Leadership Potion?

“Men make history, and not the other way around.
In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still.
Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders
seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”

— Harry S Truman

Fans of “The Munsters,” that old black & white show with Fred Gwynne as the lovable Herman Munster, may remember the dungeon, where Grandpa prepared magic potions. His concoctions, with ghastly ingredients such as eye of newt, could turn a person into almost anything. It’s a silly show. It makes an even sillier metaphor for this blog’s topic, leadership.

What ingredients are needed to transform an ordinary person into a good leader? I would start with ten parts character, a compound consisting of elements such as: integrity, courage, commitment, optimism, patience, compassion, desire, humility, loyalty and faith.

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” — Ray Kroc

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” — Peter Drucker

Good character is the main ingredient of the leadership formula. Character produces desirable results such as inspiration, motivation, self esteem, justice and fairness. Character is what separates leaders from tyrants.

“Outstanding leaders appeal to the hearts of their followers – not their minds.” — Author Unknown

Next, I would add one part knowledge,

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” — John F. Kennedy, from the speech prepared for delivery in Dallas the day of his assassination, November 22, 1963

one part imagination,

“Imagination gives you the picture. Vision gives you the impulse to make the picture your own.” — Robert Collier

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” — Steve Jobs

one part style/personality,

“You do not lead by hitting people over the head-that’s assault, not leadership.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation.” — William Arthur Wood

and one part communication.

“Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.” — Stephen Covey, “The 8th Habit”

“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” — Harold Geneen, Chairman, ITT Corp.

The formula is potent even if the metaphor is weak.

How would a person determine if he was a leader? I heard someone suggest turning around. If no one is following, that person is not a leader.

“The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” — Colin Powell

“The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and will to carry on.” — Walter J. Lippmann

A leader is not phony. People will eventually see right through someone who is a LINO (leader in name only.) True leadership is demonstrated and lived. Leaders bear some awesome responsibilities.

“A great leader never sets himself above his followers except in carrying responsibilities.” — Jules Ormont

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” — Tom Peters

“He that would be a leader must be a bridge.” — Welsh Proverb

“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” — Henry Kissinger

“Good leadership consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” — John D. Rockefeller

Leaders demand of themselves a regimen of continuous improvement, especially regarding the character ingredient. While leaders will exercise discretion to accept or reject specific leadership roles, their leadership attributes are not an on-off switch. True leaders don’t say, “I think I’ll behave like a leader today and maybe next Friday, too.” In other words …

“There are no office hours for leaders.” — Cardinal James Gibbons

There is a shortage of good leaders. I’m inclined to say we are in the middle of a leadership drought at every level: our families, institutions, communities and our countries.

“Great necessities call forth great leaders.” — Abigail Adams

Who is prepared to step forward? Who is willing to answer the call?

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

Effort, Time & Knowledge

I’m not a mathematician. But, I’m playing one today in my blog. While thinking about the effects small things can have, I came up with the following equation:

E x T x K = R where: E = Effort, T = Time, K = Knowledge, and R = Results

Each of the variables on the left must be greater than zero to produce a positive result. For example, experience teaches us that knowledge with no effort accomplishes nothing no matter how long we do nothing.

“0 is not equal to 1, not even for large values of 0.” — Clancy’s Derivative of Grabel’s Law

Working really hard cannot overcome incorrect (i.e. negative) information, until failure is translated into positive knowledge. The old adage “practice makes perfect” has been replaced with “practice makes permanent.” This formula would imply that only “perfect practice makes perfect.”

Drag races are measured in thousandths of a second. World swimming records beat old records by only a few hundredths. Coming in first place means a spot in the record books and in the memory banks of the masses. Conversely, most everyone forgets immediately who came in second. The difference between winning and losing and between legacy and obscurity is measured in fractions of an inch or second. This difference-maker is often just a bit more effort, and a little more time, and one more piece of information.

“I always tell the kids, ‘You know what’s great about going the extra mile? There’s very little traffic.’” — Jim Larranaga, George Mason University basketball coach

Here’s another aspect of life impacted by going an extra mile. A recent study found that 50% or more of the bankruptcies could have been avoided with a mere $300/mo in additional income. Jim Rohn, speaking about “the magic of part-time,” explains how an extra $1000/mo. of part-time income can be life changing for almost anybody. Do you ever imagine what you could do with an extra $1000 every month? It could change your address or the keys to your car. It could fund a mission trip or put the kids through college. Dreams inspired by this very question have motivated tens of millions of Americans to take on a second job or start a part-time business. In fact, the Direct Sales Association reported that about 46 million Americans have home-based businesses today.

Here are some quotes related to effort, time, knowledge and results.

Effort and Results

“In reality, serendipity accounts for one percent of the blessings we receive in life, work and love. The other 99 percent is due to our efforts.” — Peter McWilliams

“About the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age.” — Gloria Pitzer, in Reader’s Digest, 1979

“Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you’re going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus.” — Oprah Winfrey

Time and Results

“More time is wasted by the minute than by the hour.” — Unknown

“If you don’t choose to do it in leadership time up front, you do it in crisis management time down the road.” — Stephen Covey

“It takes time to build a corporate work of art. It takes time to build a life. And it takes time to develop and grow. So give yourself, your enterprise, and your family the time they deserve and the time they require.” — Jim Rohn

“We can no more afford to spend major time on minor things than we can to spend minor time on major things.” — Jim Rohn

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, ‘til it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” — Harriet Beecher Stowe

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” — John F. Kennedy

Knowledge and Results

“In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future.” — Eric Hoffer

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” — Abigail Adams

“Experience teaches only the teachable.” — Aldous Huxley

“The wisest mind has something yet to learn.” — George Santayana

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” — Theodore Roosevelt

“Learning is not compulsory… neither is survival.” — W. Edwards Deming

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com