13 May 2014


By Andy Weddington
Tuesday, 13 May 2014

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." John Quincy Adams

To lead.

But how?

Schools of thought, traits, principles, approaches, methods, techniques, and styles abound. Accordingly, so do books on leadership.

To lead is simple.

If only.

If only what?

If only to simplify.

Years ago a friend, who at the time was a well-compensated business executive, sent me something that included a few sentences tag line about leadership. As I recall, it was at the bottom of letterhead but that matters not. What I remember is it was vague and missing something - action.

So, I sent him a concise philosophy for action (crafted decades ago) using LEAD as acronym and reminder.

As follows...

L - Look / Listen / Learn (see and hear what is going on; improve)

E - Example / Engage / Enable (set example in thought, word and deed; participate; enable subordinates to follow and lead)

A - Act / Approve / Applaud (take responsibility; approve direction; applaud successes)

D - Decisive / Decorate / Discipline (make decisions; decorate publicly; discipline privately)

Leadership is action.

LEAD. Easy to remember. Straightforward. But not so easy to perform.

And success requires character, morals, principles, ethics, integrity, honor, trustworthiness and effort. Without those traits, and more, to LEAD is impossible.

With ex-Cabinet member Timothy Geithner recently revealing he was pressed to deceive (he's not the first - ex or still serving), mulling over LEAD as applied to President Obama and his Administration...

L - Lie

E - Evade

A - Assail

D - Deny

And so goes "leading" from behind. And not leading at all.

That's not the way it's supposed to be from the White House. But that's the way it is.

That alibi and top cover is a pigment but not of our imagination is, ironically, black and white and un-American. Straight skinny. 

Quite the chasm between the opening thought of John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the United States, and the antithetic performance of Barrack Hussein Obama (and his acolytes), Forty-Fourth President. Fact.

Secured, in a word, is President Obama's two-term legacy: MisLEAD. Truth.

Post Script

Marine officers eat last; figuratively, and literally - the only time to lead from behind.


1 comment:

Tom H. said...

A wonderful book on values and leadership is "The Imperfect Leader," by Davis Taylor. I commend it to anyone who aspires to lead by example.
Of the many quotes I've read/heard over the years, here are 2 which especially resonate with me:
1. "Leadership requires followership, and following is an act of trust. If one person is going to respond and arise to the words or actions of another, the individual must first trust the sincerity, integrity, and truthfulness of the first person." (Lawrence Miller)
2. "Great leaders know they are there not to feed their egos, but to serve others. This humble, caring, service-oriented attitude, more than anything else, fosters admiration and respect among the people being led." (Anonymous)