Monday, August 01, 2011

Let's Play Twenty One

Want something to take your mind off the mind-numbing noise coming out of DC? I said take your mind off it, not fix it (or them).

Okay, here's what you can do; think of any one of the several characters we have all been watching over the past several months irrespective of political persuasion. Got that picture?

Okay, now download the PDF summary (it's free) of John C. Maxwell's The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and see if you can find anyone, and I mean anyone, where you can objectively say that you feel they would qualify as having dmonstrated or even attempted to demonstrate any of the twenty-one. 

I couldn't, however, I did find it helpful to have revisited Maxwell's thoughts. Certainly served to remind me that despite having been in the working world for nearly fifty decades how many and large the gaps are between what I would aspire to be and reality. It doesn't mean that we don't keep trying, but it sure puts in perspective how far many of us (and I certainly include myself in that number) still have to go.

If you are familiar with the "laws" then I am sure there are those who would argue they are too "warm and fuzzy" and aren't anything more than idealistic consultant-speak that has no place in the real world.  Maybe so, and I would leave that argument to others, but directionally they tend to ring true for many of us who have been "followers" or have found ourselves to be placed in leadership roles.

This exercise also served to drive home the reality of the difference that true leaders really make and why there are so very few of them. I believe countries drift into situations such as the one in which we find ourselves largely due to lack of leadership, and that is going to cost not just our kids, but their grandchildren and perhaps well beyond very dearly indeed.

I am also sure that no matter what the future holds it certainly will not produce an answer to the eternal question of whether leaders are born or made, but it will certainly serve to underscore the fact that without them no good will come.

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