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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Leaders Never Quit

Leaders never quit? Leaders never quit what?

One of my favorite quotes is from Nathaniel Greene, one of Washington's generals during the American Revolution. He was a self-taught military man, but often thought of as only second to Washington in military talent during that conflict.

OK, the quote: We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again.

On the surface, some could look at this quote as another "rah, rah" quote. It's much more than that, though, because of the words in the middle: "...get beat, rise...".

Greene is speaking about failure. He failed. I fail. You fail. We all fail. We all get beat from time to time. Greene is speaking about failure and then overcoming failure to fight again.

For me, the thing that is so inspiring about Nathaniel Greene is that he never quit, even when he wanted to, even when he threatened to. He was totally devoted to his causes and, in the case of America, its freedom.

We're all imperfect human beings. We're all imperfect managers, coaches, and workers. We're all imperfect leaders.

Let's get back to the title of this post: leaders never quit.

What should leaders never quit doing? Leaders should never quit trying to:
  • Inspire
  • Set a positive example
  • Push others to grow
  • Have an empathetic spirit
  • Be decisive
  • Walk the walk
  • Properly delegate
  • Coach regularly
  • Use influence instead of force
  • Listen
  • Be a servant
Even as imperfect as we are, real leaders never quit. They always try to make themselves and the people around them better.

What other things should leaders never quit doing?

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