Learn to Lead

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more
and become more, you are a leader.”
— John Quincy Adams, sixth U.S. president

“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders,
not more followers.”
— Ralph Nader

Here’s something that might surprise you. Leadership development is NOT just for CEOs or aspiring middle managers. Whether you know it or not, someone in this world looks up to you as a leader. That’s why all of us ought to improve our leadership skills for our roles at home as parents, at work, at church, and in our neighborhood and civic organizations.

“While great leaders may be as rare as great runners, great actors, or great painters, everyone has leadership potential, just as everyone has some ability at running, acting, and painting.” — Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus in Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge. p. 222.

“Our earlier belief that leadership comes about primarily through managerial ability has been replaced by an awareness of skills needed for understanding people and dealing with their problems productively.” — Academic Leader, p. 3, Sept. 1994.

The first part of leadership development involves feeding the mind. Zig Ziglar says that from the neck down, we’re each only worth about $10-20 an hour. But from the neck up, we have unlimited earning potential. So, what do most people do? They feed the $10-20 part three times a day and neglect the part that has the most potential. With the limitless supply of courses, books, recordings, workshops and seminars, there is no excuse for this. The solution is simple. Start a new habit. For example, while driving, instead of listening to a Jon Bon Jovi CD, listen to a John C. Maxwell CD. Transform your car into a “mobile university.”

Mentoring is the second crucial component of leadership development. Everyone should have a trusted someone who can help guide him or her along the journey. In fact, I recommend a team approach. I have such a team that I privately refer to as my Board of Directors. These are people whose opinions I seek when I am wrestling with an issue or need a second opinion about something.

Some are people I associate with on a regular basis who care how I’m doing and are available and willing to offer guidance when I need it. They support my journey with advice, patience, understanding and wisdom. They are part of my accountability team, helping me up when I fall and keeping me grounded when I get flighty. They watch my back and my step.

“Nothing makes it easier to resist temptation than a proper bringing-up, a sound set of values – and witnesses.” — Franklin P. Jones

Now, I’m not implying that my Board follows me around 24×7. But, in one sense they are. Just asking myself what they would do is often all I need to get back on track. You should have a Board of Directors, too.

“Where there is no leadership the people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” — Bible, Proverbs 11:14

“A leader lives with people to know their problems. A leader lives with God in order to solve them.” — John C. Maxwell

Leadership preparation without implementation is hollow. So the final piece is an opportunity. The first leadership opportunity is found within. We all have the responsibility to first build leadership within ourselves. It is impossible to lead others effectively unless one can effectively lead himself.

As people see the changes in you, leadership opportunities will seem to appear out of nowhere. In fact, there are an infinite number of opportunities. Why not start a small business?  It’s an ideal workshop for leadership development, especially a simple, home-based business.  Because these types of businesses come prepackaged and are relatively simple to operate, you can get started quickly and learn as you go.  Your business will grow in proportion to your leadership growth.  It’s a leadership development workshop and a business all in one.

“Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.” — Bill Bradley (U.S. Senator)

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

I’ll close with some of my favorite leadership quotes.

“It is not such a fiercesome thing to lead once you see your leadership as part of God’s overall plan for His world.” — Calvin Miller

“Effective leadership is the only competitive advantage that will endure. That’s because leadership has two sides: what a person is (character) and what a person does (competence).” — Stephen R. Covey

“Leadership is not something that you learn once and for all. It is an ever-evolving pattern of skills, talents, and ideas that grow and change as you do.” — Sheila Murray Bethel

“True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leaders.” — Robert Townsend

“Leadership has less to do with position than it has with disposition.” — John C. Maxwell

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright August 2008, December 2010, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

Daily Quotes 8/29

Some of the quotes I’ve selected recently have been quite long.  Length was not the objective. The message simply resonated with me. To make it up to those who like pithy phrases, this post is for you. Each phrase is meaningful and short ( ten words or less thanks in part to contractions and hyphenated words) making it highly quotable.   Try memorizing one or two of these. Then, see what happens when you cleverly slip one into your conversation, especially if it’s one of the Latin phrases.   😉

“Semper fidelis” — U.S. Marine Corp motto meaning “Always Faithful”

“Be prepared.” — Boy Scouts motto

“Jesus wept.” — Bible, John 11:35, shortest verse in the Bible

“Inches make champions.”
–- Vince Lombardi

“Underpromise and overachieve.” -– Tom Peters

“Never give up.” — Winston Churchill

“Action conquers fear.” — Pete Zarlenga

“Facta, non verba” — Deeds, not words

“Fear clogs; faith liberates.”
— Elbert Hubbard

“Facts are stubborn things.” — Ronald Reagan

“Lead from the front.” — Audie Murphy

“Gloria in excelsis Deo” — Phrase in Christian hymn meaning “Glory to God in the Highest”

“What gets measured gets done.”
-– Peter Drucker

“Your attitude determines your altitude!” –- Denis Waitley

“Laughter is an instant vacation.” — Milton Berle

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”
— Colin Powell

“Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.” — Kahlil Gibran

“For fast-acting relief try slowing down.” — Lily Tomlin

“You may delay, but time will not.”
— Benjamin Franklin

“Do something wonderful; people may imitate it.” — Albert Schweitzer

“One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.” — George Carlin

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”
— Victor Borge

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” — John F. Kennedy

“On the one hand, we’ll never experience childbirth.” — Bruce Willis (On the difference between men and women)

“On the other hand, you have different fingers.” — Steven Wright

“‘No’ puts distance between you and the wrong influence.”
— Jim Rohn

“Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death.” — Ayn Rand

“There is no distinctly American criminal class – except Congress.” — Mark Twain

“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.”
— Charles F. Kettering

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Either this man is dead or my watch has stopped.” — Groucho Marx

God bless,

— CC

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