Leadership is hard

I learned that leadership is hard.  Leadership sounds easy in the books, but it is quite difficult in real life.  I learned that leadership is difficult because it is a human interaction and nothing, nothing is more daunting, more frustrating more complex than trying to lead men and women in tough times.

I learned that you won’t get a lot of thanks in return.  I learned that you shouldn’t expect it.

I learned that the great leaders know how to fail.  If you can’t stomach failure, then you will never be a great leader.

Admiral William Harry McRaven, US Special Operations Command, in a speech at the United States Military Academy, January 18, 2014


Early Christian Banquet Worship

Pliny the Younger.
They affirmed, however, the whole of their guilt, or their error, was, that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.

Leadership Definition: LTG(r) Russel Honoré

The art and science of influencing others to willingly follow you.


Leadership is more than influence. Influence without will leads to things being partially completed or poorly complete leading to even more problems. The real challenge of a leader is to inspire people to want to accomplish goals.


Ultimate Powers of Society

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise that control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but inform their discretion. Thomas Jefferson (quoted in The Making of The Atomic Bomb – Richard Rhoades)

Guard against the lack of vision

Thomas_J_Watson_Sr“You must guard constantly against those who lack vision.  You must guard against the reactionary mind.  Always cultivate and associate with persons of vision and with persons who believe that things are going to be better.  When you do this, you take on the kind of vision, backed by the right kind of inspiration that you need if you are going to grow . . . .” Thomas Watson, Sr., 1874-1956, chairman and CEO of International Business Machines (IBM)

The Essence of Leadership

“The very essence of leadership is [that] you have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”— Theodore Hesburgh

It’s Critical to Think Critically

Lessons from the U.S. Army War College:

God created in us the ability to think, reason, and decide (free will). As we grow from infant to adolescent that ability both matures but never reaches our full potential. Our reasoning naturally narrows as our point of view is informed by our culture, religion, and parents to name just a few. Maturity brings complex problems which requires reasoning outside of our point of view. However, few recognize their point of view has been narrowed by their personal biases and in informed assumptions. To move beyond narrow thinking one must deliberately Learn and practice critical thinking.

20120625-124030.jpgFirst of all, not all problems require critical thinking. In fact most decisions are automatic (should I wear my seat belt) or are a choice between few choices. However, when problems are complex, have huge implications, or you realize strong personal views might lead to a poor decision then critical thinking should be used.

We need to first define the problem. If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute finding solutions. Dr. Albert Einstein

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Learn to Learn and Think On Your Own

Lessons from the U.S. Army War College:

Rote learning is good for beginning learning on basic academic subjects, but rote learning fails with time and increased complexity of problem. There comes a time in every life when a person must learn to think critically and explore new ideas without the goading of a teacher, boss, or test. The person who fails to achieve this state is destined to struggle when the inevitable wicked problems of life and occupation arise.


“During your course here no one is going to compel you to work, for the simple reason that a man who requires to be driven is not worth the driving…Thus you will become your own students and until you learn how to teach yourselves, you will never be taught by others.” Major General J. F. C. Fuller

Danger Opportunity

“ . . . the Chinese symbol for crisis is the merging of two signs, one meaning ‘danger’ and the other meaning ‘opportunity.’ A crisis has the potential to transform or destroy. And what is the tipping point toward transformation in the face of crisis? The choice is either to cower in fear or to step forward with courage.”

— Dr. Dan B. Allender, American author, educator, therapist

You May Be A Prophet

If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet.
Isaac Bashevis Singer, 1905-1991, Polish-American author