Leadership Commandments…Personal or Otherwise

I received this gem of a poem from one of my clients.  We’ve been working together on an intervention to help his department and collective organization get employees more engaged.  Tough thing to do, given folks don’t get recognition or even raises, really and job satisfaction is very high.  Just the fact that he sent this to me though, screams volumes in where his head is at, what he’s all about, and what he wants to do.  I’m proud and excited to be helping this fine organization; they’ve got leaders, positional and personal, who want to do the right thing.  Bravo.

I’ve since found out that these “rules to lead by” are called The Paradoxical Commandments.   Written by Kent Keith in 1968 when he was a sophomore at Harvard College, the commandments were part of The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council, his first booklet for high school student leaders.

Kent was 19 when he wrote this.  A babe.  What a great way to think – and act – when living a life.  I’m inspired and I hope you are, too.

So, here they are in the spirit of our forefathers who also wanted to do the right thing – and succeeded.  My best to you and Happy 4th of July, everyone!

The Commandments of Leadership

If you do good, people will accuse you of ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

Honesty will make you vulnerable.
Be honest anyway.

The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down
by the smallest people with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help, but may attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway.

Give the world the best you’ve got, knowing you may get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.


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