A leader's vision may or may not be that different from the next person's; what can set them apart is the vigour with which they pursue that strategy.
Zhou Enlai served as premier of the People's Republic of China and throughout his life relentlessly pursued his moderate and pragmatic agenda while attempting to mitigate the worst effects of Mao's policies.
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Leaders need to have a relatable and understandable long-term view of where an organization is headed.
When faced with the issue of slavery before the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln’s vision was that the United States should be “a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. "
Changing the mood of an organization can be enough to stave off collapse and foster progress.
Nelson Mandela changed the mood of a divided South Africa coming out of the brink of civil war and facing a future with a high likelihood of inter-racial conflict. Once elected, he ran the new multiracial government with a light but decisive touch and set the tone – relaxed, inclusive, cheerful – that would create a new mood in the country.
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson defied the medical establishment to practice medicine as a woman in a time it was considered unacceptable. She found loopholes in the law and painstakingly assembled the necessary qualifications, eventually becoming the first woman to receive a medical degree.
Take the offensive simply by not taking no for an answer; by accomplishing what we have set our hearts on in the face of entrenched opposition.
Horatio Nelson suffered multiple permanent wounds leading attacks. That’s how he gained the unquestioning loyalty of his men.
Taking a hard or unpleasant task is leading from the front.
A leader needs to adapt to the situation. Study your environment and your competition to make the best of every opportunity.
Sun Tzu, counseled that a martial leader should observe the terrain to take advantage of its natural layout and stay alert for startled birds or beasts that might indicate an ambush. He also advised becoming a student of one's enemies, to know their signs of fatigue or desperation.
The one known as the 'father of modern management', Peter Drucker, came to the conclusion that the more one charges for providing others with his advice, the more the advice is valuable. So, if he could do it, maybe it is indeed worth giving this idea a chance.