Leadership tip: Unless you learn to delegate, you’ll disintegrate.
“Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them.”
attributed to J. Philip Everson
“Leaders are readers.”
Charlie (Tremendous) Jones, writer, speaker
“A great leader never sets themselves above their followers except in carrying responsibility.”
attributed to Julie Ormant
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude: be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour, but without folly.”
“The first task of a leader is to define the mission.”
Peter F. Drucker, author and management expert
A Short Course On ‘Effective Leadership’
The 6 most important words – “I admit I made a mistake.”
The 5 most important words – “I am proud of you”
The 4 most important words – “What is your opinion?”
The 3 most important words – “If you please.”
The 2 most important words – “Thank you.”
The 1 most important word – “We.”
And the least most important word is, “I”
by John Adair
“True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leaders. In combat, officers eat last.”
Robert Townsend, management expert and author
Wise leaders lead from their strengths, they follow what’s known as the 70-25-5 principle: Give 70 percent of your time to your areas of developing your strengths. Effective leaders who maximise their potential spend the majority of their time on what they do well, rather than spending it on what they do not do so well. Give 25 percent of your time to new things; areas that you want to improve. If you want progress and get better you have to keep updating, changing and improving. Dedicate 25 percent of your time to new things that are connected to your areas of strength and you will excel in leading. Give 5 percent of your time to the areas of your weakness. No one can completely eradicate working in their areas of weakness. The key to effective leadership is to delegate to others who are gifted in the areas that you are not particularly good at. That way you free yourself up to focus on the areas of your God-given strengths, and where you are most productive. – John Maxwell
Cited in The UCB Word For Today, 20/7/2015
He who thinketh he leadeth but hath no one following him is only taking a walk! – Ancient proverb
“There is a time to hold the gavel and a time to pass it on. More important than plaques on your wall or monuments bearing your name are the hearts which have been touched because you chose to lead with love.”
“Progress is always fuelled by positive, optimistic, thinking. People are empowered by praise and encouragement.”
Rich DeVos, co-founder of Amway Corporation
When the European pilgrims first began to colonise America one of the many dangers they would often face, was the threat of bush fires. As the families and small children trekked across the open plains and wilderness, along with their cattle and wagon trains loaded with every earthly possession, it was a slow and tedious journey. Often the prairie grass would be tinder dry and as high as a man, which would make the progress even slower. In the summer months dry lightning storms (without the rain) would frequently spark ferocious fires which, carried by the wind, could spread faster than a man could run. These fires were a very real danger and yet the pioneers reacted to the threat with confidence. Here’s how they did it: When the lookout saw a fire fast approaching, the wagon train would stop in its tracks. Then, putting their backs to the wind, the men would quickly light fires in front of them. Soon the whole plain would be ablaze; fire in front and fire behind, but the pilgrims knew that where the fire had already burned it could not burn again. The wagons and families would remain where they were until the grassland ahead of them had been eaten up by the flames. Then, cautiously, they would move forward into the scorched area and then stop to shelter and wait for the approaching fire to either burn out or pass them by.
When a good leader sees danger approaching they react quickly and take immediate remedial action. Often the very best form of defence is an offence – attacking the problem head on.
Similarly, as God’s anger burns against the sin that Jesus took upon himself at the cross, it burns once and for all. Once the judgment falls, it cannot fall again. We can be accepted by God because the punishment we deserve has fallen once and for all, on Jesus.
R. Ian Seymour
Before he became the 34th President of the United States, General Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of the most successful commanders in history. There’s a story told that in order to explain and illustrate to his officers, the important leadership skill of motivating and not manipulating the troops, General Eisenhower would place a piece of string on the floor. He would then demonstrate that by going behind the string and pushing it, he got nowhere. The string just wanted to rebel and go its own way. On the other hand, when he took the lead and pulled the string it would then follow him obediently in whichever direction he chose to go. The lesson in leadership is clear: Leaders should pull, not push.
R. Ian Seymour
R. Ian Seymour, excerpt taken from Maximise Your Potential
“Leadership must have a dream, a vision, a mental image, a precise goal of what is to be accomplished. Vision is the currency of leadership. A vision or dream must grab the leader, and when it does, it will pull others along. The challenge of leadership is so great today because modern man is dreamless… [But], a leader must not only have a dream [they] must be able to communicate it… Good leaders then delegate and orchestrate.”
R. Kent Hughes
‘The Difference Between a Boss and a Leader’
The boss drives his workers; the leader coaches them.
The boss depends upon authority; the leader on goodwill.
The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm.
The boss says “I”; the leader says, “we.”
The boss fixes the blame; the leader fixes the problem.
The boss knows how it’s done; the leader shows how.
The boss says “go”; the leader says, “let’s go.”
John C. Maxwell
“Leaders learn early that the price of leadership is loneliness.” – Fred Smith
The difference between a boss and a leader: A boss says, ‘Go’ – a leader says, ‘Let’s go!’
The definition of a leader is that people follow them!
