Having just returned from Lansing, Michigan where I was invited to make a presentation at Michigan State University on the topic on The Call to Leadership, I felt inspired to share some insights from this presentation. The study of leadership is a study of the psychology of leadership; those qualities and aspects of personality that galvanize the human spirit to new heights of potential. There are some who say we are living in times of a crisis of leadership in all aspects of society. In such times people tend to look back in history and try to identify the best examples of leadership. Examples might include Nelson Mandela, Lewis and Clark, and one of my favorites, Ernest Shakleton. In this search for leadership, people also try to identify what are the best qualities of dynamic leadership including, but not limited to integrity, courage, honesty, inspiration, vision, and humility. The pitfalls of leadership are also examined and there tends to be no short list of qualities that are noticed. No matter how many shortcomings are listed, it is fair to say that they begin with stress in the form of arrogance coupled with fear” Simple stated, stress makes for bad leadership. Servant leadership is a term you might start listening for these days; a leader who works directly with people as opposed to remaining perched on the top. Leading from behind is also an expression you might hear more of. It speaks of unity building, consensus building and bringing people together rather than ruling by decree. Nelson Mandela referred to the bloodless transition out of Apartheid as leading from behind.
Stress Tip for the Day: How would you rate your leadership skills? Luminaries in many fields remind us that each of us is a leader, and at this time, this chapter of humanity, each of us needs to step up to the plate and demonstrate the epitome of dynamic leadership. This includes, but is not limited to, parenting skills, neighborhood meetings, environmental behaviors, driving, you name it.
Links, Books & Movies Worth Noting Many books have been written on the topic of leadership, but perhaps some of the best book are those autobiographies from those who have lead by example. For this reason I would like to recommend the following books:
South by Sir Ernest Shackleton
Reason for Hope by Jane Goodall
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Quote for the Day: Normally I only have one quote, but this topic has no shortage of quotes from people who have been there: Enjoy!
“A leader should have an ability to see beyond the present problem”— Norman Vincent Peale
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” ~Steve Jobs
“In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.” —Thomas. Jefferson
“The only real training for leadership is leadership.” —Antony Jay
“Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.”—Albert Schweitzer
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” —Abraham Lincoln
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” –John Fitzgerald Kennedy
“The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.” —Warren Bennis
Photo for the Day: A photo of several Canada geese (these guys take turns leading). Enjoy!
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.