” – Abraham Lincoln
“Cowardice asks the question: is it safe?
Expediency asks the question: is it politic?
Vanity asks the question: is it popular?
But conscience asks the question: is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular- but one must take it simply because it is right.” – Martin Luther King Jr
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” –Theodore Roosevelt
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” –Steve Jobs
“If you steadfastly refused to quit, you rapidly narrowed your options to only winning.” –Brad Thor
Great leaders are not dictators
If you think you can make a suggestion, or set a new rule and everyone will magically adopt your idea with little to no resistance you probably aren’t being realistic. Assuming you have the proper level of authority you might get people to go along with your changes, albeit without any real buy in. This is likely to lead to its own problems, which stem from resistance towards whatever it happens to be. I’m not saying everything has to be a consensus, nor does everything have to be voted upon, or even be agreed upon by all involved. What I am saying is you don’t want to take the approach that it’s your way of the highway — or at the least come off that way. Even if that may be the case, state your case tactfully so you don’t come across as a bully. You could win, but lose at the same time if you’re not careful in how you approach this. To avoid coming across in that manner be sure to share your reasoning behind the changes, and what you hope to gain from them being put into practice. You can also check in with others to make sure the changes that are implemented are actually getting the results you hope they do. Keep the lines of communication open so people know that you value their input.
Great leaders make people feel like part of the team. Sitting on high and barking down orders doesn’t help others feel valued. And it definitely doesn’t foster a team environment. Again, I’m not suggesting you can’t be specific, and expect hard and fast rules. That’s a given at times, what I’m saying is how you “deliver the medicine” can make all the difference. Another reason you want to be open is that you may find that someone else actually comes up with a better idea than what you’re proposing. If those around you don’t feel comfortable openly sharing suggestions they likely won’t, which will ultimately stifle not only the effectiveness overall, but your own level of success as the leader.
* The best leaders develop other great leaders
This is an area that I’ve never really understood. It would seem obvious that the great leaders would tend to leave a trail of other people who go on to become exceptional leaders themselves. In fact, that is what happens a lot. Study the lives of the best leaders across industry, the military, sports, you name it, and you’ll find a pattern where those who spend time under the best leaders tend to go on to do pretty incredible things themselves. That would certainly make sense.
Here’s an example: Often you will hear of a terrific salesperson that does well and exceeds their own personal quota. The natural inclination in some companies is to promote that person to the position of sales manager. While this may seem like a sound idea, it isn’t necessarily the best idea. The reason is that the skills needed to succeed in sales, to “do what it takes” to meet your numbers, doesn’t guarantee that the person has the skills needed to transfer their own unique skill set to those they are responsible for, the other members of the sales team.