What the best leaders look like

10 02 2015

“There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~Nelson Mandela

What do the best leaders I know all have in common?  They play big!  When they get knocked down, they get back up and say “is that the best you got?”  These leaders wade into a company or department in turmoil, and say “no problem, we got this, team”.  They can change careers and step into something they’ve never seen before, and exhibit the confidence that this, too, will be won, despite any and all obstacles.

They don’t always win battles, and when they don’t they have short memories.  When they do, they celebrate the win, and have long memories, so that they can draw on the wins to motivate those around them who might be wide-eyed with terror.  They win the war, despite the battles that don’t always go their way.  The steps are easy: Show up;  Exude confidence;  Tell your team it will be OK and believe it (if you don’t, you’re not the person for the job); Head down focus on the goal/vision; Smart work;  Listening to those who are the experts;  Risk management – in other words, take smart risks, and have a plan for the down-side.  Sound like Mandela, MLK, Lincoln, Gandhi, Kennedy?  I think so.

Speaking of playing…

SpaceTime

Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com

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