Leading with Positive Energy and Endurance by Linda Hatcher
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” W.W. Ziege
As everyone knows, we are living in extraordinarily difficult times. Challenges abound on a personal level, a professional level, a national level, and a global level. Meanwhile, the themes leaders MUST embrace are positive energy and positive endurance. When you think about it, what else is there to focus upon without giving in to negative surrender?
The theme of the June 2009 edition of the free Leadership Guide Magazine (CLICK HERE) is “Leading with Positive Energy and Endurance.
Two of the articles this month, " The Power of having a Positive Attitude" (CLICK HERE) and " How Leaders Maintain Positive Energy during Uncertain Times" (CLICK HERE) focus upon our personal leadership. The third article, "Positive Endurance for Leaders" (CLICK HERE) discusses some of the key developmental and organizational issues we must address. When you think about it, it will take a long-term sustained positive focus on both arenas, personal and leadership, to help us rise above all the uncertainty and trauma we are currently experiencing.
In another related subject area, we thought that you might also be interested in a few excerpts from the fall 1996 edition of the Leadership Journal where Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, talked about ways to identify a promising leader. Here is some of what he said:
• A person who does not feel the thrill of challenge is not a potential leader.
• A constructive spirit of discontent. Some people would call this criticism, but there is a big difference in being constructively discontent and being critical. If somebody says, "There is got to be a better way to do this," I see if there is leadership potential by asking, "Have you ever thought about what that better way might be?" If he says no, he is being critical, not constructive. But if he says yes, he is challenged by a constructive spirit of discontent. That is the un-scratchable itch. It is always in the leader.
• Mental toughness. No one can lead without being criticized or without facing discouragement. A potential leader needs a mental toughness. I do not want a mean leader; I want a tough-minded leader who sees things as they are and will pay the price. Leadership creates a certain separation from peers. The separation comes from carrying responsibility that only you can carry. Years ago, I spoke to a group of presidents in Columbus, Ohio, about loneliness in leadership. One participant, a president of an architectural firm, came up afterward and said, "You have solved my problem." "What is your problem?" I asked. "My organization always seems confused," he said, "and I do not know why.” It is because I do not like to be lonely; I have got to talk about my ideas to the rest of the company. But they never know which ones will work, so everybody who likes my idea jumps to work on it. Those who do not, work against it. Employees are going backward and forward when the idea may not even come about at all." Fearing loneliness, this president was not able to keep his ideas to himself until they were better formulated. A leader must be able to keep his or her own counsel until the proper time.
For Your Information: Our free Leader Library (CLICK HERE) contains over 300 articles from previous editions of our magazine on various topics concerning leadership effectiveness and ethics . Valuable information is provided to assist in your own development and those in your organization.