“To achieve the mood of a warrior is not a simple matter. It is a revolution. To regard the lion and the water rats and our fellow men as equals is a magnificent act of a warrior’s spirit. It takes power to do that.”
Carlos Castaneda (American Author & Anthropologist)
“I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”
Alexander the Great (Ancient Macedonian King)
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
Winston Churchill (Former British Prime Minister)
Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary climbed Mt. Everest, becoming the first people in recorded history to ever do so.
This happened in 1953.
Their expedition started out with 400 people, led by John Hunt.
One by one, the group of 400 grew smaller and smaller.
People who weren’t prepared for the hardship died or went back to the bottom of the mountain.
John Hunt himself went back.
Once John quit, many others followed him, like sheep.
They quit too.
Out of 400 people, only two were able to make it to the top of the mountain.
Hillary and Norgay.
This was the ninth time the British had tried climbing Mt. Everest.
The other eight times were failures.
The ninth time was almost a failure.
It didn’t succeed because of John Hunt’s great leadership qualities.
When the going got tough, John Hunt quit.
The expedition succeeded because Hillary and Norgay were lions.
They had something in them the rest of the expedition didn’t.
They had something in them that their guide didn’t even have.
Are you a sheep?
Are you one of the 398 quitters?
Are you afraid of a more adventurous life?
Or are you a lion?
Nobody wants to be seen as a sheep, but are you ready to do what it takes to be a lion?
I lived most of my life as a sheep.
I followed what my friends were doing.
I worked hard to live up to other people’s expectations.
It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I realized I was living like a sheep by choice.
Most people are sheep.
They have a herd mentality and do everything they can to keep other people happy.
Keeping other people happy isn’t going to bring you success in life.
Playing it safe isn’t going to get you to the top of your personal Everest.
If you want to be successful in life, you have to be willing to put sweat, blood, tears, and time into accomplishing your goals.
You have to be willing to cut negative, weak-minded people out of your life.
You have to be willing to lead by example, not by running your mouth.
You have to be willing to stand alone.
You have to be willing to live like a lion.
How To Lead By Example, Not By Talking
Strong leaders are NOT flexible.
They are firm.
This is especially true in terms of boundaries, roles, and channels of communication.
A recent study in the Journal of Nursing Management showed that regardless of education level, expertise, or responsibility, the best way to avoid errors in a team setting is to establish clear lines of communication and clearly defined roles.
As long as everyone is clear when communicating, and sticks to their responsibilities without getting in each others’ space, the teams would function better than teams that did not have these conditions.
Working in a team setting is about respect.
The team has to respect the leader, and the leader has to respect the team.
Going into a team situation and dominating is easy for lions.
The hard part is dominating with both power and poise.
You need to be able to see your goals.
You also need to be able to see the larger impact of your goals.
When you’re paying attention to how your plans affect your surroundings, you’re showing that you respect things other than yourself.
That’s a huge gesture when it comes to gaining respect and trust.
Respect is earned by actions.
Trust is created by consistency.
People follow leaders they trust and respect, not leaders who run their mouths.
5 Tips For Leading With Strength, Tact, And Tenacity
Are you working as part of a team?
Are you working alone?
Either way, you’ll never achieve your goals without strength, tact, and tenacity.
Strength of action will earn you respect.
Tact of character will create camaraderie within your team.
Tenaciousness will provide consistency and build trust.
Tenacity is the quality or fact of continuing to exist.
It means having the will to stick by something and see it through to the end, no matter how difficult things get.
Tenaciousness is the quality that separates life’s winners from life’s losers.
Without tenacity, you’ll give up when things get hard.
Can you imagine what the world would be like without tenacious people?
No one would ever amount to anything.
No one would do anything.
The world is built on tenacity.
Here are 5 ways to improve your tenacity and define yourself as an assertive leader and a lion…
1. Always attack, because no one has ever defended anything successfully forever.
When you’re under attack, your defense will crack eventually.
It doesn’t matter how strong you are.
You can hold out for a long time.
Sometimes even years.
But you’re stuck in a box.
Is it your goal to cling desperately to what you have?
Is your goal to keep your life exactly as it is right now?
If so, by all means, defend away.
By all means, put all your energy into your defense.
Just don’t expect to improve.
If you’re always defending, you have no room to grow.
You’re allowing others to expand while you defend.
This is a recipe for mediocrity.
The only way to avoid this is to be on the offensive all the time.
