The Courage to Lead
I am writing a book called The Courage to Lead, and am immersed in wonderful leaders of all sorts. It is a great privilege to spend the day reading, talking and learning about what makes a great leader.
One of the fundamental points I make in the book is that when we think of leadership, we often think of Richard Branson or Steve Jobs, or the Dalai Lama or some inspirational person that inspires and delights, but can also seem somewhat unattainable.
My perspective is that leadership applies to us all and doesn’t require owning an island or owning a global company or leading a nation.
As always, though, there is a different way to view these things. And I love this quote that I happened upon by Seth Godin: “..You can’t look at the end result – at the Richard Bransons or Maria Popovas – and say, “well they have that thing and I don’t. They got that thing by showing up..”
I love this. They showed up. They took risks. They worked hard.
This Theodore Roosevelt quote is well known now thanks to the wonderful Brene Brown’s work:
“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and how at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.“
Again, the credit goes to those that get in there, who give it a go, who show up (in whatever form that takes).
It’s so easy to qualify the success of others by excusing it with the thought that they have something that we don’t have. And, sometimes, that may be true. But most of the time; well, most of the time, they just showed up and did it without excuses.