Leadership Mistakes

Successful Leaders are Inspired

Donald Yates asked:

I used to have a little male doxie dog that was as fast as a greyhound. I also had two female doxies and the male ran the females ragged. Talk about a leader, this little dog eared boy would take off running the length of the house with the females trying to catch him. As kids it was a game we called follow the leader. This little dog was much more high-spirited then we were, but then he had those girls to inspire him. Soon the females would be yapping and carrying on but they were never successful in catching him. If they got to far behind he would circle around and run right in front of their noses. It inspired the female’s to try even harder.

I got to thinking, a successful manager is like that little dog eared leader of mine. Leaders stay in front of the pack and if the pack slows down, he/she is right there letting them know they have to work harder to keep up. He/she never expects the pack to be in front because that would mean he/she would have to push them and it’s always easer to pull than to push. From the leader’s point of view it is clear sailing because the pack is behind him/her and in front is only the challenge of the project. A good leader knows the pack will support him/her when the going gets rough.

Where does a successful leader come from? Society breeds followers not leaders. Social rules are a test for a person to be a leader. It’s the unspoken rules which determines his/her aptitude and ultimately points him/her in a suitable and accepted direction. Out of the masses only few true leaders emerge. A person with charisma, strength and determination who is willing to grasp the challenge at hand and wrestle it into submission. Leaders were the white knights of old and now only one out of hundreds, are willing and able to take on the task as very little consideration is given to an individual and his/her true creative possibilities.

As children, boys tend to be drawn toward hero figures while girls are drawn toward domestic fulfillment or motherly illustrations. This is why more boys turn out to be leaders and girls tend to be homemakers. As a child leadership abilities are usually considered as being aggressive; an unfavorable trait. Leadership becomes club managing and a hobby not as a possible vocation. This mindset is true to the dominance of the mind by authoritarian factions. The fact is you are being subjected into a certain mindset from birth. You are being controlled by powerful and deliberate forces into submissive behavior. Government, parents, schools, religion, media, and industry develop guidelines or patterns for the populous to follow for acceptance into their particular society or culture. If you break the rules, you are subjected to the punishment society deems as fitting. Society will reject resistance while embracing the submissive. Leaders must be self determined and driven to overcome the resistance of the masses.

When I was a kid, I was told by the older kids, how great beer was. When I had my first beer it was nothing like what I was expecting so it became a disappointment to me. I preferred not to drink beer and was always considered the odd ball of the group. The result was not being invited to parties and other gatherings. Later I became the leader and out of respect they followed. Even though I was somewhat of an outcast I still had their admiration. It was the same with sex, I couldn’t wait for my first encounter. When I finally did have sex for the first time, all I could think of was, “is that all there was to it.” Another disappointment. Family, friends, society, TV, advertising, movies, all portray a fantasy world. Beaver Cleaver’s world only existed in the imaginary mind.

In true life, there is strife, and anxiety, heartache, rejection, loss. etc. Some grapes are sour and just taste bad while others are sweet and pleasurable. Loved ones get hurt and die and time goes on indifferent to present goings-on. It gets hot and rains and flowers don’t always bloom. The air is polluted and there are too many UV rays to lie in the sun. The fact is, reality is a revealing of a contaminated world and is not perfect. Out of all this the leader recognizes the truths which lay at the base in which we all function is flawed. If there is a flaw in anything it becomes unpredictable and untrustworthy. A flawed world brings conflict and confusion, but the true leader steps forward out of the gloom ad gathers his/her charges into his/her protection. Truth never changes, strength of mankind always prevails.

Even flaws become laws and are constant in their nature. 2+2 is never 3 but mistaking it for 3 results in an inconsistency which will always be 3. If the flawed equation is used in a formula it will always produce a flawed but same outcome. A leader sees the flaws and brings direction back into the equation. People know that, and depend on the leader to keep them in line. When truth is projected, its’ result will stand the test of time. Never expect what is not there, because if you do, you will be disappointed.

A leader must realize with the understanding of reality comes a certain burden. Those people he/she commands have a perception which is personal and depends a great deal on how they decipher information. This perception of reality is as varied as there are personalities. Each reality is a personal experience and the leader must understand how to engage each personality on a personal level. Each experience of life should include satisfaction, worth, contribution, and creative expression. Expansion of the mind is part of the total life experience. In gauging possibilities the leader must be prepared to take calculated risk because it is an element of the possibility.

Let’s face it, a leader cannot expand his/her experience without some risk. Each forward step includes the possibility of one step back so, striving for success also contains the possibility of failure. This is not a bad thing, it is only in the experience one may achieve at all. Success or failure each contain wisdom in their discovery. The incentive to try lies in the reward of the result. It doesn’t make any difference if you become rich in material matters because all experience always leads toward wisdom.

In the face of adversity lies strength of character.

I once knew a man who could not leave his home. His fear of the unknown included every encounter of every sort. People he knew became adversaries and the simplest of things were threats to his being. He couldn’t function outside of his comfort zone. Many of us are the same way, I don’t mean to the extreme of hiding away in your home, but we do fear facing new challenges. We will not step in front of the crowd for fear of humiliation and failure. As a public speaker, I experienced that at first. When I went on stage, I would shake and my mouth would dry up. After a few moments, I would calm down and proceed without problems. Now I don’t have any problem at all. It has become as second nature and the audience senses my confidence and responds accordantly.

