Leaders Are Borne Not Born

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you respond in a crisis. Reading time 3:47.

     The more the winds of change blow, the higher the sails soar on your personal LeaderSHIP. That’s why leaders are borne –not born.

     Jumping  Leaders are borne on the winds of change, like a kite rising higher and higher BECAUSE of the prevailing winds.

       The higher the winds, the more the leader rises to the occasion.

       In fact it is because of the escalating winds –not despite those winds of change —that leaders do more than survive. They thrive.

     Greater the headwind greater the leader. At least that’s the way Abigail Adams observed the leadership winds of the presidency of the United States.

      From her unique position as the wife of the second president of the United States (John Adams) and mother to the sixth president of the United States (John Quncy Adams) observed: “Great necessities call forth great leaders. These are the hard times in which a genius would wish to live.”

   Leaders are borne on the wings of those hard times.

   Check the history books.  President Lyndon Johnson’s  “hardscrabble youth led to his pursuit of the Great Society,” as author David Gergen points out in his book Eyewitness To Power. 

      Ledge2Other historians point to leaders borne on the  conflicting winds of slavery during the  Civil War or on the conflicting winds blowing during the Great Depression or on the conflicting winds raging  during the space race in the 1960s.

   Yet some leaders forget they are borne on the winds of a time-honored Position of Honor, an Office of the People –winds of change that are packed with more might and momentum than  simply winning  a title as President or Prime Minister at the ballot box.

      Titles come and go, but the Presidency as an institution is more permanent, more anchored in its tradition, more riveted in its galvanizing affect on others. The Office of the President  must be preserved and protected beyond the individual incumbent.

      No President or Prime Minister can block the winds that borne them into the political spotlight.  Yitzhak Rabin, then Prime Minster of Israel, tried. And he was assassinated in 1995 when he chose NOT to  honor the winds of change that borne him into a new chapter in his life that demanded  respect for the  Office and the expectations of his followers.

      Rabin, though Prime Minister of Israel, still thought of himself as the soldier in the Israel army were he expanded his threshold for violence, saying that after surviving war he should feel safe walking with civilians in the streets. When his security staff asked Rabin to wear the vest, he refused. He reverted to who he used to be (a soldier)  instead of who he had become ( the Prime Minister).

    Leaders are always becoming — borne  on the wings of conflict and on the winds of change.

Today’s ImproveMINT

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