The Great Leadership Challenge

from Jim Rohn:

If  you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a  person of quality yourself. Leadership is the ability to attract someone to the  gifts, skills, and opportunities you offer as an owner, as a manager, as a  parent. What’s important in leadership is refining your skills. All great leaders  keep working on themselves until they become effective.

Here are some  specifics:

Learn  to be strong but not impolite. It is an extra step you must take to become a  powerful, capable leader with a wide range of reach. Some people mistake  rudeness for strength. It’s not even a good substitute.

Next,  learn to be kind but not weak. We must not mistake weakness for kindness.  Kindness isn’t weak. Kindness is a certain type of strength. We must be kind  enough to tell someone the truth. We must be kind enough and considerate enough  to lay it on the line. We must be kind enough to tell it like it is and not  deal in delusion.

Next,  learn to be bold but not a bully. It takes boldness to win the day. To build  your influence, you’ve got to walk in front of your group. You’ve got to be  willing to take the first arrow, tackle the first problem, discover the first  sign of trouble. Like the farmer, if you want any rewards at harvest time, you  have got to be bold and face the weeds and the rain and the bugs straight on.  You’ve got to seize the moment.

Here’s  the next step. You’ve got to learn to be humble but not timid. You can’t get to  the high life by being timid. Some people mistake timidity for humility. But  humility is a virtue; timidity is a disease. It’s an affliction. It can be  cured, but it is a problem.

Humility  is almost a God-like word. A sense of awe. A sense of wonder. An awareness of  the human soul and spirit. An understanding that there is something unique  about the human drama versus the rest of life. Humility is a grasp of the  distance between us and the stars, yet having the feeling that we’re part of  the stars.

Here’s  a good tip: Learn to be proud but not arrogant. It takes pride to build your  ambitions. It takes pride in your community. It takes pride in a cause, in  accomplishment. But the key to becoming a good leader is to be proud without  being arrogant.

Do  you know the worst kind of arrogance? Arrogance from ignorance. It’s  intolerable. If someone is smart and arrogant, we can tolerate that. But if  someone is ignorant and arrogant, that’s just too much to take.

The  next step is learning to develop humor without folly. In leadership, we learn  that it’s okay to be witty but not silly; fun but not foolish.

Next,  deal in realities. Deal in truth. Save yourself the agony of delusion. Just  accept life as it is. Life is unique. The whole drama of life is unique. It’s  fascinating.

Life  is unique. Leadership is unique. The skills that work well for one leader may  not work at all for another. However, the fundamental skills of leadership can  be adopted to work well for just about everyone: at work, in the community, and  at home.

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