There isn't a one-size-fits-all canvas for what leadership looks like--nor for how it needs to be executed on a daily basis. Leadership is a journey which is something I'm learning each day. Building a business, creating a great culture, overseeing the well-being of your company, and making an impact is all part of the leadership paradigm.
However, rough weeks hit us all and times of questioning ourselves inevitably arise. If this is you, let these seven quotes from leaders of various backgrounds inspire and rejuvenate you over the weekend:
1. Nelson Mandela on circumstances.
"Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do."
Obstacles inevitably appear along our journeys, but these are merely presented to challenge our commitment. Wanting a million dollar business and body both sound nice, but that's different from truly desiring it and doing whatever it takes to accomplish the mission.
2. Malcolm X on preparation.
"The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."
Often times, we don't approach the present moment and time with enough urgency. What you do today ultimately sculpts the future. If you want a healthier body, are the actions you're taking today placing you in a position to achieve that goal?
If your actions today don't match up with what you desire for in the future, then you have a disconnect and dramatically decrease your chances for long-term success.
3. Kurt Vonnegut on identity.
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."
Identity and how we see ourselves in the world is the first and often hardest step to reaching our goals. If you don't see yourself as the capable person with the necessary traits needed for that future goal, then along the way, you'll self-sabotage your success.
4. Ralph Waldo Emerson on letting go.
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
Succeeding in fitness and business often comes down to longevity and being able to endure. The best way to do this is to take it one day at a time, then let go and start anew the next morning. Rinse and repeat with habits that support your goals and you'll eventually reach that goal.
5. Eleanor Roosevelt on instinct.
"Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway."
Leadership has many strategies involved within it, but the most powerful lesson in leadership is to trust your gut instinct. As a leader, you'll be the first to blame for the blunders and the first for recognition on the success.
6. Michael Jordan on setbacks.
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
The greatest basketball player of all time along with many other great leaders of our time only became great because they accepted setbacks as necessary steps along the journey.
The secret to leading others is to not be afraid to make mistakes and blunders because consistently putting yourself out there is showing courage which gains the respect of your team.
7. Maya Angelou on attitudes.
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain."
Complaining doesn't do anything to our situation besides delaying a possible solution and bringing negative energy into your environment and team.