Be Himself

I have often reflected that the causes of success or failure of men depend upon their … character, and [are] not a matter of choice. – Niccolo Machiavelli

He was there, tall and imposing, and upright with his natural grace and nobility. In front of the his men, he naturally commanded attention, his speech had seemingly come to close.

But now he hesitated. He stopped. This was unusual for him.

They knew him so well. They had followed him, through thick and thin, for years. But they were angry. They wanted to revolt. They hadn’t been paid; they had listen to his prepared speech; they had heard similar excuses before. Most of them still not convinced. He knew this.

He was at loss to what to do.

In a last desperate act, he pulled a letter from his pocket. Something was wrong, however.

He tried to read the letter, stumbling with his words, then, hopelessly staring at it.

He hestitated again. He, again, reach to a pocket, pulling out a pair of eyeglasses.

“Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray, but almost blind, in the service of my country.”

Most had never seen these eyeglasses, something only General George Washington intimates had ever seen him wear. Humbled and embarrassed, many of the officers were now in tears. For, if the speech had not already destroyed the revolt, this act assured its demise. Washington left the meeting. The officers unanimously voted to wait for their overdue wages, and they would not “retire to some unsettled country” and leave Congress without an army.

“On other occasions he had been supported by the exertions of the army and the countenance of his friends,” said Captain Samuel Shaw, “but in this he stood single and alone.”

With that George Washington continued lead and help found the United States of America.

Leading Naturally.

The point of this story is that George Washington, could not help himself, but be himself, and be leader even at his weakest moment. His officers followed the man, George Washington, because of who he was. Continue reading

Lean In Slowly

BUT SURELY.

“You don’t choose your passion, your passion chooses you.”
— Jeff Bezos

Passion requires Temperament
— David M Keirsey

He said to her: “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.”

When companies grow quickly, there are more things to do than there are people to do them. When companies grow more slowly or stop growing, there is less to do and too many people to be doing them. Politics and stagnation set in, and everyone falters. 

When debating her next career move, Sheryl Sandberg made a spreadsheet comparing the roles and responsibilities that would come with each position and company she was considering. Google was on her list (a relatively unknown company in 2001), and ranked lower than all of the other options in categories like security, salary and responsibilities, but when Sandberg presented her dilemma to Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO at the time, he managed to change her mind with this simple piece of advice:

“[Eric] covered my spreadsheet with his hand and told me not to be an idiot (also a great piece of advice). Then he explained that only one criterion mattered when picking a job—fast growth. When companies grow quickly, there are more things to do than there are people to do them. When companies grow more slowly or stop growing, there is less to do and too many people to be doing them. Politics and stagnation set in, and everyone falters. He told me, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.”

Sandberg made up her mind that instant and joined Google, which as we all know was one of the fastest flying rocket ships ever created, to date.

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Without Malice

He would use the word “love” of his players.

But, he was very gruff and tough. Beyond tough. A Stone-cold Leader. One of the 7 blocks of granite.

He demanded the best of each individual. He would do whatever it took to get his team to win.

The Commanding Leader

I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-victorious.” 

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It’s Good Business

He can make you cry or get you very angry.

He is tough.
He is exacting.
He is very smart.
He knows his business.
He knows people.
He knows value.

Bottom Line: He is good business.

He tells as he sees it.
He is very observant.

And he will get everybodies’ butt moving, whether they like it or not.

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Extraordinary Ordinary Part II or Be Prepared.

‘I just saw what was going on and did what I could to help.’

Survivor Vera Gissing said:

‘I owe him my life and those of my children and grandchildren. I was lucky to get out when I did and having the chance to thank Nicky was the most precious moment in my life.’

As far as he is concerned, his actions weren’t anything extraordinary.

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Boots First

These boots are made for walking… 
And that’s just what they’ll do.
One of these days these boots
are gonna walk all over you.

She was a Maverick — she had to be.

Those good old boys had the rules and the “code.”  Women need not to apply.  She was rejected nine times.  But this cat had ten lives.

And she wore boots.

She changed the rules.

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As If

Act as if,
Believe as if,
Plan as if,

You can and will succeed.  There is no reason not to.

One has heard the reframe: Follow Your Passion.

Follow your passion is too vague, and incomplete.  Yes, of course, Follow Your Passion, duh!? Don’t we wish.

But that is TOO PASSIVE.  The World is not designed for You.

You must ACT, BELIEVE, AND PLAN as if.  And that is hard to do, well, but that’s life.

freedom1

Act as if,
Believe 
as if,
Plan 
as if,

She did succeed.  She worked at it, hard.

But let’s get into the details.  The Finer Points.  Because without those you will, won’t succeed.  You will get in your own way.

In other words, don’t half ass, your own life.  Own it fully.

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A Man for All Reasons

He is a man of an angel’s wit and multiple learning. I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, strength, and resolve? And as time requireth, a man of marvelous modernity and reasoned enterprise, and sometime of as sad gravity. A Man for All Reasons.

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“His greatness sprang first and foremost from his moral qualities.”

“He was what might be termed a moral genius, an upright and noble personality, a practical idealist, independent, incorruptible, and indomitable, uncompromisingly self-sacrificing, a man devoid of guile and to whom the concept of self-indulgence was entirely foreign.”

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Lincoln

Steven Speilberg’s biopic Lincoln starring Daniel Day Lewis dropped it’s first trailer this week and let’s be honest, that guy can act.  And that other guy can direct.  The “somber” epic is rightfully generating a lot of Oscar buzz, and depicts the last four months of Lincoln’s life.  The trailer indicates Day-Lewis used leading historical thought to guide his portrayal, as his speaking voice was noticeably higher pitch than one would imagine, which is apparently how it actually was.  Despite not sounding like Rambo, Lincoln was said to have won over crowds with his sense of ease and the thrust of his ideas.

“It’s not just a feel-good bio pic. I mean it feels great, I think it feels better because it actually delves into something. It’s not just patriotism and icon worship. It really examines him as a human being and all of his imperfections and both his virtues and his flaws. It is a fascinating script. I can’t wait to see it. It is such a brave take. Steven Spielberg, he’s the biggest filmmaker in the world. There would be a lot pressure on him to make a more watered-down version of the story and I think it’s so brave of him to have really done something provocative and interesting.”

So let’s look more closely at Lincoln, from Leadership and Temperament perspective.

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Feed them on your dreams

He had a voice, and he had found it.

And his natural talent was to teach, using that voice.

He did what he loved, and loved what he did.

“Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs…” [The 8th Habit]

And that’s what he did, for he was a Teacher Idealist, a Proactive Idealist.

An Educator. “… as inherent in the word educator, it has to be educed by an individual skilled in drawing out potentials. In this interaction the Diplomatic Initiators have an edge over all others, including the other Idealists. They seem uncannily able to influence those who seek to improve what they say and do at work.” —  Dr. David Keirsey

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