The Art of Leadership and lessons from the Past – introduction.

Photograph of Ralph Waldo Emerson House, Conco...
Photograph of Ralph Waldo Emerson House, Concord, Massachusetts, USA. This National Historic Landmark was the longtime home of philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Where there is no vision, the people perish”  -(Proverbs 29:18)

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” – (Mark Twain)

INTRODUCTION

Yes, it’s all about choices in life, – choices being so important as it determines where we will be in 3 to 5 to 10 years down the line. We did not realise this when we were kids or young adults, but after developing some corner stones in our own lives, – we all do realise it is important to make good choices as choices do find our outcomes, – not only at personal level but also at collective level.

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Most of those choices we have to make on our own, – guided by instinct or values. Guided by what we have seen in the past and hope for in the future. Sometimes it is 2 step’s forward and one step backwards. Sometimes we don’t know where to go or how to take it further, — but what we choose can make – at times – the difference between life and death, – between winning or losing, – between a bad marriage or a good marriage.

This means as well that if we are going to lose “inches”, we have the freedom of choice how we are going to lose those inches, – with dignity and respect or with non-civilised behaviour – the last we know has its extremes.

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The future is there where your dreams are, when you are prepared to take the first steps to get you there, – whether it is in art or politics or any other attempt.

We have all unique talents, to be used neither only for ourselves nor in the outcome of bad decisions, – neither only for the past but for the sake of our future, and those who will be part of this future.

When we have some sort of peace with ourselves amidst any trouble hardship or hard work, being able to apply certain rules of self-leadership, – we may be well on our way to attract what we need to attract to become good leaders in whatever endeavour in life, which means to connect in a broader sense with people helping our ideas to resonate in others, to bring movement or action where this is required.

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There have been many books written about leadership and good leadership is like a diamond with various aspects and different ways of viewing it, – like a beautiful stone which you can see from different angles. We will discuss this further but in this introduction I only want to touch base on a few basics. For sure a strong valuable vision for the future and obedience to your own well developed (God-given) conscious are important ingredients to influence people in the positive, – which if well articulated may it mobilize the talents, the capacities of the people within the domain of your influence. Hence clear direction being required, – direction which helps to realise this vision in a practical way.

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Real leaders have influence in the positive as they add value.  Hitler eg was an effective leader, – however without adding value to life in whatsoever way, without respect for life in whatsoever way. He may have had a vision, but he had no conscious. The difference with eg a mother Theresa was that she had apart from both passion, vision and direction, – conscious as well. And she obeyed this conscious.

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Conscious and integrity are people orientated, based on connection with values and principles, based on respect for life, – and the outcome is neither concentration camps nor major self-inflicted war. The outcome is always directed in the positive, in adding value to productivity, business management or government.

With some people in history their importance was recognised in retrospect, as at the time the establishment was against them. Their influence appeared to be small at the start perhaps, but after they died it grew. Not always be the real image as it was then, but sometimes with the image history gave it, with the first image being perhaps more powerful. Death in those circumstances is not always the real end and on occasions it signifies a new beginning. This applies eg to Jesus from Nazareth. He was rejected and despised by the existing establishment, the world at the time, – despite his followers in those days. However his impact was of such a nature that after he was killed his influence continued, often misunderstood among Christianity and Church doctrines. But for his believers he may seem as an “unknown”, asking the question to follow him.

Great leaders have followers.

The agenda of good leaders is to motivate people to do what is right, with an influence greater than existing resistance, – even in the hours of risks and danger. Often it has to do with prompt action by choice, with faith, with a strong belief in what lies ahead, – as action without belief of what lies may prove to be often empty action.

This flow of action in the positive requires both courage and commitment, both partnership and integrity, both trials and tribulations to strengthen the efforts, – but besides this humility, wisdom and shared vision.

Neither defeat where right is valued over what is popular, nor any adversity in the midst of struggle, – will be a deterrent for the true leader to get the required seasoning to be eventually effective.

Even faced with death we may be assured that nothing is terminal and that everything is transitional.

Leadership on its own is not a goal, the vision and the process are the goal. And if the last is strong enough, at some stage there may be the harvest of our actions, – sometimes long  after we have gone.

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For most of us leadership will be neither dramatic nor often seen in the public eye. We have leaders on the street and leaders in government. It does not make any difference. What makes a difference is that our creative expressions in life meet the needs of our fellow humans beings, that our unique talents may serve  humanity in the smaller and greater deeds, – and the art of leadership in all of this is a valuable tool in the right hands.

There are many lessons from the past, and this small introduction will be followed a number of articles and examples.

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If interested keep reading on those examples and find them in your own life.

Thank you!
 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/

Interesting might be: Profiles In US Presidential Violations of Justice – Front page (Part 1 of 11) on July 5, 2011

The  Art  of  Leadership  and  Lessons  from  the  Past – Edward M. Kennedy on October 29, 2011

The  Art  of  Leadership  and  Lessons  from  the  Past  – Gandhi. on October 27, 2011

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https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/the-art-of-leadership-and-lessons-from-the-past-nelson-mandela/

6 thoughts on “The Art of Leadership and lessons from the Past – introduction.”

  1. My favorite quote is by Ralph Waldo Emerson ” Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

    Like

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