Managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who do the right thing. - Warren Bennis, Ph.D. "On Becoming a Leader"
|If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It
is much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.
- Admiral Grace Hopper
The most important quality in a leader is that of being acknowledged
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in
which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing
you think you cannot do.
Leadership in today's world requires far more than a large stock of
gunboats and a hard fist at the conference table.
All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it
was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their
people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of
The real leader has no need to lead - he is content to point the way.
It's amazing how many cares disappear when you decide not to be
something, but to be someone.
Most of the ladies and gentlemen who mourn the passing of the
nation's leaders wouldn't know a leader if they saw one. If they had the
bad luck to come across a leader, they would find out that he might
demand something from them, and this impertinence would put an abrupt
and indignant end to their wish for his return.
|Leadership consists not in degrees of
technique but in traits of character; it requires moral rather than
athletic or intellectual effort, and it imposes on both leader and
follower alike the burdens of self-restraint.
- Lewis H. Lapham
I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a
If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million
People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. . . . The
leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and
the boss drives.
The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men
the conviction and the will to carry on. . . . The genius of a good
leader is to leave behind him a situation which common sense, without
the grace of genius, can deal with successfully.
There is no such thing as a perfect leader either in the past or
present, in China or elsewhere. If there is one, he is only pretending,
like a pig inserting scallions into its nose in an effort to look like
There's no such thing as a race and barely such a thing as an ethnic
group. If we were dogs, we'd be the same breed. . . . Trouble doesn't
come from Slopes, Kikes, Niggers, Spics or White Capitalist Pigs; it
comes from the heart.
Our flag is red, white and blue, but our nation is a rainbow-red,
yellow, brown, black and white-and we're all precious in God's sight.
If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.
E pluribus unum. (Out of many, one.)
If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the
world safe for diversity.
In organizations, real power and energy is generated through
relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form
them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, and positions.
Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted
with the important matters.
Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.
The quality of leadership, more than any other single factor,
determines the success or failure of an organization.
Don't be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can't
cross a chasm in two small steps.
There is no contest between the company that buys the grudging
compliance of its work force and the company that enjoys the
enterprising participation of its employees
Excellence is not an accomplishment. It is a spirit, a never-ending
You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.
The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last
is to say thank you.
When what you are doing isn't working, you tend to do more of the
same and with greater intensity.
Every organization must be prepared to abandon everything it does to
survive in the future.
A friend of mine characterizes leaders simply like this: "Leaders
don't inflict pain. They bear pain."
Ah well! I am their leader, I really ought to follow them!
Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount.
And the tigers are getting hungry.
A new leader has to be able to change an organization that is
dreamless, soulless and visionless ... someone's got to make a wake up
I used to think that running an organization was equivalent to
conducting a symphony orchestra. But I don't think that's quite it; it's
more like jazz. There is more improvisation.
When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say
it happened naturally.
Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for
people to get their jobs done
I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to
produce more leaders, not more followers
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they
will surprise you with their ingenuity
To lead people, walk beside them ...
Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes... but
Hell, there are no rules here--we're trying to accomplish something.
Good plans shape good decisions. That's why good planning helps to
make elusive dreams come true. -
Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the
other helps you make a life.
Understanding human needs is half the job of meeting them.
Leadership is understanding people and involving them to help you do
a job. That takes all of the good characteristics, like integrity,
dedication of purpose, selflessness, knowledge, skill, implacability, as
well as determination not to accept failure.
Lead and inspire people. Don't try to manage and manipulate people.
Inventories can be managed but people must be lead.
We must become the change we want to see.
Drowning in data, yet starved of information
A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while
on the contrary an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops.
The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their
commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.
Where there is no vision, the people perish.
I have lived some thirty years on this planet, and I yet to hear the
first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors.
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly
An empowered organization is one in which individuals have the
knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way
that leads to collective organizational success.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's
character, give him power.
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
It is important that an aim never be defined in terms of activity or
methods. It must always relate directly to how life is better for
everyone. . . . The aim of the system must be clear to everyone in the
system. The aim must include plans for the future. The aim is a value
The very essence of leadership is its purpose. And the purpose of
leadership is to accomplish a task. That is what leadership does--and
what it does is more important than what it is or how it works.
We know not where our dreams will take us, but we can probably see
quite clearly where we'll go without them.
It is not a question of how well each process works, the question is
how well they all work together.
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no
path and leave a trail.
The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the
language of the visionary and the idealist.
In war, three quarters turns on personal character and relations; the
balance of manpower and materials counts only for the remaining quarter.
To manage a system effectively, you might focus on the interactions
of the parts rather than their behavior taken separately.
The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level
of thinking we were at when we created them.
The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men
the conviction and will to carry on.
Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of
those who would be affected by it.
You may have afresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that
we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.
People are more easily led than driven.
Leadership has a harder job to do than just choose sides. It must
bring sides together.
What is character but the determination of incident
The trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to
get all the credit for doing it.
The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.
Processes don't do work, people do.
Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in
The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to
where they have not been.
The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for
Jingshen is the Mandarin word for spirit and vivacity. It is an
important word for those who would lead, because above all things,
spirit and vivacity set effective organizations apart from those that
will decline and die.
Uncertainty will always be part of the taking charge process.
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent
You can use all the quantitative data you can get, but you still have
to distrust it and use your own intelligence and judgment.
Remember that it is far better to follow well than to lead
The only real training for leadership is leadership.
Quality has to be caused, not controlled.
Probably my best quality as a coach is that I ask a lot of
challenging questions and let the person come up with the answer.
Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you
can dream it you can make it so.
The future is taking shape now in our own beliefs and in the courage
of our leaders. Ideas and leadership -- not natural or social 'forces'
-- are the prime movers in human affairs.
The art of leading, in operations large or small, is the art of
dealing with humanity, of working diligently on behalf of men, of being
sympathetic with them, but equally, of insisting that they make a square
facing toward their own problems.
And when we think we lead, we are most led.
Never hire or promote in your own image. It is foolish to replicate
your strength and idiotic to replicate your weakness. It is essential to
employ, trust, and reward those whose perspective, ability, and judgment
are radically different from yours. It is also rare, for it requires
uncommon humility, tolerance, and wisdom.
All serious daring starts from within.
... As we, the leaders, deal with tomorrow, our task is not to try to
make perfect plans.
In matters of style, swim with the current;
If you think you can do a thing or that you cannot do a thing, in
either case you are right.
When nothing is sure, everything is possible.
Think of managing change as an adventure. It tests your skills and
abilities. It brings forth talent that may have been dormant. Change is
also a training ground for leadership. When we think of leaders, we
remember times of change, innovation and conflict. Leadership is often
about shaping a new way of life. To do that, you must advance change,
take risks and accept responsibility for making change happen.
Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.
Not everything that is faced can be changed.
The world is round and the place which may seem like the end, may
also be only the beginning.
Big Dog's Leadership Development Outline
|Copyright 1997 by Donald Clark
Created May 11, 1997. Updated March 1, 2000