When you are in a mindset of offense, you’re in a mindset of improvement.
You’re more able to take on new challenges.
You’re more able to succeed.
2. If you aren’t willing to do something yourself, don’t expect others to do it.
Nothing worth doing is going to be easy, so if you want results, be prepared to sweat.
Leaders are respected when they lead.
Order-giving is not leadership.
Sitting in your ivory tower and passing demands down to your worker drones is not leadership.
Human beings are not ants.
They aren’t bred for their jobs.
They follow by example.
So lead by example.
When Alexander the Great led his armies, they followed him as far as they did because he fought alongside them.
He didn’t sit on a nearby hill sipping wine and watch it play out.
He didn’t mail his orders in from Greece.
He rode on the front lines of his army, pushing them forward.
What makes you think you’re above this yourself?
Are you better than Alexander the Great?
If you think you’re above doing a certain job, why should your team want to do it themselves?
True lions aren’t concerned with this sort of vanity.
Show your team what you want them to do by doing it yourself first.
You’ll then be more respected as a leader, and have the added benefit of knowing whether your team is doing things properly.
When you know how to do a job right yourself, you know when someone is doing a job wrong.
When you show a team that you can do their job, it reminds them that you’re more than just a title.
It reminds them that you’re there to accomplish something with them.
When you demonstrate you’re willing to do whatever your team does, you give them the chance to connect with you.
When you connect with your team, you can bring out the lion in them.
3. Be bolder than anyone else expects you to be.
Nothing can kill your potential more than expectations.
When people expect you to behave a certain way, the way they deal with you reflects that.
If they expect a mouse, they’ll deal with you like you’re a mouse.
They’ll expect you to just do what you’re told.
Don’t be the mouse.
Don’t be the sheep.
Taking bold steps toward achieving your goals has some powerful consequences.
It will catch people off guard as you disrupt their expectations.
Find joy in disrupting other people’s expectations.
When people underestimate you, they won’t watch you as closely as they should.
They won’t be ready for you to make a bold move.
Use this to your advantage.
By getting into the habit of taking bold steps, you’ll frustrate others’ expectations of you.
You’ll upset the status quo.
You’ll get used to pushing yourself farther than anyone else wants you to.
You’ll develop a mindset of not settling for the herd mentality.
You’ll be a lion.
4. Never fear losing what you already have, only fear losing the opportunity to have more.
Are you facing uncharted territory?
Are you facing an unfamiliar situation?
Being bold means taking calculated risks.
It means going where others are afraid to go.
Being bold will naturally drive you toward uncharted territories.
But uncharted territories are where the big rewards are.
There is no success without risk.
Studying for a new degree.
Taking a position at a new company.
Investing in a new technology or startup.
Cutting haters and negative people out of your life.
Risks can deliver major rewards if you take intelligent steps toward them.
But if you aren’t willing to take the first step towards your goals, you will trap yourself in defense mode.
You’ll be stuck clinging to what you have, afraid to let go for even a second.
Start inviting intelligent risk into your life.
5. Take full responsibility for every mistake and every shortcoming, whether or not it’s your fault.
Your team made a mistake.
It wasn’t you.
It was someone else.
What do you do?
As a leader and a lion, take responsibility for it.
When a team fails, it’s because of a lack of leadership.
If you’re the leader, the failure is your fault.
Did someone beneath you make a mistake in their work?
It’s your fault for not monitoring or training them properly.
Did someone say something stupid in a meeting and cost you a client?
It’s your fault for not briefing them properly before the meeting.
Did someone steal money, clients, or material from your company?
It’s your fault for being a poor judge of character when you hired them.
When you take responsibility for failures within your organization, you avoid having a victim mentality.
You stop making excuses for the status quo, and start looking for solutions to solve problems.
Shifting the blame on someone else is the same as a child yelling “he started it” when he’s in trouble.
It doesn’t matter who started it.
It matters who takes responsibility for fixing it.
A lion doesn’t throw his team under the bus.
A lion accepts responsibility for his team.
Don’t be afraid to lose, because greatness is impossible without loss. Nobody gets it right 100% of the time. But success isn’t about winning every time. It’s about persistence. It’s about tenacity. It’s about power and poise. Lions will persist regardless of how many times they lose. Lions lead by example. No matter what you and your team are up against, keep moving forward, adjust your plan, and don’t lose sight of your goals. Until next time, live like a lion.
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