Dr. Shields has changed my perception. These days I can’t watch a Disney movie without analyzing it for connections to leadership. Like, in Shrek, when they compare him to an onion and talk about peeling the layers back…
Earlier in the year, we talked about the qualities of leadership. Since that time, I’ve constantly tried to answer the question, “What is leadership?”. MAN, who knew this could be so difficult. Every single time I think I’ve got the definition down, I learn something new that should be added to it. Perhaps that’s the point of all of this. What I do know is this: it’s so HARD to say what leaders ARE–it’s a far easier challenge to examine what they DO.
What do leaders do? They unite people around a shared vision. This means they must first have a vision for themselves. They must live their own lives holding to a set of standards (ethics), be prepared to fail, and then learn from that failure. They must acknowledge their role towards inspiring others and they must never forget their tenacity. Rome certainly wasn’t built in a day, but Pompeii did collapse in one. If we don’t have tenacity to keep pushing, keep moving forward, then our versions of the Roman empire will never exist. We may have an empire-sized vision, but if we choose to ignore our failures then we will destroy our empires much as Mt. Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii. Sure, the mountains will come. But its how we tackle them that matters more.
There is no perfect recipe for being a leader. For each of us, that recipe will vary slightly. But all recipes are similar, in that below the ingredients, there are steps to follow. The ABCs of Life, as listed above are an excellent set of directions towards excellent leadership. Adapt these principles, live by them, and you’re 26 steps closer to leading in excellence.