While generally agreed that leadership requires time-honored traits such as courage, integrity and honesty, it increasingly is apparent while watching the news that many leaders are taught to avoid responsibility for their beliefs (and most assuredly their decisions).
But, if you read about most successful leaders throughout history, an unceasing commitment to a particular vision was apparent.
Leaders who exhibit a courageous willingness to stand for what they believe is right are inspirational.
Famous American essayist Henry David Thoreau described in “Civil Disobedience” man’s right to refuse allegiance to a tyrannical and inefficient government. Thoreau considered it our duty to eradicate wrong and unjust laws.
Inspired in part by Thoreau, Mahatma Ghandi was not overly concerned about reaching out to all parties to find some type of amicable solution for ending British rule and helping the poorest of India. He instead “insisted on the truth” and found “satyagraha” to be an effective method for protest.
Finding inspiration in the style of demonstration that Ghandi employed, Martin Luther King Jr. succeeded in righting many of the false perceptions some Americans held about discrimination and how people viewed other races.
Leadership is a concept that lends itself to many books and different viewpoints. Various approaches, techniques and strategies are written about to help people find their leadership “style,” as if they’re shopping for the right couch that will offer maximum comfort.
Being a leader means standing on the foundation of right and not listening to the voices telling you to try and appease everyone so a good-natured solution can be found.
I’m glad George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe and others stood up and wrote down what they thought was right.
In their words is inspiration to lead from wherever we find ourselves.
Anyway, that’s what I teach.