Imagine your place of influence is like a bathtub full of water. A strange analogy, I know, but bear with me. Now imagine taking a syringe or an eyedropper full of blue ink and adding one droplet of ink to the bathtub of water every day. At first the blue ink will have almost no effect; it will simply disperse quickly and be absorbed by the abundance of water. Over a prolonged period of time, however, and with each additional drop of ink, the water will take on a slight hue or tinge of blueness. Slowly but surely over time the water will turn light blue in colour, then a darker blue and then darker still until eventually the entire bathtub of water will become the same colour as the ink that you are putting into it. Such is the power of the “drip factor.” Similarly, tiny droplets of water over time can bore through solid rock, and your influence as a leader has much the same effect (be it a positive or negative). If you, as a leader, maintain an upbeat, positive and enthusiastic attitude, day in day out, this will become highly contagious to the people around you because, as the saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all ships.”
R. Ian Seymour
Leadership tip: Appreciation is like an insurance policy, it has to be renewed every now and again in order to remain in effect.
Leadership tip: “Assume a virtue if you have it not.”
Leaders are hope merchants
“The chief distinguishing characteristic of leaders is intensity of purpose.”
Theodore Roosevelt said, “The best leader is the one who has the sense to pick good people to do what he or she wants done, and enough self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”
If you don’t take the lead the view will always be the same. – (Bumper sticker seen on the back on a truck)
“Leadership: the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), American general and later 34th President of US
The true test of leadership: Turn around and see if anyone is following you.
A leader is best,
When people are hardly aware of his existence,
Not so good when people praise his government,
Less good when people stand in fear,
Worst, when people are contemptuous.
If you fail to honour people they will fail to honour you.
But a good leader, is who speaks little,
When his task is accomplished, his work done,
And the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!’ – Leo Tsze (7th century B.C.)
If you want to lead the orchestra, you’ve got to turn your back on the crowd.
Bicycle Leadership: “Bicycle leadership is when you bend your back to those above you while you trample those below!”
Ken Blanchard, author and speaker
Leadership tip: Invest in Your Best
“No Man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.”
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), US steel manufacturer and philanthropist
“Eagles don’t flock; you have to find them one at a time.”
H. Ross Perot, businessman and philanthropist
Leaders, are you most concerned with the results from your top people or the hours they spent on the job? In other words, are you buying brains or man-hours? – Give your ‘racehorses’ some freedom, don’t flog them to death!
R. Ian Seymour
Leaders are hope dealers
“He who gains victory over other men is strong, but he who gains victory over himself is stronger.”
Lao-tzu (circa 604-531 B.C.), Chinese philosopher
“A good leader is like the Abominable Snowman; their footprints are everywhere although they themselves are nowhere to be seen.”
Warren Bennis (adapted)
Successful leadership is any organisation is always something of a paradox; in that the leadership credit their people for their organisation’s success and the people credit the leadership. It reality, successful leadership has always been a two-way street. Rudyard Kipling understood this principle: Listen to this excerpt taken from Kipling’s second ‘Jungle Book’.
“Now this is the Law of the Jungle – as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the Law runneth forward and back –
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”
Leadership tip: Leaders hire people who are more intelligent than they are.
Leaders point people in the right direction. On December 17th 1903, the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, secured a place in the history books by becoming the very first men to fly. This event was a giant step for aviation and one that pointed other men in the right direction. From then on man’s quest to fly moved forward at a rapid pace. In fact, in the same generation as man’s first ever flight men also flew in space for the very first time. And then, only a few years later, men flew to the moon, landed and walked on the surface of another planet. It was 3.56am (British summer time) on July 21st 1969, when the American astronaut, Neil Armstrong, took his first step on the moon. As his feet touched the ground he spoke the now famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
R. Ian Seymour
R. Ian Seymour, excerpt taken from Maximise Your Potential
“Responsibility is the price of greatness.”
Sir Winston Churchill
When an eagle is staked to the ground there is no soar in them. Remove the shackles of restraint from your top people; don’t bog them down with red tape and unnecessary procedures. Cut them some slack and watch them soar.
R. Ian Seymour
A boss helps others to see themselves as they are but a leader inspires them to be better than they are.
It is said that Queen Victoria once voiced her opinion about two of England’s prime ministers, William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli. “When I am with Gladstone,” she said, “I feel as though I am with an important world leader.” She continued: “But when I am with Disraeli, I feel as though I am an important world leader.”
Back in the days of telegrams, a wealthy woman, travelling overseas, saw an expensive diamond necklace and fell in love with it. In fact, she had always wanted a diamond necklace and desired this one so much that she sent a telegram to her husband. The telegram said:
“Darling have found the diamond necklace I have always wanted. Price: £50,000. Can I buy it?”
Her husband panicked and responded almost immediately by saying, “No, price is too high.”
However, in sending the reply the telegram operator omitted the comma and so the woman received a message that said, “No price too high.”
She, of course, purchased the necklace!
Moral: Good leaders make sure their instructions are clearly understood.
Again, good leaders make sure their instructions are clearly understood:
A plumber in New York wrote to the Bureau of Standards in Washington. He said that he found hydrochloric acid was great for cleaning drains, but was it safe? A bureaucrat answered: ‘The efficacy of hydrochloric acid is indisputable, but the chlorine residue is incompatible with metallic permanence.’
The plumber replied that he was glad that Washington thought he was right. He got another reply: ‘We cannot assume responsibility for the production of toxic and noxious residues with hydrochloric acid.’ Right, the plumber answered, it’s good stuff!
Finally, the Bureau sent the plumber a note saying what it had meant to say all along: ‘Don’t use hydrochloric acid; it eats the hell out of the pipes!’
Dorothy Leeds, PowerSpeak, 1988, London: Piatkus, p.97