Well, that was an interesting ten days in the company of the #7 leadership guru in the world! You can't spend anytime around Orrin Woodward and not have some of his philosophy rub off on you, and rub it did! We discussed Hemingway, da Vinci, Flagler, Jobs, Gates, Rockefeller, Kennedy, Walton, and a host of others, evaluating their strengths, and examining their weaknesses. Most importantly, we discussed leadership.
Everyone can benefit from the principles of leadership. No matter what your position, your calling, or your passion, leadership development adds value. Leadership is influence, preferably in a positive direction. Children have influence over their peers, mothers on their children, fathers on their families. The skills you develop during your leadership journey will enhance every part of your life, from your job performance, to your social position in the community. The study of leadership development skills is for everyone, and one of the primary keys to being an effective leader is accepting personal responsibility.
No one will follow anyone who makes a habit of deflecting responsibility to something or someone else. It's one of the worse habits anyone can develop, but it's rampant in today's society. Even our top leader stands before the nation and makes excuses for his lack of results. Almost everywhere you turn you can see examples of how not to lead. It's a contagious cancer eating at the character of our nation! Just yesterday a friend made a comment about literacy in the industrial age verses literacy in today's information age, it took just a short while for a thumb sucker to comment and blame society's lack of investment of education as the fault. After this leader explained personal responsibility to the individual, and how a personal investment of responsibility is required to learn, the excuse maker then pointed the finger at the institutions, never considering that some of the most intelligent minds, and greatest success stories were self educated, and had a personal hunger to improve their knowledge. How easy was it, and how automatic it was to point a finger elsewhere? Why is it one student in the same classroom succeeds, while another doesn't? Was society to blame? They both heard and processed the same information! I propose one had the hunger, and one had excuses. Perhaps they were told it was society's fault and decided not to try. Your a victim of your own thinking, don't blame outside forces for the lack of personal responsibility that exposed you. Can you see where a dose of leadership principles could change the outcome?
People often fall victim to the label others placed upon them. You have the power within yourself to change that label. Make a habit of not accepting your own excuses and apply the first principle of leadership, personal responsibility.
Albert Einstein is recognized as one of the smartest men who has ever lived. A little known fact about Einstein is that when he was young he did extremely poor in school. His grade school teachers told his parents to take him out of school because he was "too stupid to learn" and it would be a waste of resources for the school to invest time and energy in his education. The school suggested that his parents get Albert an easy, manual labor job as soon as they could. His mother did not think that Albert was "stupid". She showed how a leader accepts responsibility and the results speak for themselves. What would the world be like if Albert Einstein accepted his label of "stupid?"
Orrin has always said, "Everyone is called to leadership," this I truly believe. Why not be prepared when the call to leadership comes knocking at your door? It's basically accepting personal responsibility to do so.....