Here’s the premise of this Leadership Mints blog in particular and my leadership philosophy in general.
“The leader’s fundamental act is to induce people to be aware or conscious of what they feel – to feel their true needs so strongly, to define their values so meaningfully, that they can be moved to purposeful action.”
Source: LEADERSHIP by James MacGregor Burns (p.44)
I first read Leadership shortly after the Pulitzer-prize winning author James MacGregor Burns published it in 1978 . Ever since then, his insights on leadership–on connecting to a common purpose and collective needs of others– have served me well in my various leadership roles in authoring The Leadership Mints Series — 3 books on leading with clarity, with empathy and with credibility–including THINKING Like a Leader, LOVING Like a Leader, and SPEAKING Like a Leader —as well as in my corporate public relations, training and development, executive coaching and adjunct college teaching roles over more than 25 years.
In fact, I earned national recognition in the public relations field for those ideas on connecting with others and aligning on a common purpose. I ‘m quoted in a college textbook used to introduce students to the public relations profession. Fraser P. Seitel writes in The Practice of Public Relations (fifth edition) : “One public relations professional who probably summed up the opinion of many colleagues about exactly what it is he does for a living was Peter F. Jeff, a Michigan practitioner who wrote to a local editor:
“A public relations professional is a bridge builder, not a drum beater —building long-term relationships between a company or organization and its publics based on two-way communications (i.e. listening and speaking). A public relations professional serves as an interpreter assisting the public in more fully understanding the company. “
Fraser Seitel’s textbook The Practice of Public Relations is now in its 11th edition. It was one of the first textbooks to define public relations as a leadership and management function based on “two-way communications” and building “relationships.”
To me, two-way communications and building relationships is what leadership is all about. It’s all about You. Not Me. I’m just a bridge. That’s the standard I will hold myself to you as I continue researching, writing and serving you Leadership Mints that rejuvenate your leadership thinking. Let me know I how I can better serve you. Your comments, thoughts, and reflections are invited as we collectively move toward “purposeful action.”
Sometimes, you need a quick refresher on your way out the door. Take a quick mint here. I always feel more rejuvenated and more invigorated after reading these PEPpermints of another kind:
- “Man is made or unmade by himself. In the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself. He also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy, strength and peace. Man is the master of his thought, the molder of his character and the maker and shaper of his condition, environment and destiny.” (James Allen in his book As a Man Thinketh.)
- “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they wanted and if they can not find them. Make them.” (George Bernard Shaw)
- “Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” (Theodore Roosevelt)
- “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. “(Martin Luther King, Jr.)