“Being yourself with skill.”
I’ve heard that that phrase is a true reflection of what leadership is. I don’t think we have a problem being ourselves, but it’s that with skill part that gets us.
For this post I thought that instead of giving some sort of storied insight about leadership, I should share some thoughts about us that will activate introspection.
“Education is not to reform students or amuse them or to make them expert technicians. It is to unsettle their minds, widen their horizons, inflame their intellects, teach them to think straight, if possible.” – Robert M. Hutchins
If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think that you dare not, you don’t,
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t,
It’s almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost,
For out in the world you’ll find
Success begins with a fellow’s will –
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are out-classed, you are;
You’ve got to think high to rise;
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can – Author Unknown
“Soft words sung in a lullaby will put a babe to sleep. Excited words will stir a mob to violence. Eloquent words will send armies marching into the face of death. Encouraging words will fan to flame the genius of Rembrandt or a Lincoln. Powerful words will mold the public mind as the sculptor molds his clay. Words, spoken or written, are a dynamic force.
Words are the swords we use in our battle for success and happiness. How others react toward us depends, in a large measure, upon the words we speak to them. Life is a great whispering gallery that sends back echoes of the words we send out! Our words are immortal, too. They go marching through the years in the lives of all those with whom we come in contact.
When you speak, when you write, remember the creative power of words.” – Wilfred Peterson
In the ancient days of Greece, Demosthenes sometimes ran into a hostile audience when he wanted to talk about serious subjects. On one such occasion, to stop the hissing and to quiet the crowd, he resorted to this little story.
A young man hired a donkey to carry his belongings from his home to another town. The owner went along to take the donkey back again when its task was done. At noon they stopped to eat and to rest. The sun was hot. The owner of the donkey appropriated the shade the animal made, saying that he only rented the donkey and not his shadow. The youth began wrestling with the owner, trying to push him away so that he could occupy the shade himself. All the time the youth protested that when he rented the donkey he rented everything that belonged to the donkey.
Demosthenes stopped talking and turned to leave, but the crowd demanded that he continue the story and settle the fine point of who was entitled to the donkey’s shadow.
At this the famous orator exploded. He shouted, “How foolish can you people be to get so concerned about a donkey’s shadow when you care so little about matters of great importance to you?”