Exploring Real Leadership - Part 5
Failures = Stepping Stones
Becoming a genuine real leader isn’t always easy. Some of our greatest leaders have failed innumerable times on their way to success as a leader. Failure is not what you may think, however. Many leaders see failure as a series of “stepping stones” before reaching a desired goal. They speak of false starts, but never failure. Disappointments lead to even greater conviction, growth and change. One might think of Thomas Edison, the scientific leader, as one who failed many times before his astounding inventions became successful. And consider Abe Lincoln’s road to the White House. His winding path certainly proves you should never give up!
1831 – Lincoln failed in business
1832 – Defeated for legislature
1833 – Second failure in business
1836 – Suffers nervous breakdown
1838 – Defeated for speaker
1840 – Defeated for Elector
1843 – Defeated for Congress
1848 – Defeated for Congress
1855 – Defeated for Senate
1856 – Defeated for Vice President
1858 – Defeated for Senate
1860 – Elected President of the United States
Consider the leadership of Nelson Mandela, who spent nearly 28 years in prison. Who could imagine that after all of this time behind bars, Nelson Mandela’s leadership ability to negotiate peace would become more powerful than ever? He seemed to be destined to lead by his life experiences and his “refining by fire” in prison. Certainly his humility was nurtured in prison, and remains one of his most potent leader qualities to enact social change in the world.