Many people will not try anything new like change jobs or move to a new location or even make a decision on their own. They are followers and they like the comfort in letting someone else make the choices for them. The world needs followers to do the tedious functions that would bore leaders. Creative people can’t follow they have to step out ahead of the pack and take control. They strive for the challenge and excitement of the project. They are the movers and shakers that are innovative in nature and unsettled in demeanor. They strive for change and are at home with challenge. Jumping from airplanes and shooting rapids are their idea of stimulating play while they can be just at home on the golf course or the race track. Nothing gets past them because they are alert and ready for anything. One of the biggest test they face is making a big enough contribution to their fe
llow human being and the world. They spear-head fund drives, and adopt orphans i
n their thirst for making a difference in the world. They seek and anticipate God’s power and revel in the strength contained there. You will find them in the debts of the jungle and in the labs, mixing elixirs of healing. Money is not a factor in their quest for taming the unknown it’s only by the fulfilling of an inborn burning flame; will the restlessness in them be quenched. Many become very wealthy in the process but it is not their main reason for doing what they do.

What motivates You? How are you stimulated? Are you a follower or a dog eared leader? Do you need to be motivated or are you the motivator? Do you run in front of the pack and challenge them to catch up? Do you face challenge head on or do you run and hide when challenged? Maybe you are a seeker. A seeker is a person who is always looking but never seems to find. They don’t know what they are looking for, they just go around looking. They are looking so hard for something significant, they pass over the real treasures of life.

Don’t look for what’s not there, feel it. It’s a feeling in your gut, it touches your heart. It motivates you to act. Yes, through years of suppressing it, it will no longer be recognized as important at all. It may take effort at first to get it moving, but like a train on a down hill track, once it starts moving no one can stop it. It becomes a burning desire that nothing can quench. Then and only then will you know your true self. Then you will know what you are made of and your true potential will boil to the surface and erupt into a force of undefeatable power.

Release mental chains of desperation. Nothing can hold you back. And why should it? You were created by God, in His image. How great is that? It doesn’t get any better. What then can possibly hold you back? If God is with you . . . what can be against you? Man was given dominion over all of God’s creation, so it’s not a matter if you can do it, it’s a matter of will you do it. It’s you, who are the deciding factor, not circumstance or happenstance or any other stance. You, make it happen. You are the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega the cause and effect and the yeng and yang. There is no other contributing factor in your success. As a leader you have everything you need, to succeed including inner convection and motivation. It’s a matter of correct mental response which in turn will control a course of action to be applied under various circumstances. If you do make a mistake, you will be able to recover — analyze the source of difficulty — and with renewed determination, move on to new and more exciting endeavors.

The dog eared leader and the dynamics of a positive attitude. No one ever said life would be a rose garden. Life is full of stress and negative events, there’s no getting around it, at times, life stinks. Relationships, jobs, financial matters, physical fitness, religion, all pose questions and all present challenges. Each phase of life will present complexities unique to that particular period in life. No stage will be completely free from challenges. Each life event can be met with the confidence and assurance that you can triumph, you can emerge as the true leader you were meant to be. It is important that in the face of adversity you maintain a positive attitude. Anything can be overcome with the right attitude. Attitude without a doubt, is the one most important thing you have and guess what, you are in control of it. It’s up to you how you greet the world and everyone in it. Positive is met with positive, and your positive attitude will reflect a winning personality. Let’s face it, success and failure are the same, only on opposite ends of the rule. It’s the law of cause and effect. If effects are to be changed, the cause must be altered. It’s the law, nothing personal, it’s the same for everyone.

How do you maintain a positive attitude, even in the face of adversity? First off, if you know yourself, you know that nothing really effects you. Each event is met in its’ true form, as you look at it from a disconnected position. Do not let an event become personal, keep it in its’ prospective. Nothing is really personal so don’t act like it is. If you maintain this position, you will not be affected. No effect can affect your inner self. You control the event, the event does not control you. Many people go around taking everything personal. An event is an impersonal happening. It can only play out as you allow it.

If your attitude is maintained at a constant, it can’t change. Events are only challenges not personal attacks. The event can’t effect your attitude, but your attitude can effect the event. I was a security officer in a hospital for a few years. There were many times when belligerent people would come into the emergency room and I would be called to control them. I would simply face them straight on then let them holler and yell at me while I said nothing. After a while they wouldn’t have anymore to say. They would simply run out of steam. As long as I kept my composure and did not let their hollering become personal, they would run out of something to say. Then I would calmly ask them to set down and talk about it. They always complied. The thing is, I did not let their aggressive action become mine. I stayed aloof and waited for the situation to become less explosive. Even though I wore a badge, I would keep it covered so as to stay as neutral as possible. Many times the police would bring people into the emergency room and they would be frothing at the mouth because they were so agitated. The police would leave and I would have to control the agitated person. I always took the same stance and let the person run their course, no matter what they called me. They were not mad at me, they were mad at the policeman and he was gone, so what they were mad at was no longer there. I would not let them transfer their anger to me, and soon they would become calm.

No event is personal until you make it so. It’s always your choice. You take control through positive transference. Transfer your positive attitude to the negative force acting upon you and naturalize it. The key word is control. If you control yourself, you also control anything acting upon you. Negative can’t penetrate where positive is. The one will not receive the other. Negative has to have negative to maintain its’ energy. Positive is not a fuel source for a negative foundation. Leaders are positive people and those around them know it. That’s why people are willing to follow, because they feel the calmness in their leader. Leadership – Part One.

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