Leadership is demanding. If you want to lead a great team, you have to be great. If you want great, long-term leadership success you have to win with great class.
The good news is that the rewards for being a great, rather than average, leader are heavily skewed. People want to work for the best, buy from the best, and deal with the best in almost every situation in our society. The rewards for being a great leader are enormous. People flock to winners.
What you do with your life will be your legacy. No one requires you to win with class. It is something you do to help someone along the way, to support your colleagues, your friends, and those whom you may not know. It is a gift that comes without a price tag. Your legacy is priceless.
In some cases, you may never know how much you impact the success of others. Not too long ago, while touring Boston, I passed a cemetery where Ephraim Wales Bull was buried. I had never heard of Ephraim Wales Bull, but the tour guide said he was the person who created Concord grapes. However, he never profited from the grapes because he died before they were marketed in jellies and jams.
The reason I share the story of Ephraim Wales Bull is because the epitaph on his gravestone reads, “He Sowed, Others Reaped.” I think that should be our mission as leaders—to keep sowing and allow others to reap. That is what leadership is all about.
If you want to achieve extraordinary results with class, read and apply The First Two Rules of Leadership: Don’t be Stupid. Don’t Be a Jerk. It will help improve morale, decrease turnover, increase everyone’s job satisfaction, and you will have a whole lot more fun leading.
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