The Landscape of Leadership

Estes Park Panaramic

When we think of leaders, the first thoughts that usually come to mind are CEOs, government officials, civil servants, religious figures, etc.  Leadership expert John Maxwell simplifies the definition for us. “Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.”  So logically, if you influence another person, you are a leader.  All the way from the corporate executive to the stay-at-home mom (and everyone in-between).

I have always enjoyed quotations, that is one of my favorite features about Twitter. Here are two quotes that have inspired me in my leadership journey:

First, “The Principal sets the tone for the building.”
Todd Whitaker

The wording could easily be changed to fit your particular situation:

The manager sets the tone for the business.
The chef sets the tone for the kitchen.
The flight crew sets the tone for the flight.
The pastoral staff sets the tone for the church.
The teacher sets the tone for the classroom.
The parents set the tone for their household.
The fast food attendant sets the tone for the food chain (see Chick Fil-A for how to do it right).

And so on, and so forth. Our attitudes and actions have an impact that we can’t even measure or observe. People are watching whether we want them to or not. Just think of all the key people who have influenced your life – unless you specifically told them, they probably don’t realize the impact they had. And that is the great challenge – what kind of “tone” are we setting? For all of the great leaders that have crossed our paths – there are also those whose “tone” has had a negative impact on our lives.

Second, “Failure is success if we learn from it.”
Malcolm Forbes

Many of us are recovering Perfectionists.  We’ve lived with the false perception that if something isn’t perfect – it isn’t right.  We’ve wired our minds to think that all mistakes are bad, a reflection on who we are, and that people will probably lose confidence in us.  It is until we cross the chasm of seeing mistakes as learning opportunities, chances to think deeper, solve problems, build our character, and to grow as a person –  then we can catch a glimpse of the success Forbes was referring to.

Bonus quote:  “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”
Michael Jordan

Please comment below.  What is one your favorite quotes:

About David Rische

Christian, husband, father, grandfather, principal, teacher, writer and encourager. David lives in Keller, Texas and has been in public education for over 19 years. He enjoys family time, biking, reading, NFL and MLB, magic, board games, movies and making people laugh.
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