Friday, May 13, 2011

Holding back

From my tiny snatch of reading today, in Leadership Education:

"Some of you may be thinking: 
'My Mary is just not a leader.  She is a good girl, yes, but not a leader.' 

Don't give in to that midset. 

It comes from our public socialization and the false idea that a leader is someone with smooth charisma and a TV personality.  This is false.  

Jefferson hated to speak in public and hardly ever did.  
Madison was sickly, shy and quiet.  
John Adams was considered abrasive and annoying.  
Lincoln was homely and lost many more elections than he won.  
Columbus couldn't convince anyone for years and years.  
Joan of Arc was from a poor family in a little farm community.  

Leadership isn't something that just happens to you; it is a choice, a choice to pay the price to be great.  

It isn't a certain set of talents, but rather a choice to develop your own talents, to use classics, mentors, hard work and faith to become great.  

Of course your Mary, your Bobby, your Kimberly are not leaders yet; 
they haven't earned it.  

But they can.  You can if you will pay the price."  

                                                                --Oliver Van DeMille, Leadership Education, p 117
(Line breaks and bold added for emphasis).

Contrast that with:

"That's the way it is."

"I'm just not good at math." (Or English, or . . . .)

"That's how he sees the world."

"Oh, he's a good kid, but he's not that kind of material."

And the list could go on and on.  I cringe, often visibly, when I hear people literally damning themselves with self-effacing language, locking the door of their own cell with simple and short-sighted concepts of their own abilities and worth.  Human beings are wildly intelligent, or have the capacity to become such.  It's all about getting outside of the stodgy, brick-lined cells into which we've been stuffed by those whose worldview we've trusted.

It's not who you are that holds you back.  It's who you think you're not.  --Dr. Hanoch McCarty

'Nough said.

No comments: