To lead by fear is not leadership. Fear is an illusion used by those who lack the basic traits required to truly be a leader and that illusion can only be maintained for so long. Because like a small child most people will wake up one day and realize, for one reason or another, that the boogeymen used by the so-called leader to scare them does not really exist and once that illusion is gone so too is the illusion of power that the supposed leader wields.
The real leader has it within them the ability to inspire rather than scare. The capacity to encourage rather than discourage. The vision to show others that change can be a good thing and should not be feared. That we should not look to impeded that which is different but instead seek it out so that we may tear down the walls that divide us and confidently moving forward rather than cowering behind a wall of fear.
The true leader leaves a legacy, one of integrity, intelligence and truth.
Today we celebrate the 90th birthday of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior and the 10th anniversary of the inauguration of the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama. Both of these men exemplified class and dignity. They inspired us to treat each other as brothers and sisters and motivated us to be a better person today than we were yesterday. They represented the promise of what America is supposed to be and it is in acting in their spirit that will Make America Great.
I do not look outward for acknowledgment but inward. It is my confidence and self esteem that I thrive on. They are what confirms I am worthy of great things in life, not the opinions of other. When others tell me I am unworthy or that I may not be able to succeed at something I just laugh because their negativity pales in comparison to my belief in myself. Others will never deter me from achieving my dreams. Because I know who I am and what I can accomplish and that is anything I put my mind to.
The difference between being great and being ordinary is often as simple as taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. Greatness is never handed to you it is something that have to go out and achieve. Surprisingly the opportunities for greatness abound not so surprisingly those opportunities are often not taken advantage of. The leading culprit is fear. Fear of failure, fear of rocking the boat, fear of stepping out of the box you live in. In order to fly you can’t be afraid to step off the cliff. The second leading culprit is lack of commitment. The commitment to succeed is as important as overcoming the fear to try. You have to appreciate the opportunity that has presented itself to you and be willing to work hard to achieve it. If you don’t work hard then you are willing throwing away the opportunity for greatness. Desire, fearlessness and hard work are the keys to success and if you have all three you may just find that you’re great.
Ray Kroc once commented “The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” Setting high standards for yourself will force you to push yourself to achieve your potential, to grow each day, to be better than you were yesterday. You believe that you will accomplish this growth through hard-work and integrity. You are both a visionary and a creative mind seeing the possibilities where others don’t and the ways to achieve them. There is a persistence in your focus, you will not allow set backs to deter you from reaching your goals. You will not stop until you succeed. Most importantly your actions inspire those you lead to work hard to reach their full potential as well. To live up the same high standards you set for yourself by working hard, and not cutting corners. They take on the mantra of a commitment to excellence This undoubtedly leads to a greater chance of success not only for them but your business as well. Because while bosses demand excellence from employees, leaders inspire employees to achieve it. You simply can not have low standards for yourself and expect those around you to operate with high standards simply. because you order it. Businesses undoubtedly take on the characteristics of the person in charge. The moral to this story? It’s simple the best way to motivate your staff to fulfill their potential and ensure your business’s success is to live your life with a set of high standard. Do that and those you lead will be inspired to follow.