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IDEAS FOR LEADERS: Humility and Iron Will

by Jerry Tarasofsky September 11, 2012

An original post from John Caswell

“The primary traits of the world’s most successful leaders – Humility & Iron Will…”

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” – Thomas Jefferson

The leader’s role is a dual path. To both stand like the rock and enable change: to stand firm and also to create the space for the development of ideas. A leader must be the torch carrier and full time sponsor for the big idea. He/she must decide what is a bad idea and what is a good idea. And above all know how to ‘know’.

This means a balancing act between all these opposing ideas whilst constantly redefining what leadership means. Define what leadership means and then ask those who follow you to validate your definition.

So much rubbish is being spoken about how to be a leader – magical courses and spiritual coaching – all designed to teach us how to be a better leader. The only measure of whether you are a leader or not is whether people follow you and your ideas.

“The secret of success is constancy to purpose.” – Benjamin Disraeli

  • Are you able to stand like and rock and at the same time also encourage change. Can you take all of your people with you as you go?
  • Ask yourself if your people are really helping you achieve the plans you made. Have you really inspired them?
  • Ask yourself how many fresh ideas are coming forth in response to the issues the firm is dealing with. How much bigger or better do the ideas have to be before people in the organization either awake from their malaise or really stand up and join you and the team.
  • Seek out the real you in all this, find authenticity inside your own mind. Ask yourself how to ‘be’ a better leader and expressing the ideas. How well have you been able to describe the plan. Constantly check the reality of the idea and your own contribution as you work to achieve it all.
  • Raise the level of everything within your control in order to bring the idea to fruition. Be prepared to challenge everything that gets in the way but listen to the responses you get – learn to be more curious about lessons others have learned.

“This is the true joy of life – being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one – being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap – being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” – George Bernard Shaw


Leadership is also knowing that you can’t change what you can’t measure. The ORGANIZATION OPTIMIZER is the unique methodology that measures the operational performance of any organization and allows it to easily and cost-effectively monitor change.