Monday, October 29, 2007

Leadership Develops Daily

As some of you know, I’m an avid reader. I'm constantly reading books about leadership, business, personal development, and then a lot of other random stuff that somehow becomes relevant.

The book I’ve been flipping through is John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (actually, I was looking through the accompanying Workbook to see what exercises I might be able to incorporate into my coaching practice). One of the 21 Laws is the “Law of Process” which says "Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day". Here’s a quote from that chapter that really resonated with me:

“Champions don’t become champions in the ring – they are merely recognized there. That’s true. If you want to see where someone develops into a champion, look at his daily routine.”

As an athlete, I entirely agree with this idea. All of the practice and sacrifice that are put in every day allows that person to finally become the champion and fulfill his or her potential. It perfectly captures the idea that leadership (and success!) develops daily, not in just one day.

Another passage I appreciated from chapter was a quote President Theodore Roosevelt, who used a boxing analogy to describe the struggle and rigors endured in becoming a leader and rising to success:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, 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 the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

I was trying to find a specific part of that quote to highlight for easier reading, but the whole thing is inspiring. I especially like that it puts the critics in their place and acknowledges that although the people "in the arena" might triumph or fail, there is a certain gallant pride in "striving valiantly" and "daring greatly", and "spending ourselves in a worthy cause".

I know I don't want to be with those "cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat". Whether you win or lose isn't's that you're in the ring.

  • How do you feel about President Roosevelt's quote and the general idea that leadership develops daily, not in a day? Please comment...

No comments: