Hard to believe that this blog has been around for nearly 13 years – it’s been a wonderful and winding journey putting my thoughts on these pages about a subject that is near and dear to my heart.
Leadership. The more human kind.
I’ve covered a lot of ground (and probed the depths of my head and heart) in my 1,066 posts since December 25, 2005, and what I have gained from it is incalculable. It’s been a journey to the heart of leadership and a tribute to the power of just writing it all down.
I’m a better leader because I wrote it all down. I was successful as a businessperson because I wrote it all down.
Sometimes it was a synthesis that clarified concepts and principles, and other times it was laboratory that explored new and alternative thinking.
But above all else, it was an exercise in knowledge sharing that brought me valuable feedback and perspective, from readers like you who graciously took the time to read, absorb and respond to it.
And of all of the 1066 times I sat down and wrote it all down, these were the 10 posts that you all deemed to be the all-time favorites.
For those who have read them all already, you have my eternal thanks and I hoped they helped you on your leadership journey.
For those who haven’t read them all, or are here for the first time, I encourage you to take them all in (or complete your reading), for together they form what I would call my “master class in the art of More Human Leadership”.
From the bottom to the top (and featuring my favorite quote from each):
10) Be a Leadership Lion: 10 Leadership Quotes to Find Your Courage Without Going to Oz –“The very act of being a leader is a show of courage”. Bonus: favorite of the 10 quotes: “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave” – Mark Twain
9) 10 Critical Leadership Battles (And How You Can Win Them All) – This was based on my very first leadership presentation I made to a group of managers. We must win all of these battles, because as I wrote about it in this post, “It boils down to this – do you want to manage, or do you want to LEAD”?
8) 10 Immutable Laws Of Leadership – “Live by them, build on them, and lead by them, and you give yourself a fighting chance. Defy them, manipulate them, or ignore them, and the deck will be stacked against you.”
7) The 7 Things A Leader Must Do To Build The Perfect Team – “The fact is, your objective in building a team ought to be getting to the point where they really don’t need you anymore – yes, leading your way out of a job. But that frees you up in a lot of great ways, ways that will allow you to think more strategically, and with greater foresight and vision. The day-to-day stuff will just get handled. Let them lead.”
6) 10 Principles for The Selfless Leader (From An American Hero) – This post is forever dedicated to an American hero, Major Dick Winters, commander, Easy Company, 101st Airborne division, World War II. His words: “True satisfaction comes from getting the job done. The key to a successful leader is to earn respect–not because of rank or position, but because you are a leader of character.”
5) A Leadership Checklist: 10 Things To Do Right Now To Make It A Great Year– “It’s so easy to get impatient, intolerant of critique, or adverse to conflict. Stay self aware! You don’t have to be a zen master, but it’s important to stay centered, calm, open minded, receptive, and understanding. Especially when things aren’t going your way.”
4) It’s Not the Critic Who Counts: Reflections on Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena – This is THE one quote that has most guided my leadership and my life, day after day. I never, ever, want to be one of “those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
3) The 5 Key Attitudes Of A Leader – “Think about the attitudes you bring to the table as a leader, because they are vitally important to building a team that can get to greatness”. These 5 aren’t a bad place to start.
2) 15 Big Differences Between Acting Like a Boss and BEING a Leader- “In fast paced, high stress business environments it can be all too easy sometimes for leaders to slip into what I call “Boss Man” mode.”. This one also comes with a video
1) My 10 Favorite “Half-Full” Quotes (Reprised) – Here it is, the most read post, and strong evidence that deep in our hearts and minds, we want to be optimists. Sir Winston Churchill said it best: “For myself I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use being anything else”. Indeed sir, indeed.
Lead well all, and thank you.